Tekashi 69 Prison Release Date Nears


Alec Sager, Centurion Staff

From the top of the charts to behind bars in Rikers Island within two years, Tekashi 69’s life went from superstar icon to inmate in just 24 months.
Daniel Hernandez known most by his rap name, Tekashi 69, rose to the spotlight in 2017 with his debut track “Gummo” that reached 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. With this track being certified platinum, his popularity was growing strong.
The gang influence found in his lyrics, and his upbeat base driven songs were riding a wave of popularity. Hernandez also began to incorporate gang members into his music videos. This behavior only brought more attention to Hernandez’s gang, “Treyway Bloods.”
This attention caught the eye
of FBI officials. On Nov. 10, 2018, TMZ released footage of two men shooting at Hernandez’s music studio and on Nov. 18,2018,
Hernandez and several others in his crew were arrested.
Hernandez was arrested on federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) and weapon charges. He was looking up to life in prison.
On Feb. 16, a plea deal was reached that the artist could receive less time and a reduced sentence for his corporations for provding names of fellow gang members.
Hernandez’s evolvement with the Nine Treyway gang brought him close to many people and gave him powerful evidence to convict others of serious crimes. His testimony started on Sep. 17. His testimony has labeled him a “Rat or Snitch” as people see his
testimony hypocritical to his lyrics of his own songs.
The once self-proclaimed “King of NYC” is now looking at possibly being released as soon as early 2020. The question is now how his release due to testimony will affect his popularity when he’s out of prison.
“Tekashi will always have an audience, this is because he came out at the perfect time that other artists in that family of genre were up and coming. Artists such as Lil Peep and Xxxtentacion, that have unfortunately passed but left a legacy to remember them by,” said Diana Shamayev, Bucks student and NYC native majoring in Communications.
These artists were a part of the streaming culture that has grown over the years. With apps like SoundCloud, artists can reach a vast audience for free.
“I do believe that even though he will have loyal supporters, those aren’t the ones he’s known from a young age. The ones he used to refer to as family on the streets he’s grew up on, aren’t likely to welcome him back with open arms after this,” Shamayev says.
Hernandez seems to be doing anything he can to get himself out of jail at this point, no matter who he must cross in the process. With his possible release growing close, we can all expect the “Gummo” rapper hitting the news one way or another. Whether it still making music or he finds something else, it may be hard to step away with thousands of dollars’ worth of tattoos across his face.