Daniel Hernandez is a rapper named Tekashi 6ix9ine from Bushwick, New York City, New York. You have definitely seen or heard of him if you have any type of social media. His antics were hard to ignore as he came into an industry where shock value is the way of getting people attention. He knew how to draw attention to him, which is the Soulja Boy blueprint: You troll your way into the industry by beefing with the artist or doing outrageous acts on camera. Imagine a person who dyed his hair a rainbow color and took over the Billboard charts with every track they released — but came all to a sudden end.
Here’s the story of the Rainbow Troll, Tekashi 6ix9ine.
Tekashi started off on the wrong foot as he was arrested in 2015 for the use of a child in a sexual performance. Tekashi was charged with 3 charges of sex with a minor, which he later plead guilty to. The case still has some missing information, but what we do have is a picture of him and young women who are said to be 13 years old. In the picture, you can see Tekashi shirtless with the young women wearing their bras laying on top of him. This happened two years before he blew up as a rapper after working with up and coming to artist Trippie Redd on their track “Poles1496,” which is currently sitting at 143 million views on YouTube. Trippie denounced Tekashi after finding out the news about the charges against 6ix9ine, saying “I’m sorry brozay, 1400 don’t promote pedophiles. If we give n****s clout, we give n****s clout. It was an accident.” The news about the case resurfaced in 2017 after a former 6ix9ine collaborator, ZillaKami, leaked the photo out.
You would think news like this would hurt an unestablished artist like 6ix9ine, but it did the total opposite. A month later he released “Gummo,” which reached No. 12 on Billboard’s Top 100. This is the part of the story where the troll starts to be seduced into the street life. January 6th, 2018 6ix9ine was in a Houston mall where 16 year-old Santiago Albarran was allegedly choked by the rapper for recording him. This is also around the time the phrase “Tr3yWay” started to sprout in his music and videos. 6ix9ine is known for shouting “Tr3yway” in every video or song prior to his last album, but we’ll get to that later. The term is used to shout out the Nine Trey Gangsters, whose name represents the year the gang was created in 1993. This is allegedly the gang organization that 6ix9ine and Shotti, 6ix9ine’s manager, were part of.
With his buzz getting even bigger around the industry, he dropped his debut project Day 69, which peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Top 100 and was later certified platinum by the RIAA. Along with the album, 6ix of the tracks hit the billboards. The turning point in 6ix9ine career came when he was booked for shows in LA during the All-Star weekend. 6ix9ine may have been loved by the fans, but on the other hand, he had many enemies in the industry because he played the Joker of the rap game. He trolled many rappers to the point he was getting death threats from all over from YG, Tadeo, Chief Keef, The Game, and many more. 6ix9ine seemed to be untouchable; nobody could take him down, and the ones who tried never seemed to follow through on their threats. One reasoning for this is that they knew the feds were watching 6ix9ine’s moves the entire time.
6ix9ine seemed to be untouchable; nobody could take him down, and the ones who tried never seemed to follow through on their threats.
While the rapper was bathing in the stardom, he was allegedly involving himself in criminal activity with the Nine Trey gang. He had alleged ties to attempted murder, robbery, and sex with another underage girl. The crime that ultimately landed 6ix9ine in prison was the shooting he ordered out on Chief Keef’s cousin Tadeo. Nobody was hurt in the shooting, but from recent updates on the case, 6ix9ine is on video asking one of his associates, to “put out the hit.” His troubles and antics started to catch up with him July 11, 2018, when he was arrested at JFK for the aforementioned Houston mall incident. He bailed himself out and just eleven days later was kidnapped and robbed for almost $750 thousand. News later came out saying that it was probably an inside job done by “Harv,” a former member of the management team. The pressure started to build on 6ix9ine as the feds were knocking on his door.
…And the Fall
The rapper’s house was raided by the FBI on September 28, 2018. In this raid, federal officials found evidence from previous crimes 6ix9ine was allegedly connected to. 6ix9ine wasn’t home at the time, but when he returned he had to head back to court for his 2015 sex case. He received no jail time for this case, but did receive 1,000 community service hours and four years of probation. The once untouchable supervillain suddenly became vulnerable for the first time. While “celebrating” the sentencing with his record label, 6ix9ine’s bodyguard was shot in the stomach after Shotti was let into the dinner. Three weeks later, 6ix9ine went on The Breakfast Club and announced he fired his entire team after they allegedly stole money from him. In the interview, you could tell he was a different person than the Rainbow Troll we had normally seen: He wasn’t loud and cocky, but more so scared as the reality of his future started to set in.
On November 18, 2018, 6ix9ine and his former associates were hit with the RICO charge after Feds acquired evidence that was tied with the criminal organization Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. This charge is a federal charge and has a minimum sentence of 32 years and a maximum of life in prison. As the trial started, information began to leak about the gang planning to kill him just days before his arrest. What the rapper didn’t know was that there was a confidential informant within the gang listening to everything. News also came out that many of people he called friends were sleeping with the mother of his child. With all this new information leaking, 6ix9ine copped a plea deal and told the feds everything, giving details on each of his other associates. This could give him less or no jail time and be put in witness protection, but only if the federal judge agrees to the deal. His upcoming hearing date is January 24th, 2020.
The fast rise and fall of Tekashi 6ix9ine’s career was interesting but depressing, as it represents the new age of “clout chasing” and high use of shock value in today’s society. This should be a lesson to anyone trying to make it into the industry: Just be yourself and don’t do stupid things for the shock value, because it could cost you your freedom or even your life. This story also shows us how we treated a sexual abuser as if he did nothing wrong. We were so in tune with the persona of Tekashi 6ix9ine that we ignored the fact he allegedly had sexual relations with two underage girls.