Daniel Hernandez — the divisive rapper first known as Tekashi69 and more recently as 6ix9ine — spent three days last week testifying at the trial of Anthony “Harv” Ellison and Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack, two alleged members of the Nine Trey Gangster Bloods. The two men face life behind bars on federal weapons and racketeering charges and, despite his lawyer telling Rolling Stone last year that the rapper would not cooperate with authorities, he has been the prosecution's star witness. Hernandez, himself facing a minimum of 47 years on the same charges, took a plea deal earlier this year, exchanging his testimony for what he hopes will be a more lenient sentence.
This is far from Hernandez's first run-in with the law, however. Even before he rose to internet fame as a rainbow-haired shock-rapper, Hernandez had been arrested on serious criminal charges, and as he ascended the Billboard charts his relationship with the law only grew more contentious. With the new information disclosed and corroborated during Ellison and Mack's trial, we now have a more complete picture of the Hernandez's past. This is how Hernandez ended up naming names:
February 21, 2015
Hernandez attends a party in Harlem. While there, videos are taken that show Hernandez engaging in apparent sexual activity with a girl who is later revealed to be 13 years old. Hernandez was 18 at the time. Three videos from that night are uploaded to Instagram, and Hernandez reposts the videos on his own account soon after. According to a criminal complaint filed 10 days later by the girl’s mother, Hernandez can be seen in one of the the videos “making a thrusting motion with his pelvis” and “smacking [the girl] on her buttocks” while she “engages in oral sexual intercourse” with another man, Taquan Anderson, who is later arrested. Two weeks later, on March 5, Hernandez is himself arrested.
October 22, 2015
Hernandez pleads guilty to one felony count of “the use of a child in a sexual performance.” The plea deal, obtained and published by Jezebel two years later, requires Hernandez to complete 300 hours of community service, refrain from posting or reposting sexually explicit or violent images featuring women or children to social media, undergo two years of mental health treatment, obtain his GED, and write a letter to the victim’s family acknowledging the harm he caused.
November 18, 2017
After his debut single “Gummo” rises to No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, murmurs spread online about 6ix9ine’s child sex conviction. (“I’m sorry brozay, 1400 don’t promote pedophiles,” Trippie Redd writes in a since-deleted Instagram post that's archived at Mass Appeal.) Hernandez speaks publicly about the case for the first time in an interview with DJ Akademiks, though his version of events deviates from the court ruling and the facts. He says that the girl was “14 or some shit like that” and claims that he was 17 years old at the time of the incident. He also claims that he wrote the girl’s family a letter of his own volition — ”that shit hurt my heart,” he tells Akademics — when in fact it was a court-ordered apology.
December 14 2017
Jezebel’s Rich Juzwiak publishes Hernandez’s plea deal and looks into the discrepancies between the facts and the rapper’s statements to the press. It’s the first time that the public sees evidence of 6ix9ine’s criminal background.
January 6, 2018
Hernandez gets into an altercation in Houston, Texas after a fan takes a video of the rapper walking through the Galleria Mall. According to a police report, Hernandez accosts the fan, who was 16 at the time, and grabs him by the neck, “causing small scratch marks and pain.” Hernandez and his team then further threatened the fan, demanding that he delete the video.
February 21, 2018
A brawl erupts outside Los Angeles International Airport involving Hernandez and his team. He'll later upload video of the fight himself and insist that the incident was not staged as promotion for his upcoming project Day69.
April 3, 2018
Several members of the Houston-based label Rap-A-Lot Records — including CEO J. Prince — are robbed at gunpoint in the lobby of their Times Square offices. Hernandez will later testify that the robbery was planned by Nine Trey members seeking revenge after Rap-A-Lot refused to allow Hernandez to perform at a show he'd booked in Texas a month prior. He'll say that he filmed the robbery himself from a car outside the building and that his then-manager, Kifano "Shotti" Jordan, was involved.
April 21, 2018
Fuguan Lovick, a member of Hernandez’s entourage, fires a gun during an altercation with Casanova’s entourage in a tunnel beneath the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on the night of a high-profile boxing match. Hernandez posts a video to Instagram shortly afterwards, in which he’s seen laughing about the incident. Jordan is investigated for both that shooting and one that took place on a Brooklyn street just hours before. TMZ later reports that a member of Hernandez’s crew is being investigated for a shooting in Brooklyn the previous Thursday, in which 10 shots were fired at a Casanova video shoot.
