6ix9ine is about as humble as The Rock cutting a promo for Monday Night Raw the week before WrestleMania 1998.
"I'm really the hottest nigga out right now," he says with defiance while sitting in REVOLT TV's New York office. "There's nothing nobody could say. I'm the hottest nigga coming outta New York City. I'm the hottest nigga in the fucking game right now. Who gon' compete with that? I don't give a fuck what you say: 'hot,' fucking 'buzzing,' all that shit, nobody's doing the numbers I'm doing. And that's a fact. Nobody's doing the chart, anywhere on the charts. Numbers don't lie. That's why I love rubbing it in."
(And the only thing more colorful than the young Brooklyn rapper's confidence is his rainbow-streaked hair and floral Nike sweatsuit.)
Whether you agree or not with his temperature check of being the "hottest," there's no debating that 6ix9ine, or "Teka$hi69, is rap's most polarizing figure right now. Much like one of The Rock's biggest adversaries John Cena, the 22-year-old is one of the most loved and hated at the same damn time.
Let's address the love, first. Needless to say, his songs are charting. "Gummo" came out four months ago, has nabbed over 130 millions views on YouTube, and is certified gold. "Kooda" has only been out for half that time, but has also already earned gold certification, in addition to 85 million YouTube views. Follow-up "Keke," assisted by Fetty Wap and A Boogie wit Da Hoodie, is on a trajectory to equal or surpass those numbers.
"So look, when I first came out, right, everybody was like, 'Gummo,' yeah, he's just poppin' because of the beat. All this shit, 'one-hit wonder.' So I'm like, 'aight.' I love a challenge. You have to challenge me. If I don't got no challenge, I'm just gonna go down, like who I'm gonna compete with? So, when 'Gummo' came out, everybody's 'blah, blah, blah,' so I go link [up] with my man Concept P. I'm like, 'I need a beat, man.' Get the beat, right? I make 'Kooda.' When 'Kooda' came out, all you hear is this... silence. What the fuck y'all niggas talking about, man?"
But being that bold and brash are also the reasons why Teka$hi receives as much backlash as he does. He's quick to troll some of his followers on social media, especially the ones who say he's a fake gangster. Yes, there are those who will rightfully never like 6ix9ine because of his recent guilty plea regarding sexual misconduct with a minor. And plenty of fans will never consider his brand of music "real" hip-hop. And some won't like him because of the way he looks, his countless tattoos, his wild hair. But it's Teka$hi saying that he's a certified G in the streets that is really getting under people's skin. So much so that they've sent threats to him via social media and he's already gotten into a few physical altercations.
During Super Bowl weekend in Minnesota, concertgoers threw buckets of ice at Teka$hi and his crew while performing on stage. This led to both factions allegedly meeting up in the streets afterward and several shots being fired.
"I fuck with Minnesota, man. Shout out to Minnesota. But a lot of people know they can't get next to me. You know what it is? I go on the internet and I talk my shit. A lot of people don't like that. They don't like to hear that. They don't like to hear that someone's untouchable. You know when the truth hurts? How long I been talking shit? How long I been saying I'm the King of New York? How long I've been saying I'm the hottest and I'm untouchable? Forever. Since I came out. We in February [now], you seen a video of me getting knocked out? You seen a video of somebody touching me? Nobody can get next to me. People gonna be like, 'Yeah, well, talking like that...' Man, I'm here. I'm all for it."
69 may have spoken too soon. On Wednesday (February 21), footage went viral when TMZ caught Teka$hi and his crew getting into a minor melee with two men at LAX airport. Surprisingly, no one got arrested and the rapper and his entourage left the city to head to Dallas.
However, while in Los Angeles days ago for NBA All-Star weekend, a handful of 6ix9ine's shows were cancelled due to the threat of gang violence at his concerts. Still, Teka$hi is forging forward with a headlining tour of the U.S., and today he's dropping his first-ever music project, Day69.
He feels his momentum will contribute to the leverage he now has while labels are bidding for the rights to put out his music. He says he has a $7.5 million dollar offer now, but needs more.
"For the people's that's watching, I am your proof. No matter what people tell you. I don't give a fuck if they calling you a 'bitch' to your face, you gotta get to 50 push-ups. And they saying you can't do it, you can't do none of that, you do whatever the fuck you wanna do. You know what they did to my career? They tied cinder blocks around my legs and they threw me in the lake and said 'swim up, nigga.' That's my career. You know that, right? And look where the fuck I'm at."