Things may be super quiet ever since Tekashi 6ix9ine’s latest album after being released from prison and house arrest tanked, but his legacy of being labeled a “snitch” lives on. The topic of snitching in Hip-Hop culture via the streets has been a constant one, and the rapper famously violated many “street codes” when he cooperated with authorities and testified against his fellow Nine Trey members.
The “Trollz” rapper, real name Daniel Hernandez, once appeared on the popular syndicated radio show The Breakfast Club where he addressed being “the bad guy” after many different allegations, accusations, and transgressions within his short career. 6ix9ine acknowledged that his being a “troll” has absolutely been the reason that he’s been this successful thus far.
“I’m showing the industry..all that fake gangsta s—t? Cut it out, blood,” 6ix9ine says before boldly proclaiming, “Look how stupid I look right now? I got a big a— 69 on my face, right? With rainbow hair and I’m literally sitting here talking to you about all these people who want to beef with me and all these people calling me out. How stupid do they look? I’m literally the one getting under their skin and taking them out of character. Gangstas don’t say what they going to do. They just do it.”
During his sentencing Paul Engelmayer, the judge that oversaw the case, made mention of Hernandez’s cooperation with the feds before ultimately sentencing him to two years in prison and five years of supervised release. “Your cooperation was courageous,” Engelmayer said. “The danger to you is multiplied by your music career, which I understand you intend to continue. The fact that you are unusually recognizable does not help you.”
His cooperation indeed caused quite the stir within both the streets and the hip-hop community, with many prominent rappers voicing their opinions on the matter. However, very few either showed support for Hernandez, like frequent collaborator Nicki Minaj or just had a different perspective than that of the streets. Both Minaj and 6ix9ine hopped on an Instagram Live session to talk about their latest #1 single “Trollz”, and Nicki spoke up about rappers who play both sides of the fence.
“I feel like street n—s have every right to feel how they wanna feel about snitching because they lived that life,” said the Queen rapper. “I feel rappers need to play it easy because everybody mingles and integrates with everybody. If a top executive called one of ya’ll rappers, y’all signing.”
She continued: “You know, I’m not on the block with 6ix9ine. Me and 6ix9ine is not on the block. We’re in the music business. You rappers is in rooms all the time with people with sketchy pasts, and I’m not judging anybody ‘ cause I’m not doing that. I have nothing but respect for so many of these people, and I would never fix my face to talk crazy about them.”
Another artist to come forward to share what they would have done if they were placed in the same unfortunate situation was T-Pain. The inaugural Masked Singer winner interviewed with Big Boy’s Neighborhood where he admitted that he too, would have snitched. “I would snitch so hard,” he said laughing. Perhaps thinking about his own family, he went on to give his feelings on why believes 6ix9ine ultimately made his decision. ”But on the real though, the man has a family and a daughter! A lot of people say, ‘Well he wasn’t thinking about that when he was doing that!’ Yes he was!”
Upon hearing T-Pain’s comments, many rappers took to social media to show their disdain for his feelings, especially since they feel he didn’t have the same street upbringing as they may have had. Snoop Dogg simply felt that his words were “weak”, while others like Gunplay, who felt Pain wasn’t “qualified” to speak on the matter, and Fabolous had much more to say.
“Streets really done when people openly feel you can live a certain way for fame & money then throw others under the bus to save themselves & say they snitching to be wit they family,” Fabolous shared on Instagram.
The latest industry figure to speak on the matter of snitching is Pharrell Williams, whose recent appearance on N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN’s Drink Champs podcast is causing a stir. Williams, who feels like he knows himself quite well, said that if placed in a compromising situation, he knows that because he’s not a “tough guy” and has a purpose on this earth, he’s calling the authorities.
“Literally, I’m not a tough guy, I’m staying my a— inside and the FBI is on speed dial, bro,” the “Happy” singer and producer states. “I’m not a tough guy,. You people say things about snitching… I’m f—g snitching! Don’t talk to me about all that! Everybody plays their part, this is a movie, you guys, everybody plays their part. I am snitching! Don’t do nothing around me, I’m not built for the jail life. I am snitching! The f—k you mean?”
Williams added, “You can’t get mad at me. I have a purpose, I have to be me, I have to do my job, and I have to play my part in this movie. And my part is, ‘I told you not to do that s—t, I told you I wasn’t built for this, I’m really sorry but this is your deal. Your honor, jury, are you guys listening? I asked if he was gonna do it, don’t tell me.’ Everybody’s not tough. You’re not gonna go do 25 years in a condition that you know you are not built for because you wanna look tough. I am not tough. You know what I wanna look like? free and happy, living my life.”
New York DJ Funk Flex took to Instagram to share his thoughts on the matter and agreed wholeheartedly with Pharrell. He shared the clip to his social media with the caption, “Jail? Hold up! Hey to reiterate… I know I been around a lot of rappers lately… but don’t involve me in NO CRIME.. I’m telling! From the desk of CIVILIAN FUNKFLEX! @therealnoreaga x @pharrell facts!”