May 10, 2018
Hernandez is officially charged with misdemeanor assault in Texas for the altercation with a fan at the mall.
May 20, 2018
Hernandez parks in front of a fire hydrant in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He gives his real name to police when they approach him, but he can’t provide any identification. He’s arrested for driving without a license, but a further charge is filed after Hernandez allegedly grabs an officer by the hand as his handcuffs are removed at the 77th Precinct the next day. He’s hit with four further misdemeanor charges over the incident: third-degree assault, third-degree attempted assault, third-degree menacing, and second-degree obstructing governmental administration.
June 2, 2018
Chief Keef is shot at in the early hours of the morning outside the W Hotel in Times Square. The bullets miss, and Keef is unharmed.
June 18, 2018
TMZ reports that police are looking into whether or not Hernandez, who has been involved in heated online altercations with Keef online for months, was involved in the shooting. He was in L.A. at the time of the shooting, but TMZ say that police are considering the possibility that Hernandez ordered the hit.
Hernandez will later testify that he did order the hit on Keef, offering $20,000 to whoever pulled the trigger — though the amount dropped to $10,000 when he learned that Keef wasn't hit. Reports will later suggest that Kintea McKenzie — aka New York rapper Kooda B — pulled the trigger, but McKenzie denies that when he pleads guilty to racketeering charges in July 2019: "I was present and helped arrange for another individual to shoot a gun at a rival that Tekashi wanted to scare."
July 11, 2018
Upon returning from a European tour, Hernandez is arrested at JFK airport on a misdemeanour assault charge for choking the teenage fan who videoed him in Houston.
July 22, 2018
On the same day that he releases “Fefe,” a collaboration with with Nicki Minaj, Hernandez is pistol whipped, kidnapped, and robbed after shooting a video in Brooklyn. According to TMZ, The armed robbers take “$750k in jewelry and between $15k and $20k” in cash from the rapper.
August 3, 2018
The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office files a letter with the presiding judge stating that Hernandez has violated the terms of his 2015 plea deal, which required him to commit no crimes for two years. They recommend that Hernandez be sentenced to between one and three years in prison, and that he be required to register as a sex offender. “The crux of the D.A.’s argument is that although October 20, 2017 [the last date of 6ix9ine’s parole] has come and gone, the plea agreement should still be considered in effect because of several postponements to the sentencing date,” Pitchfork’s Matthew Strauss reports.
October 26, 2018
Hernandez is finally sentenced in his 2015 child sex case. (The sentencing, originally scheduled for October 2017, has been postponed 19 times.) He’s handed four years probation and 1000 hours of community service — precisely what his legal team had requested. "I have millions of youth that look at me as a role model and the last place I want to be is incarcerated,” Hernandez said after the sentence was read out. “They don’t deserve it. Thank you.”
That night, Hernandez and his entourage try to go for dinner at Phillipe Chow, a restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, to celebrate him avoiding prison time. A violent brawl breaks out in front of the restaurant when the group is denied entry. Two of 6ix9ine’s affiliates — Zachary Bunce and Faheem Walter — are arrested for gang assault. Jordan turns himself in one week later for his involvement in the altercation.
November 8, 2018
Hernandez is filming a music video with Kanye West and Nicki Minaj at a Beverly Hills mansion, but production is halted when shots are fired towards the building in what TMZ reports as a drive-by. Nobody is hurt. The rapper’s label, Universal Music Group, reportedly loses $480,000 on the aborted shoot.
November 14, 2018
Hernandez takes a plea deal in the case involving an officer at the 77th Precinct. He pleads guilty to disorderly conduct rather than facing those four misdemeanor charges; he’s sentenced to “conditional discharge,” meaning that he can’t discuss the case on social media.
On the same day, TMZ reports that Ellison might have been involved in kidnapping and robbing Hernandez earlier in the year.
November 15, 2018
Hernandez says that he’s fired his entire team. "I've got no manager, no booking agent, PR, no publicist… I don't got anybody on my team," he says. "It's just me." He also cancels his upcoming U.S. tour, saying that anyone who wants to book 6ix9ine has to go through the artist directly.
