Controversial rapper Teka$hi 6ix9ine, real name Daniel Hernandez, is one of 2018’s most idiosyncratic underdogs. The Brooklyn native began his career as a Soundcloud artist and gained national attention after his rainbow-colored hair, bright gummy grills, and stylized “69” tattoos across his body painted him as the “final boss” of Soundcloud Rappers in an internet meme.
While his striking image spread online,6ix9ine’s song “Gummo” began amassing millions of views on YouTube after its October release, eventually reaching #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song sports aggressive lyrics over a trappy Pierre Bourne instrumental, with the “Scum Gang” rapper screaming: “She wanna fuck but keep her clothes on, I only want the jaw, man that’s all I really use her for, as I kick her out the door.”
In December, Teka$hi plead guilty for the use of a child in a sexual performance. According to court documents and XXL, the charges stem from an incident that occurred at a friends apartment in Harlem on February 21, 2015. Detective Maureen Sheehan stated the victim, who was 13 years old at the time, was seen in a series of videos “completely nude sitting on the lap of the defendant [Hernandez]…[with] his arms around the child.”
In an interview with DJ Akademiks, Teka$hi at first denied the allegations.
“When she came in she asked me how old I was, and I told her I was 18, and I assumed she was older. The way she was asking made me think she was older.”
Teka$hi also denounced his actions based on his age, saying he was “a kid,” and “17 years young,” when according to court documents his birthday is in 1996 — making him 18 during the time of the assault. “I’m not touching the girl,” the rapper went on to say to Akademiks, “I’m not having sexual intercourse with the girl, I’m not doing nothing.”
6ix9ine plead guilty to the charges in November and will be sentenced on January 30, 2018. The artist has been ordered not to post sexually explicit or violent images featuring women/children to social media. He also must obtain his GED, not commit another crime for two years and “write a letter to his victim and her family detailing why his participation in the videos was harmful to her and her family.”
Teka$hi will receive three years probation if he meets these qualifications, and won’t have to register as a sex offender. The rapper faces one to three years in prison if any of these conditions aren’t met.
With Teka$hi’s Hyper-Violent Shock Rap coming into mainstream playing alongside other controversial acts like XXXTENTACION, it will be a defining next few months for the Hip-Hop industry. Will labels support those with disturbing pasts like Teka$hi 6ix9ine, and if so, will listeners be able to stomach any tracks the artists release from here on out?
Fellow Soundcloud artists Trippie Redd and Ski Mask The Slump God have already distanced themselves from X and Teka$hi. Redd said via Instagram “I’m sorry brozay, 1400 don’t support pedophiles,” and Ski Mask said X is “crazy as hell.”
In the meantime, Teka$hi shows no signs of slowing down. The rapper recently released his “Keke” music video featuring Fetty Wap and A Boogie With A Hoodie, and is gearing up to release his debut Kooda tape very soon.
In addition to the criminal charges, 6ix9ine has also gotten a bashing via Twitter this month after a video posted by Ugly God revealed his chains were fake. Producer Pierre Bourne also came out and dismissed his track “Gummo,” saying the instrumental was meant for Trippie Redd, and not for 6ix9ine. With the hate flowing in, Teka$hi’s seems to hold his head high.
“I run New York, I’m in fucking charge right now, whatever I say goes,” he told DJ Akademiks recently. Fans, while skeptical, will soon see if his words hold merit.