Tekashi 6ix9ine Proves Hip Hop’s Culture Rift Might Be Beyond Repair

On Friday, Tekashi 6ix9ine released a new record and apparently set a social media record.

After dropping his new song, “Gooba,” the federal informant took to Instagram Live for his long-awaited return. He discussed testifying for the government against his former gang associates last year and he is proud of it.

With a rant that included an opening set featuring two women and 6ix9ine dancing to reggae group Inner Circle’s famous song “Bad Boys”. He also brandished a pair of handcuffs cementing his tongue-in-cheek stance on government cooperation.

However, he set an Instagram Live record with two million people tuning in, according to reports.

What was most striking was the hubris displayed during the Live session. From flaunting newly purchased jewelry to naming all of his high end cars, he became the poster boy for post informant success.

“Why ya think ya can compete with me? And I ratted stoopid STILL the king you mad,” he wrote.

He blamed his former crew for trying to kidnap his mother and kill him. He alluded to one of his former gang associates with having an affair his child’s mother. He also said that they beat him up and stole “millions of dollars” from him.

These were his unrequested admissions to why he violated the “street code.”

“I snitched, I ratted,” he said, “but who was I supposed to be loyal to?”

Culture Clash

Immediately, the hip hop vanguard railed against the perceived support for 6ix9ine. With 2 million viewers, whether through curiosity or plain fandom, it is the new sign of support.

On Twitter, rapper Bobby Shmurda began trending. People were clamoring for the same level of support when he is released from prison. Shmurda was sentenced to seven years in prison in 2016, however, he might be free by the end of the year.

In December 2019, Tekasi was sentenced to two years in prison (with credit for time served) after pleading guilty to nine racketeering charges. In April 2020 he was released early to home confinement due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In October 2019, TMZ reported that he scored a record deal worth more than $10 million while he was still behind bars.

In short, a strict cultural taboo has been broken in hip hop and how normalized it becomes is only telling of the rift. Is snitching bad when it saves lives?


But how does hip hop reconcile with its biggest fear staring them in the face defiantly, calling you “stoopid?” Undoubtedly, like when emo-rap came out and other variations, the audience will choose what it likes. Trends will be trends and the older generation and hip hop culture purists will balk at the newest “it” thing.

But Tekashi hits at hip hop’s core belief system and working with law enforcement for anything except community change is not tolerated.

The true reckoning will be how many limits Tekashi tests. The self-proclaimed King of New York has returned and in his music video he brought a cartoon rat’s head with him.

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