Tekashi69 began releasing his rap songs in 2014, and after three years, he found fame when one of his tracks, Gummo, went viral on social media. Since then, Tekashi69 has become one of the most recognizable faces in modern American hip hop. But his rise hasn’t been without its sheer of controversies.
For some, his rainbow-dyed hair and face tattoos represent an immature culture that has taken over hip hop. To others, he is the face of a new age of hip hop fans who have finally found a voice in the mainstream. Whatever your opinion is of Tekashi69, there is no denying his social influence, particularly in America, a massive accomplishment for a man who grew up in the streets.
Dissecting Tekashi69’s Difficult Childhood
Daniel Hernandez, aka Tekashi69, was born in Brunswick, Brooklyn, on the 8th of May, 1996, to a Puerto Rican father and a Mexican mother. He is of mixed ethnicity and is also an American national. He is one of the two children born to his parents; the other is an older brother, Oscar Osiris Hernandez. To say Tekashi69 had a difficult childhood would be an understatement. His biological father left when he was in the 3rd grade, and his stepfather was shot dead on the steps of the family home. Aside from these, he also has asthma.
The weight of his troubled home life caused Tekashi69 to suffer from depression and PTSD. It also affected his education, leading to his expulsion in the 8th grade. Rather than work his way back to school, the rapper joined the workforce, working as a delivery boy and busboy.
Tekashi69 also turned to drug dealing with his free time. He sold heroin and cannabis until he was arrested and sentenced to prison at Rikers Island. It was the first of multiple run-ins with the law. At Rikers, he joined the Nine Trey Gangsters gang. But even as his life became increasingly enshrined in crime, he had a passion for music, one he was determined to explore.
His Successful But Controversial Music Career
Daniel Hernandez adopted the stage name Tekashi69 with which he released his first rap song in 2014. His early songs were produced by a Slovakia-based record label called FCK THEM. He followed it up with multiple tracks and music videos, including Hellsing Station, Yokai, and Scumlife. In 2017, alongside Trippie Redd, Hernandez released the song titled Poles1469, which recorded significant views on YouTube.
Tekashi69 changed his looks in 2017, coming out with a rainbow dyed platinum hair as well as having the multiple versions of the number 69 tattooed all over his body. With his new look, Tekashi’s first picture on Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit went viral, thus bringing the youngster to the limelight. He pulled another stunt by releasing his debut single, Gummo, in November 2017. The song reached No 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, becoming the rapper’s first charting single.
Hernandez’s next single title Kooda was released in December 2017, and it peaked 61 on the Billboard Hot 100. The following year, alongside Fetty Wap and A Boogie with da Hoodie, Hernandez launched his third single titled Keke. Later in 2018, he released his debut mixtape titled Day69. The mixtape had negative to mixed critical reviews. Still, it was a commercial success, peaking at #4 on the US Billboard 200 and has sold more than 500,000 copies.
He released a single, Fefe, with Nicki Minaj, in July 2018 and it peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 after debuting at #4. The single has since sold more than eight million copies. The rapid success that followed his breakthrough in 2017 continued with a record deal with the music company, Create Music Group.
However, all through Tekashi69’s rising music career, he faced critical backlash for his style of music and his lyrics. Also, he faced attacks from gang members and was in feuds with fellow artists; they include Chief Keef, The Game, and Trippie Redd. Things escalated in June 2018 when Chief Keef was shot at by an unknown assailant, an attack ordered by the rapper.
Despite what was essentially a balancing act between music and gang activities, Tekashi69 released his debut album, Dummy Boy, in November 2019. The album, like his mixtape, received poor reviews but had great commercial success. Dummy Boy peaked at number two on the Billboard 200 and has sold more than one million copies.
Behind His Multiple Jail Stints And Prison Sentence
Tekashi69’s relationship with the Nine Trey Gangsters saw him frequently live on the other side of the law. In 2015, he was charged with using a child for sexual performance; he pled guilty to the charge and signed a plea deal that kept him out of prison. In 2018, he got arrested for choking a 16-year-old, as well as the earlier mentioned charge for his attack on Chief Keef.
However, none of Tekashi69’s legal cases were as significant as his November 2018 arrest for being a part of the Nine Trey Gangsters. He was held at the Metropolitan Detention Center and eventually pleaded to nine charges, including conspiracy to commit murder and firearms charges. He faced up to 47 years in prison but was reduced to two years after he testified against members of the gang. His infamous snitching was a subject of pop culture conversation.
Due to his cooperation with law enforcement, Tekashi69 got sentenced to two years in prison. 13 out of 24 months were considered served, based on the weight of his testimony. He was remanded in prison in December 2019 but was released in April 2020 into home confinement because of the threat coronavirus posed for his asthma. The controversial rapper was initially due for release in August 2020.
How Tekashi69 Acquired His $5 Million Net Worth
Tekashi69 currently has a net worth of $5 million. Despite a string of critical failures, his music has been commercially successful. The rapper has sold more than ten million copies of his music, either via his lone studio album or singles. He also signed a $10 million-two albums contract with the label, 10K Projects.
Beyond music sales, he has made a lot of money from concerts and shows, most notably from his 2018 World Domination Tour. Combined with YouTube royalties, he reportedly makes an estimated $60,000 per month. Outside of music, the rapper also has a merchandising business, which he runs through his website, 6ix9ineshops.com.
Exploring The Rapper’s Family Life
Tekashi69 has a daughter in his life, and her name is Saraiyah. She was born on October 29, 2015, to the rapper and Sara Molina. Sara is a former girlfriend of the rapper, and now holds the title of his baby mama. His exact relationship with his daughter is unknown. Despite suggestions of a loving relationship from his Instagram pages, his daughter’s grandmother has refuted his claims of being a doting father.
Regardless of all the controversies and sexual assault charges surrounding the young rapper, he is trying his possible best to make as much money as he can to give his daughter a better future. As for his personal life, Tekashi69 is currently single and yet to be married.