Liz Foster ’22
Daniel Hernandez, better known as Tekashi 6ix9ine, a.k.a. the guy with the rainbow hair and face tats who cries out “it’s fucking Treyway” like a line from the New Testament, has devolved from his self proclaimed “King of New York” sta- tus into a simple “snitch.” That’s what Twitter says, that’s what the rap game says, and that’s what his cohorts, including his former psuedo-manager Kifano “Shotti” Jordan, are most certainly saying. No, 6ix9ine is not facing backlash for his sexual performance with a child, a charge that resulted in nothing more than a plea deal, but for his work with a dangerous subgroup of the Bloods: the Nine Trey Gangsters. Ignoring other charges from both his adolescence and pre-fame adulthood, 6ix9ine faces up to a lifetime in jail for federal racketeering charges along with posession of fire arms and conspiracy to murder, adding to his seemingly never-ending list of allegations, crimes, and controversies.
Like a game of Quidditch, 6ix9ine sits at the center of the trial, proving himself to be a snitch. Following a court decision in February, 6ix9ine’s role in the case against him and his eleven fellow gang members has shifted to exposing his comrades’ involvement in criminal activity. In exchange for an escape from his potential minimum sentence of 47 years in prison, Tekashi has taken the stand to expose his fellow Nine Treys. Some names include gang member “Kooda B” who was indicted for an attempt on rap icon Chief Keef’s life—though 6ix9ine was the one who placed the hit on Keef. Denouncing his association with the group, 6ix9ine aims to save himself and reduce his sentence. Seeing how the rapper succeeded in escaping charges for participation in and distribution of an unlawful sexual performance with a child, it comes with little surprise that Daniel Hernandez has managed to finesse his way into legal freedom again.
The media has latched onto the event, following not only Tekashi’s trial but the public response to his behavior. Various celebrity responses reveal almost as much about the character of these artists themselves than the failed rapper-gangster’s own heinous actions. Atlanta based mega-rapper Future called Tekashi a rat,including both a rodent and laughing emoji, in an Instagram story, adding his name to a growing list of rappers angered by the Brooklyn-Blood. Vince Staples bluntly tweeted that 6ix9ine was merely a guy who “wanted to be in a music video” and now is in a jail cell. Staples’ pointed tweet reflects a majority viewpoint–that 6ix9ine is a fraud. Rather than a serious rapper involved in gang activity, Hernandez was in over his head in his attempts to validate and fully realize the image he projected in his music videos.
Meek Mill denounced 6ix9ine on Twitter in a similar manner for being an “Internet gangsta” and encouraging the rapper to simply be himself, throwing in a snarky hashtag of “#cloutisnottheroute.” 6ix- 9ine’s endless pursuit of unfavorable headlines as a means of getting attention, and in turn streams for his content, remains heavily scrutinized as the rapper’s career turns from a nosedive to a plummet. However, not everyone is giving up on Tekashi and his career. Some artists took a moment to per- form an act of what some may call “charity” as singer-songwriter Charlie Puth tweeted that he’d produce a 6ix9ine record free of charge if the rap- per was released. Puth, perhaps better known for his proclamation of “I’m hungies” than his music, was immediately dragged by the Internet for his statement.
The public’s response was filled with confusion and distaste for Puth’s willingness to work with someone willing to sexually abuse a child, attempt murder on Chief Keef, and snitch on the very people that helped him sustain his short-lived but highly prolific career.
It was never 6ix9ine’s world, but as his future begins to unfold in a very public, very controversial trial it has become increasingly clear that the world will never be 6ix9ine’s for the taking. As a rat, a snitch, and a mere “internet-gangsta,” his reputation and image are forever tarnished. Regardless of if Daniel Hernandez faces life in prison for his gang activity, it doesn’t appear that the future will be going Treyway–or anyway–for 6ix9ine.