It’s no secret that rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine has built a career out of being controversial.
Whether it’s instigating beef with hip hop heavyweights, or the famous “snitching” scandal that saw him escape a lengthy prison sentence, it seems that the rainbow-haired, Brooklyn-based rapper thrives on vitriolic hate directed towards him.
So polarising is the rapper – real name Daniel Hernandez – that his documentary was titled Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine, with docuseries director Karam Gill labelling the 25-year-old “a truly horrible human being”.
And 6ix9ine made headlines for the wrong reasons again recently when he was brutally attacked by a group of men at a South Florida gym and rushed to hospital.
Here, we take a look at just some of the most controversial moments involving Tekashi 6ix9ine.
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Sexual assault allegations
According to the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, 6ix9ine pleaded guilty to the use of a child in a sexual performance on October 20, 2015. The exact terms of that charge are as follows:
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“A person is guilty of the use of a child in a sexual performance if knowing the character and content thereof he employs, authorises or induces a child less than seventeen years of age to engage in a sexual performance or being a parent, legal guardian or custodian of such child, he consents to the participation by such child in a sexual performance.”
Then, on December 14, 2017, Jezebel published a report with new details on Tekashi’s sexual misconduct case, further fanning the flames surrounding the controversial artist who had begun storming the charts.
The criminal complaint filed against him stated that “the child is sitting on the lap of the defendant [Hernandez] and the defendant has his arms around the child,” and confirms that the rapper was 18 years old when the incident took place – not 17 as 6ix9ine had previously claimed.
According to the publication, the terms of his plea deal stated that he was to complete one year of probation, 300 hours of community service, two years of mental health treatment, not to share “sexually explicit or violent images featuring women/children” to social media, and write an apology letter to the victim and her family, which have since been completed.
Choking a fan at Galleria Mall
On January 6, 2018, the rapper was accused of grabbing a 16-year-old fan by the neck at the Galleria Mall in Texas.
According to court documents, the confrontation began after the fan pulled out his camera to record Tekashi69. The teen told investigators that the rapper yelled at him to erase the video and bodyguards also “surrounded him in an intimidating way.”
Police interviewed the teen’s mother, who confirmed that her son had been choked by the rapper.
Hernandez was later arrested in New York City on July 11 on an outstanding warrant related to the incident and was charged with assault causing bodily injury.
Beef with Trippie Redd
In February 2018, Tekashi got into a heated exchange via Instagram with fellow rapper Trippie Redd, with whom he previously collaborated on the 2017 track ‘Poles1469.’
Following damning criminal allegations against 69, Trippie Redd had subsequently distanced himself from the ‘KANGA’ rapper and seemingly took aim at Tekashi’s street cred on the social media platform, writing: “Lol only blood ik that gotta tap in wit krips to be safe.”
Tekashi fired back, accusing Trippie of calling the Crips for protection following an altercation in New York City – though Trippie later hit back that it was in fact 6ix9ine who had called the gang for protection.
Tekashi calls himself the ‘King of New York’
In March 2018, he again made waves after he claims he owned the crown when it came to the New York hip hop scene.
“If I wasn’t the King of New York, y’all wouldn’t pay me no mind. If I wasn’t the King of New York, y’all would be like ‘Just let that f**king clown talk, that n***a’s irrelevant,'” 69 said at the time.
Unsurprisingly, the claim ruffled feathers in the music scene, with artists like The Game calling out Tekashi over his comments.
“This the bum y’all let call himself the king of New York??? Frank White only KING OF NY,” Game wrote in the caption. “This really the n***a running round talkin bout he been a blood his whole life ?? This really the n***as running round throwing up blood wit ??? This lil weirdo… Foh n***a….”
Beef with Chief Keef
The rappers began throwing jabs over social media in June 2018, before the situation escalated and culminated in Keef being shot at on his way back to the Times Square W Hotel. He was unharmed.
In September 2019, during his testimony in a racketeering case against two alleged members of the Nine Trey Gansta Bloods gang, Tekashi testified that he was behind the attempted murder of rival Chief Keef in June 2018.
He told the court that he had arranged the hit against Keef and promised a $20,000 payment to the gunman. However, it was reduced to $10,000 after the hitman missed his target.
The gunman who attempted to shoot Keef, Kintea McKenzie, pleaded guilty to assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering.
Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods arrest and trial
On November 18, 2018, 6ix9ine and his associates were arrested on federal racketeering and firearms charges.
In February 2019, 6ix9ine pleaded guilty to nine charges in the case, including charges of racketeering conspiracy, multiple firearms offences, narcotics trafficking, and more. At the time, he faced at least 47 years in prison.
After he agreed to work with federal officials in their investigation of the gang in exchange for reduced prison time, Tekashi was sentenced to two years in prison.
However, in April 2020, he was released from federal prison to serve the final months of his sentence in home confinement after the judge had called the rapper a “model prisoner”.
In addition to the reduced prison sentence, US District Judge Paul A Engelmayer also fined him $35,000 and ordered him to perform 300 hours of community service.
Following his release into home confinement, the rapper was forced to relocate after his location – a rental in Lido Beach, Long Island – was leaked by a neighbour following Tekashi posted a photo of himself outside flashing fistfuls of cash. He was released from home confinement in August 2020.