For as long as Tekashi 6ix9ine has been in the public eye, he’s been embroiled in significant controversy and legal issues, including beef with an extensive list of rappers such as 50 Cent, Trippie Redd, Chief Keef and Ludacris, and an equally notable arrest record.
The trolling rapper took the internet by storm in the late 2010s as a major streaming act with platinum hits including breakout single “Gummo” and the Nicki Minaj collaborations “Fefe” and “Trollz,” but in recent years, controversies like his 2018 racketeering arrest – and subsequent guilty plea and testimony – have taken center stage over his music.
Hernandez was arrested in the Dominican Republic on Wednesday over domestic violence charges, the second time in just three months following a previous arrest in October for allegedly assaulting two music producers. Hernandez’s rise and fall is long and complicated; here’s a brief timeline of some of his most noteworthy controversies since he took the scene.
Hernandez pleads guilty over child sex video, 2015
One of the first and most well-documented incidents in Hernandez’s extensive legal history stems from a child sexual performance charge dating back to 2015. Hernandez was involved in the filming of sexually explicit acts with a 13-year-old girl when he was 18 and pleaded guilty that year. According to a complaint from the Jane Doe victim’s mother obtained by Jezebel, a video featured the victim engaging in “oral sexual intercourse” with one of Hernandez’s associates while Hernandez “stood behind the child making a thrusting motion with his pelvis and smacking her on her buttocks.”
“When she came in she asked me how old I was and I told her I was 18 and I assumed she was older,” Hernandez told the police in 2015, per the complaint. “The way she was asking made me think she was older.”
Multiple misdemeanor assault arrests, four years probation on sex video incident, 2018
Hernandez’s initial plea deal required two years of good behavior, but he would be arrested two more times in 2018. One arrest was for allegedly choking a 16-year-old fan in Houston after the fan snapped a photo of him. The other was from an incident with police in Brooklyn; he was initially arrested for driving with a suspended license but a misdemeanor assault charge was tacked on after he squeezed a cop’s hand, as the New York Post reported. (The charge from the incident with the fan the fan would later be dropped while Hernandez was in federal custody, and Hernandez received a one-year probation sentence for disorderly conduct while the misdemeanor assault charge was thrown out.)
Hernandez was sentenced to four years probation in October of 2018, avoiding a heftier jail sentencing the district attorney’s office had pushed for that would’ve also required Hernandez to register as a sex offender.
Gang and firearm charges and Nine Trey Bloods Trial, 2018 – 2019
Just a month after the probation sentencing, Hernandez was arrested in New York on racketeering and firearm charges in November of 2018, stemming from his involvement with the Nine Trey Bloods gang; based on the charges, he faced up to life in prison. While he initially pleaded not guilty, by February, Hernandez had entered into a plea deal and was cooperating with authorities. Hernandez was a key witness during the trial of two of his former Nine Trey Bloods associates, testifying for three days about the gang’s illegal activities. During the testimony, Hernandez said that he ordered a Nine Trey member to shoot at rival rapper Chief Keef, according to the New York Times, and that other rappers including Jim Jones and Cardi B were in the gang.
Prior to his sentencing, Hernandez submitted an apology letter for his crimes.
“I find it difficult to find the right words to express what my life has been like for the last year,” Hernandez wrote. “It honestly feels like my world is crashing down. There is no excuse, no justification and no apology good enough in this world to explain my crimes. While I have been incarcerated, I have had time to reflect on the recklessness and foolishness of my decisions… I’m happy that the public was able to witness me dealing with the consequences of my actions because I feel like it sheds a light on what can come from gang affiliation.”
Hernandez was sentenced to two years in prison at the end of 2019, but he was released early over concern of infection in prison as the Covid-19 pandemic had just started.
Hernandez had some success with his music post-prison, with the single “Gooba” going platinum and his album Tattle Tales hitting Number Four on the Billboard 200 after its release, but his musical career has waned significantly.
Hernandez sued for throwing bottle at a dancer in Miami, 2021
Alexis Salaberrios sued Hernandez in February of 2021, alleging that Hernandez threw a champagne bottle that hit her in the head at Miami’s Gold Rush Strip Club, “causing serious and permanent bodily injury” according to the complaint. The jury on the civil case awarded Salaberrios nearly $10 million in damages from Hernandez in July 2023 after Hernandez reportedly failed to appear for the trial.
Alleged assault of music producers in Dominican Republic, 2023
Hernandez was arrested in Santo Domingo last October on suspicion of assaulting two music producers, with TMZ reporting at the time that Hernandez was allegedly jealous of the producers for spending time with his girlfriend, the Dominican rapper and singer Yailin La Más Viral. According to TMZ, Hernandez arrived with several other men after his girlfriend left, and that one of the producers suffered a jaw injury that required surgery.
Second Dominican Republic arrest, 2024
Three months after the initial assault arrest, Hernandez was arrested in the Dominican Republic again on January 17th amid an investigation into domestic violence charges. Per the Associated Press, authorities didn’t reveal any further details regarding the arrest, but Hernandez was set to appear in court Thursday to determine if he has to remain in jail amid the investigation.