Another week, another episode of Spotify and Complex’s Infamous: The Tekashi 6ix9ine Story, as hosted by Angie Martinez. This time, his partnership with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods is the focus. After nursing gang aspirations for years, in a twist of fate, 6ix9ine found himself crossing paths with the gang on the set of “GUMMO.” As the single wasn’t garnering the young rapper any cash, 6ix9ine turned to crime to pay the bills. Martinez details how he “acted as the middleman to a heroin deal” for some of his newfound Nine Trey affiliates. When “GUMMO” went viral, however, 6ix9ine soon found the money rolling in. Given his newfound fortune, Nine Trey saw an opportunity to strike up a mutually beneficial partnership — at least in theory.
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Thanks to the testimony of New Jersey gang cop Edwin Santana, listeners are granted deeper insight into the process of joining Nine Trey. Apparently, one requires a “sponsor” to join the ranks, with Shotti acting as young Tekashi’s. Martinez reasons that 6ix9ine was already on the right path without the gang’s involvement, but he simply couldn’t help himself. Emboldened by Shotti’s endorsement, 6ix9ine found himself all but begging for smoke. It was a decision that would seal his fate down the line, with Judge Englemeyer reasoning that the “fateful decisions you made later to join the gang” played a role in his sentencing.
Still, the impact Nine Trey had on his image and attitude was staggering. Gang-specific slang like “Billys” and “shoot your thirty-one” quickly folded into his lexicon. With hardened gangsters at his back, 6ix9ine found himself at the center of several violent crimes, including an arranged hit on his enemy Chief Keef. As his notoriety and popularity grew, so too did the Feds interest in Nine Trey. As the law was plotting the extensive RICO case that would have major consequences on the entire operation, the bond between Shotti and 6ix9ine was growing. Cigar Talk host Naji Grampus broke down the dynamic as follows:
I think when Tekashi and Shotti met each other it was just kind of like any big homie-little homie situation in the neighborhood. There’s always the OGs kind of look out for the young kids, and that’s sort of where it was and where it stemmed from, but I think once he was able to see an opportunity to where Tekashi had an ability to actually monetize what he was doing, I think that took their relationship to another level.
For more deep-dive information on the long and complicated tale of the Rainbow Wonder, better known as Tekashi 6ix9ine, check out episode three of Infamous below.