What is happening in our world? Who is doing what? what is going on now? These are questions that will be answered. Enjoy.
Tekashi 6ix9ine’s Testimony Explained – What to Know About the Kidnapping Video, Cardi B, Jim Jones
Shareif ZiyadatGetty Images
After being charged for a range of felonies including armed robberies and attempted murders alongside members of his former crew the Nine Trey Bloods, a lawyer for 23-year-old rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine told Rolling Stone last December that his client “was not cooperating with authorities, and under no circumstances would he do so.” But now the performer is doing just that—this week he’s appeared in Manhattan federal court, “where he delivered the first part of his testimony against two men, Anthony ‘Harv’ Ellison and Aljermiah ‘Nuke’ Mack, who are facing federal racketeering and firearms charges,” according to Pitchfork. Here’s what you need to know about what’s going on.
Who is Tekashi 6ix9ine?
6ix9ine, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, grew up in Brooklyn, New York and gained fame as a Soundcloud rapper for his simple, catchy, and menacing tracks. His 2017 song “Gummo” was his breakout hit, peaking at number 12 on the Billboard charts. His first album was released the following year, debuting at number 2 on the charts and featuring appearances from rappers including Nicki Minaj and Kanye West.
His childhood was troubled—his father was murdered when Hernandez was just 13 in a still-unsolved shooting, and he left school after being expelled in eighth grade.In 2015, with his rap career blossoming, Hernandez plead guilty to a felony count “use of a child in a sexual performance,” a charge that stemmed from a video he posted to Instagram that featured a 13-year-old. He struck a deal that allowed him to avoid jail time. Later, another young woman would accuse him of having sex with her when she was 17 and underage.
Still, Hernandez reportedly was not involved in gang life until 2017. In court this week, Hernandez was frank about associating with the gang in hopes of gaining street cred and becoming a more popular rapper. “The gang image. Promote it,” he said on the stand Tuesday. “That’s what people like. It was a formula, a blueprint, I found that worked.” In exchange, he says he financially supported the gang “so they could buy guns and stuff like that.”
What’s happening at the trial?
After being charged alongside his fellow gang members, Hernandez began cooperating with the authorities. This week, he’s testifying in court against accused gang members Anthony Ellison and Aljermiah Mack.
In his time on the stand, Hernandez admitted to participating in drug trafficking and shootings. He also described being kidnapped at gunpoint last year by assailants who beat and robbed him, a crime prosecutors accuse Ellison of participating in (and which his attorney has described as a publicity stunt). Dashcam footage from the car Hernandez was in during the abduction was played for the court.
How are Cardi B and Jim Jones involved?
Many other famous names in hip-hop have been raised during Hernandez’s testimony, with the beef-prone rapper describing violent attacks on and altercations with fellow performers and their associates, and accusing others of being gang members.
During his third day on the stand Thursday, Hernandez said that former label mate Trippie Redd was a member of a rival Bloods set, and alleged that rappers Jim Jones and Cardi B are also members of the Nine Trey Bloods. Though TMZ reported that a representative for Cardi denied that the rapper is a gang member, she’s referred to associations with the Bloods in the past.
Gabrielle Bruney is a writer and editor for Esquire, where she focuses on politics and culture.