November 18, 2018
After authorities learn that Hernandez is planning a trip to Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut, where they fear he may have attracted violence, Hernandez is arrested along with five other men, including Jordan, on federal racketeering and firearms charges. An indictment unsealed the next day identifies the rapper as a member of the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. “This gang, which included platinum-selling rap artist Tekashi 6ix9ine, wreaked havoc on New York City, engaging in brazen acts of violence,” Geoffrey S. Berman, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement. Hernandez and the five other men are held without bail.
November 22, 2018
Hernandez is transferred to a facility for inmates who are ready to cooperate with the police. His lawyer, Lance Lazzaro, tells TMZ that Hernandez was transferred for “security reasons,” and that he had been receiving threats from gang members while in general population.
November 26, 2018
Hernandez pleads not guilty to the federal racketeering and firearms charges and is once again denied bail. The Department of Justice say that set September 4, 2019 as the date for his trial.
January 23, 2019
Hernandez pleads guilty to nine counts of racketeering, firearms offenses, and drug trafficking. The New York Times reports that the rapper is cooperating with authorities. “In the fall of 2017, I met and joined the Nine Trey Blood Gang,” 6ix9ine tells Manhattan U.S. District Judge Paul Englemayer in a transcript released on February 1. “As a member of Nine Trey, the enterprise engaged in such activities including shooting at people, robbing people, and at times drug trafficking.” He says specifically that he “helped members of Nine Trey attempt to kill a rival gang member,” admits to assisting with armed robberies, and says that on June 2, 2018, he “paid a person to shoot at a rival member of Nine Trey to scare him.” That “rival member” is widely assumed to be Chief Keef.
Hernandez’s sentencing is scheduled for January 23, 2020, and his cooperation with authorities is expected to earn him a more lenient sentence.
September 4, 2019
In advance of Jordan’s trial, Judge Paul Engelmayer rules on a government request to exclude any mention of 6ix9ine’s previous child sex conviction. U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman had claimed that bringing up the case during "cause a jury to unfairly discount [his] testimony due to feelings of disgust," while the counsel for Mack argued that Hernandez’s lies about the case in the press were enough to “case doubt” on his credibility on the stand. Engelmayer essentially sides with the government, ruling that the defense can mention that the rapper was convicted of a felony on a specific date — but that they cannot reveal any details of the case beyond that.
September 6, 2019
Jordan is sentenced to 15 years in prison for possession during a crime (for the April 3 robbery) and discharge during a crime (for the April 21 altercation).
September 10, 2019
A section of 6ix9ine’s cooperation agreement with the government that had previously been unseen by the public is obtained by Complex. In it, Hernandez admits to seven years of domestic abuse against his ex-girlfriend and mother of his children, Sara Molina.
September 17, 2019
The trial officially kicks off in Manhattan. Hernandez confesses to being a member of the Nine Trey Bloods and implicates Ellison and Aljermiah Mack. “I just had to keep making hits and giving financial support to the gang,” he tells the court. He also outs Trippie Redd (Michael Lamar White IV) as a former member of the Five Nine Brims.
September 18, 2019
Hernandez confesses to orchestrating an attack on Trippie Redd after his manager attempted to assuage their beef during the rapper's video shoot. "Trippie Redd's manager said he wanted to squash the beef," Hernandez says. "He gave us the address of his video shoot. We [surveilled] it, waiting for Trippie Redd... we stake out, Trippie Redd comes, gets in with 15 people. We follow him for an hour on the highway." He says Shotti informed him that Harv punched Trippie Redd in the mouth.
September 26, 2019
In his closing argument, Ellison's lawyer, Deveraux Cannick, claims that Hernandez fabricated the kidnapping instance in July 2018 as a means to promote his song “Fefe” with Nicki Minaj (which dropped the same day). He accuses Hernandez of being a poser, saying “you can’t pick and choose when to be gangster.” Assistant United States Attorney Jacob Warren disputes Ellison, says that kidnapping was not staged.
On the same day, TMZ reports that 6ix9ine may turn down the Witness Protection Program and attempt to return to music, despite publicly informing on a number of alleged gang members.
October 1, 2019
Ellison shares a statement via his representative, criticizing the trial and countering 6ix9ine's testimony. "The witnesses have been primarily NYPD or government cooperators," the statement to Complex reads, "primed in advance to weave together a loose storyline that indicts Ellison in crimes that lack evidence."