Infamous: The Tekashi 6ix9ine Story is back with its second episode.
In the podcast’s series premiere, 6ix9ine’s former collaborators spoke candidly about his personality before the fame, his obsession with gangs and his early transformation from Daniel Hernandez to Tekashi 6ix9ine. In the latest episode of the Angie Martinez-narrated series, we learn about what happened in the aftermath of his fallout with his former crew, Scum Gang, and how 6ix9ine went from trying to align himself with the Crips to claiming affiliation with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. The episode also reveals the details of Tekashi’s darkest secret at the time, his use of a child in a sexual performance case.
So you can stay on top of everything, the Complex Music team broke down the five biggest takeaways from the second episode of Infamous. To catch up on the full series, follow Infamous on Spotify and hear the second episode here (or below).
Before fame, 6ix9ine’s team had a plan to get him “in tune with the urban community.”
Tekashi 6ix9ine’s transition to affiliating with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods appeared to be a strategic move. After cutting ties with Scum Gang and being rejected by the Crips (a point that was discussed in the first episode of Infamous), 6ix9ine tried his luck will the Bloods, according to his former manager Chris Ehigiator and labelmate Seqo Billy. On the podcast, Seqo details the team’s plans to transform 6ix9ine ways from being a “punk” artist. “He had a punk-rock feel, and we conjured up a plan, like alright, we’ll get you in tune with the urban community more. Not make you a gang member or affiliate,” Seqo says. His new image would help him earn street credibility with other gang members and build up his persona in the rap game. But as Ms. Treyway, Seqo’s aunt notes, “We gave him a gangsta feel, but he done pushed it.”
Competition with Trippie Redd started at the beginning
6ix9ine and Trippie Redd’s rocky friendship has been well-documented throughout the years, but Infamous takes a look back at their initial encounters. One of the first times they connected in person was for the “Poles 1469” music video. 6ix9ine was still setting the groundwork for his career, while Trippie was just climbing the ranks on SoundCloud. The collaborators were competitive from the very beginning, witnesses say, and they would often argue about who had the most clout and the most followers on Instagram or clout. "They both had like 30k (followers), so that's why even when Trippie tries to say, 'Oh, I've got more clout than you,' they both had 30 or 40k, equally at the same time," says 6ix9ine collaborator Schlosser. So, their follower counts were relatively equal at the time, but the one thing Trippie had that 6ix9ine didn’t was the backing from 10K Projects CEO, Elliot Grainge. And the “Poles” music video helped put 6ix9ine on Grainge’s radar. After a lavish dinner with Grainge, 6ix9ine signed a deal that gave full creative control over his music and videos. The very first 6ix9ine song that Elliot put out was “Gummo.”
We learn how Nine Trey members ended up in the pivotal “Gummo” music video
As part of his rebranding to cater to a more “urban community,” 6ix9ine released his breakout single and accompanying music video for “Gummo.” The video depicted the rainbow-haired rapper outside of Ms. Treyway’s home in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, surrounded by members of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. They wouldn’t have become involved without some convincing, though. “They weren’t going to pop out for that. If I literally were to go on Instagram and show all those people, like, ‘Hey look, we’re about to shoot a video for this guy right here. You coming?’ They would have been like, ‘What, boy?’” It’s revealed that Nine Trey ended up in the video because of Seqo Billy, who did a bait-and-switch by initially telling them that they would appear in the video for his own single, “Billy Dat.” After they arrived, 6ix9ine eventually won them over and secured their appearance in the “Gummo” video after “wining and dining” them with gifts. “He bought bandanas for the homies, he bought two bottles of Hennessy, the big joints,” former manager Chris Ehigaitor says. The “Gummo” video shoot was arguably a turning point for 6ix9ine and forged a relationship with him and Nine Trey.
6ix9ine lied during his Hot 97 interview in 2017
After “Gummo” blew up online, 6ix9ine landed an interview with DJ Drewski on his Hot 97 show. During the interview, 6ix9ine made false statements. He lied and said he grew up with Seqo, who accompanied him during the interview, despite the clear age gap between them (as well as the fact that 6ix9ine had only met him a few months prior to the interview). “How we grow up together? I just came home from jail,” Seqo says on the podcast. 6ix9ine proceeded to claim affiliation with Nine Trey. At the time, there was no reason to believe he was lying. Both 6ix9ine and Seqo had red bandanas draped over their mics and wore other symbols to show his gang ties. Seqo never corrected 6ix9ine’s statements, although he was aware they were false. “He wanted that authenticity,” Seqo explains. “So he’s thinking, old hood, this the radio, Hot 97, this is what they want to hear.”
Details on his use of a child in a sexual performance case
Tekashi 6ix9ine’s use of a child in a sexual performance case has loomed over his career since the very beginning. Episode one of Infamous briefly touched on the incident, referring to 6ix9ine’s stint at Rikers in March 2015. The second episode dissects the headlines and provides more context to the incident. According to court documents, which were originally obtained and reported by Jezebel writer Rich Juzwiak, 6ix9ine was invited to an apartment in Harlem in February 2015.
“He said that he was there and he met some grown men who asked him to invite over a woman,” Juzwiak tells Infamous. “And when he declined, they called upon a girl from quote, ‘from last night’ to come over. And this girl it turns out was 13 years old.”
The police report says that videos, which 6ix9ine also posted on social media at the time, show the young girl engaged in sexual acts with multiple men as 6ix9ine watches and brags to the camera. While 6ix9ine never engaged in sexual intercourse with the girl, some visuals show her sitting on his lap in her underwear.
To avoid jail time, 6ix9ine accepted a plea bargain. The deal was contingent on him not posting violent images, completing two years of mental health treatment, 300 hours of community service, writing a letter to the victim and her family, and finishing his GED. 6ix9ine may have been able to escape public shame, if it weren’t for the beef with his former Scum Gang crew. Because 6ix9ine didn’t repay the money Scum Gang gave him to post bail, ZillaKami shared a screenshot from the explicit video on social media, outing 6ix9ine as a “pedophile.”
6ix9ine was forced to respond. He appeared on a video interview with DJ Akademiks where he lied about his involvement in the incident and several details that were confirmed in the police report. “He can be kind of convincing, so you hear him talk about this stuff and he knows exactly how to sell it,” Juzwiak says. “He’s coming into this interview like, ‘Okay, here’s the truth. Here it is.’ And it’s not what it was. It was a distortion and a lie, and it was a lie that was able to be told because of the lack of transparency and actually reporting that was out there.”