Tekashi69: The new wave of New York rap

Tekashi69 is also known by the stage name 6ix9ine. (Photo courtesy of thirddegreeeradio.com)

Kelly Skelton
Connector Editor

Tekashi69 has been making headlines in the hip-hop community ever since video surfaced of his debut single, “Gummo.” The rainbow haired artist is hard not to notice, with a hostile attitude and coarse voice. No stranger to controversy, the 21-year-old Brooklyn rapper has been involved in many verbal and physical disputes over the past few weeks, drawing much attention to his aggressive personality and first album release.

“Day69,” an 11 song track list that opened to the public on Feb. 23, featured pounding lyrics and beats alike. Despite having his character scrutinized, Tekashi69’s album featured many popular artists in the industry, including Tory Lanez, Young Thug, Offset, A Boogie and Fetty Wap. Recycling his popular individual releases like “KEKE” and “KOODA,” Tekashi69 also added new favorites like solo tracks “BILLY” and “CHOCOLATE.”

The album in total runs 27 minutes long and contains constant head-banging verses from start to finish. With rude and often violent lyrics on display, the album is well suited for a gym or party playlist. Certainly not ideal study or relaxation music to put it lightly. Much of the violent nature on display correlates to retaliation for his many enemy’s disrespect or trash-talking. The graphic detail that is depicted in Tekashi69’s words throughout the album represent insight into his unapologetic and deviant nature.

While his album sale expectations exceed 60,000 copies in the first week, many are choosing to focus on his gang-affiliated feuds and social media antics. As of late, gang members in both Los Angeles, Calif. and San Antonio, Texas have publicly forbid Tekaskhi69 from visiting their territory. Despite the threats, the New York rapper visited both cities, documenting his trips, and even performing in San Antonio. The courageous decision by Tekashi69 did not come without retaliation. While trying to depart from LAX airport in Los Angeles, the rap sensation was captured on video in a physical altercation by TMZ. Quick to respond, Tekashi69 insisted that the fight had nothing to do with the recent gang warnings.

Most recently, Tekashi69 uploaded a promotional snippet of his soon to be released music video “BILLY,” with the caption that says, “I don’t lie when I say I’m the king of New York.” The statement immediately sparked chatter in hip-hop culture with internet personality DJ Akademiks comparing Tekashi69 to other popular New York artists and highlighting that having the spotlight on oneself as an artist can cause trouble.

During these past few years, there has been a reemergence of rap music in the New York area. As early as 2013, ASAP Rocky and his team, ASAP Mob, became influential artists in the music and fashion industries. In spring 2015, Fetty Wap exploded into the mainstream scene with numerous hit records. Contending with Tekashi69 for the biggest act in New York, Cardi B has risen this past year with hits such as “Bodak Yellow” and “Bartier Carti.”

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