tekashi 6ix 9ine timeline Tekashi 6ix9ine
Highsnobiety / Bryan Chong

Even if he never releases another song or album, Tekashi 6in9ine has already secured his place as one of the most controversial figures in hip-hop history. Riding a wave of negativity straight to the top, the Brooklyn rapper’s rainbow colored hair, raw vocals (typically used to viciously shout on tracks about sleeping with an enemy’s girlfriend) and obsession with being surrounded by members of New York City’s Nine Trey Bloods have made his subsequent fall from the public’s graces a car crash that’s impossible to stop watching.

And now that he has turned government informant (recently testifying against members of the aforementioned gang, of whom 6ix9ine knowingly used to gain street credibility and give his music more of an edge), the speed at which the 23-year-old has transitioned from success story to cautionary tale is unprecedented. Snitching and gangster rap are two things that don’t mix, and for many, 6ix9ine’s music has completely lost its meaning, drowning underneath a never-ending rap sheet of crimes and indiscretions.

Abuser, thug, punk renegade, actor, comedian, underdog, overachiever, snitch, victim; 6ix9ine is a lot of things to a lot of people. We’ve taken a look back at the full scope of the controversy that surrounds the artist, tracing the journey from unapologetic gangster rapper to taking a seat on the witness stand in federal court. One thing’s for certain: the inevitable 6ix9ine biopic on Lifetime is going to be absolutely wild.

February 22, 2015

Tekashi, 18 at the time, attends a gathering at a Harlem apartment where videos are subsequently filmed of a naked 13-year-old girl. According to the official police report, Tekashi is filmed “making a thrusting motions with his pelvis” and repeatedly touching the girl’s buttocks while she engages in oral sex with one of his friends. The girl also sits naked on his lap in one of the video clips that’s shared onto Tekashi’s Instagram account. In interviews with the police, Tekashi will claim he believed the girl was of legal age.

Despite records showing him to be 18 when the incident occurred, he will later claim in an interview with DJ Akademiks and that he was just 17. Additionally, another woman will tell Babe.net Tekashi knowingly started a relationship with her despite the fact she was underage.

March 5, 2015

Tekashi is officially arrested and charged with the use of a child in a sexual performance.

October 22, 2015

Despite initial statements indicating that the whole thing was a misunderstanding, Tekashi pleads guilty to one count of use of a child in a sexual performance. Ahead of his sentencing – two years in the future – the rapper, among other things, must complete one year of probation, 300 hours of community service, send an apology letter to the victim’s family, obtain his GED, and stay out of criminal trouble for two years. In later cases, district attorneys will accuse him of failing to do the latter.

January 6, 2018

Still riding high off the viral success of his 2017 street single “GUMMO,” which rose to no. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, Tekashi is allegedly involved in an altercation with a 16-year-old boy at a mall in Texas. The rapper is said to have grabbed the teenager by the neck, annoyed that he was trying to film him with his phone. In July, Tekashi is arrested at New York’s JFK airport and charged with misdemeanor assault as a result of this incident.

May 20, 2018

After illegally parking in front of a fire hydrant in Brooklyn, Tekashi is charged with two crimes: operating a vehicle without a license and facilitating aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. Just a day later, when being charged by a police officer at the 77th Precinct, an altercation occurs and the officer accuses the rapper of causing “swelling and redness to his fingers and substantial pain.” As a result of the incident, Tekashi is given four misdemeanor chargers including third-degree assault.

June 18, 2018

Police investigate Tekashi in connection with a shooting incident involving Chicago rapper Chief Keef. The pair’s online beef involved plenty of back-and-forth threats of violence, with Tekashi even insinuating he was involved with the shooting on his Instagram account. Tekashi’s associate Kooda B later pleads guilty to carrying out the shooting; read into that what you will.

July 22, 2018

Tekashi releases the colorful music video for “FEFE,” his collaboration with Nicki Minaj. Rather weirdly, especially given his recent legal history, the video features plenty of children’s iconography. The discrepancy in tone doesn’t seem to matter much to the public as the track reaches no. 3 on the Hot 100. The same day the video is released, Tekashi is reportedly kidnapped, pistol-whipped, and robbed of a $95,000 My Little Pony necklace in Brooklyn, an attack he claims was carried out with the intent to kill. Footage of the kidnapping later leaks online; it is taken from inside 6ix9ine’s driver’s car, which the government had already wired to capture sound and video. The video seems to back up Tekashi’s claims that the incident wasn’t a hoax.

October 26, 2018

6ix9ine’s run-ins with the law finally end on a more positive note as he avoids jail time for the 2015 sexual misconduct case. He’s instead sentenced to four years probation, with credit for one year served. The rapper tells the judge: “I’m not Tekashi 6ix9ine. I’m not committing murders, I’m not out there robbing people, and I’m not out there raping people.” But despite trying to paint himself as a changed man, controversy follows, and Tekashi is later involved in a shooting on the same day as gunfire breaks out at a post-sentencing dinner party in Manhattan. One of Tekashi’s bodyguards is taken to the hospital after being shot in the stomach. Tekashi’s former manager Shotti later surrenders to police and claims responsibility for the incident.

November 9, 2018

While filming a music video, eight shots are fired into a rented mansion. One of the bullets reportedly strikes a dressing room, with Tekashi and Kanye West both on set while the drive-by occurs. The dressing room was due to be taken up by Nicki Minaj later in the day.

November 15, 2018

A plea deal is reached following the incident with a police officer during Tekashi’s arrest back in May. The rapper pleads guilty to “disorderly conduct” and the violation stays off his criminal record so long as he stays out of trouble and doesn’t discuss the case on social media.

November 19, 2018

Tekashi is arrested on federal charges, which are related to a joint investigation by the NYPD, Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice into the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. His six charges include racketeering, possession of firearms, armed robbery, drug trafficking and even conspiracy to commit murder; two of these carry a maixium sentence of life in prison. Police are reported to have told Tekashi that associates of the gang were planning on murdering him. A few days later, he is transferred to a federal facility that holds witnesses who cooperate with law enforcement, leading to wide speculation that Tekashi has turned snitch.

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You think my security hates me?

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February 1, 2019

Tekashi pleads guilty to nine counts of federal racketeering, but it’s confirmed he is discussing a plea deal with prosecutors in order to reduce the potential amount of time he will spend in prison. This is said to involve the disclosure of information regarding Nine Trey members involved in violent crimes.

September 10, 2019

Tekashi admits to years of domestic violence, but according to Vulture, these crimes will be dropped as a result of his plea agreement with police.

September 17, 2019

Tekashi testifies in court against the Nine Trey Bloods, implicating members Anthony “Hary” Ellison” and Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack in various crimes. He also points out alleged gang members who appeared in his music videos while revealing his role as a member of Nine Trey was to make music that could generate money for the gang. In return, they would offer him protection and credibility. Over the week that follows, Tekashi uses his appearance in the courtoom to implicate rappers Cardi B, Trippie Redd, and Jim Jones as Blood gang members. He is criticized on social media by the likes of Meek Mill and Snoop Dogg, who calls Tekashi a “rat”. The trial continues…

December 18, 2019

6ix9ine is officially sentenced to two years in prison, with five years of supervised release. He is also given 300 hours of community service and will have to pay a fine of $35,000.

Words by Thomas Hobbs

Thomas Hobbs is a freelance journalist / Tupac-obsessive based in London. He also writes for the Guardian, Pitchfork, NME, New Statesman, Dazed, Noisey, Time Out, and Crack Magazine.