Tekashi 6ix9ine tried to maneuver through the lines of perception, creating a larger-than-life image of a man on a quick collision course with reality.
Music artist, Tekashi 6ix9ine, aka Daniel Hernandez, recently took a plea deal.
With his numerous charges, his hopes for leniency are extremely thin.
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Pleading guilty to nine racketeering, gun and drug charges, newly unsealed documents chronicle the rapper’s change of heart. He admitted to a cornucopia of crimes at a secret plea hearing in Manhattan Federal Court on January 23rd.
With crimes including selling a kilo of heroin in Bushwick, Brooklyn and more, the young star now faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 47 years in prison. Obviously, telling on your co-defendants has its benefits and it is a certainty that 6ix9ine will look to cash in on those perks.
The unsealed documents read a confession by the rapper:
“In the fall of 2017, I met and joined the Nine Trey Blood Gang. As a member of Nine Trey, the enterprise engaged in such activities including shooting people, robbing people, and at times drug trafficking,” said Hernandez in the documents.
“I apologize to the Court, to anyone who was hurt, to my family, friends, and fans for what I have done and who I have let down,” he said.
A peek under the hood reveals much worse.
On March 20th, 2018, Hernandez admitted he “helped members of Nine Trey attempt to kill a rival gang member.” The following month he helped rob another rival.
The 22-year-old also admitted he “paid a person to shoot at a rival member of Nine Trey to scare him.”
A new indictment came last Thursday, charging 10 alleged Nine Trey Blood members and Daniel Hernandez as a defendant. In the streets, this is a clear violation of solidarity and an indication of Hernandez’s cooperation.
However, Judge Paul Englemayer, who presides over the case, made it very clear.
The government has represented that Mr. Hernandez is cooperating against multiple violent people associated with the same criminal enterprise of which he admits being a member.”
The Cost of Clout
There is a new phase in popular culture: clout chasing.
Look no further than the Fyre Festival for an example. Social media has spawned instant clout, from marketed music festival regalia to microwave rap superstars.
Tekashi 6ix9ine reveled in his ability to maneuver through the lines of perception. It created a larger-than-life image of a man on a collision course with reality.
6ix9ine thought that the guise of entertainment and creative license would shield the way the feds looked at him. Fellow Latin rap artist Fat Joe tried to warn him, but it went on deaf ears. Tekashi was in too deep, feeling like Dwayne “God” Gittens in the movie of the same name.
In 2015, Hernandez pleaded guilty for filming a 13-year-old in a sexually explicit video. According to the artist, it was to boost his “scumbag” image “just for shock value”.
A few years later and multiple violent incidents around the country and Hernandez is now just hoping to get a lighter sentence.
Hernandez’ attorney, Lance Lazzaro, said during his first court appearance back in November, “An entertainer who portrays a gangster image to promote his music does not make him a member of an enterprise. He is completely innocent.”
Unfortunately, since the days of NWA and more, that’s not the case. The New York Police Department specifically has always kept dossier’s on its artists and aided other jurisdictions.
The intersection of street culture and entertainment is not germane to only the rap business, but its received the most publicity there. Had 6ix9ine known the consequences of being a “gangster rapper” or a leader of the Latin Trap music movement, would he have gone as far as he did?
I believe a quote from embattled Donald Trump supporter and American political consultant, Roger Stone probably fits:
“It is better to be infamous than not to be famous at all.”
As a result, 6ix9ine will now be a talking point for hip hop and the streets on the true value of the clout chase: a federal indictment.