Tekashi 6ix9ine took the witness stand in Manhattan federal court today, where he delivered the first part of his testimony against two men, Anthony “Harvey” Ellison and Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack, who are facing federal racketeering and firearms charges. Ellison is also facing additional charges in connection to his alleged kidnapping and beating of 6ix9ine in July 2018.
The prosecution alleges that both men are members of the Nine Trey Bloods, a claim that 6ix9ine backed up throughout his testimony today. 6ix9ine also revealed today that he began cooperating with federal authorities on November 19, 2018—one day after he was arrested on his own racketeering and firearms counts.
With his signature rainbow mane pulled back into thin braids, 6ix9ine’s face was neutral as he entered the courthouse, only breaking that expression to squint at the jury or the computer screen in front of him. Over the course of two hours, the rapper explained that he first got in touch with men he believed to be members of the Nine Trey gang because he wanted gang members to appear in his music video for “GUMMO.” “I wanted the aesthetic to be full of Nine Trey,” he said, describing how he reached out to mutual friend and alleged Nine Trey member Sego Billy to act as his initial connection.
6ix9ine said he met another Nine Trey member, his future manager Kifano “Shotti” Jordan, for the first time on the same day of the “GUMMO” shoot. “From my understanding, Shotti was a ‘big blood,’” he told the prosecution, naming other individuals he understood to be members of the gang. (Shotti was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to two federal weapons counts.)
Prosecutors played snippets of music videos for both “GUMMO” and “KOODA” in the courtroom and displayed lyrics from those songs as evidence for jurors to read. At one point, prosecutors asked 6ix9ine to clarify the meaning of words found in his lyrics (“blicky” meaning “gun” and “Billy” as shorthand for “Nine Trey,” he said) and also asked the rapper to identify the alleged Nine Trey members who appeared in the videos.
6ix9ine said that it was after the successful release of “KOODA” in December 2017 that he was “officially” made a member of the Nine Trey Bloods. When questioned about what his responsibilities were as a member of the gang, he replied, “Keep making hits and be the financial support for the gang.” He stated that the money he made in his capacity as a rapper was not only used for gang members’ personal use but also for the acquisition of firearms. When asked what he got in return, 6ix9ine replied, “My career.” He explained that the gang provided him with street credibility as well as protection.
Much of today’s questioning involved the prosecution asking 6ix9ine to identify alleged Nine Trey members in photographs and explain the gang’s inner workings—terminology, culture, hierarchy, and more. After explaining (and demonstrating) the Nine Trey gang sign for the court, prosecutors presented 6ix9ine with a photograph of himself with Mack and another artist. In the photograph, Mack and 6ix9ine are both throwing up the sign, but the rapper’s appears a bit crooked. “Are you making the Nine Trey sign,” prosecutors asked.
The rapper paused a beat, looking at the photo. “I think I was just getting the hang of it,” he responded.
Tomorrow will likely bring questions about the alleged kidnapping by Ellison and the cross-examination of 6ix9ine from Ellison and Mack’s lawyers. Yesterday, during the first day of the trial, the judge asked the jury if anyone had an opinion about 6ix9ine that would prevent them from being impartial. Nobody raised their hand. Ellison’s attorney argued that 6ix9ine faked his own kidnapping, calling it a “hoax” and “a Jussie Smollett, if you will.”
Earlier this year, Tekashi 6ix9ine pled guilty to nine counts in the federal case, including charges of racketeering conspiracy, multiple firearms offenses, narcotics trafficking, and more. He could face at least 47 years in prison. 6ix9ine is expected to be sentenced in January 2020.
Several of Tekashi 6ix9ine’s legal cases have been settled in the last year. In October 2018, he was sentenced to probation, stemming from a 2015 guilty plea to the use of a child in a sexual performance. Following his arrest in the federal case, however, a judge revoked his probation and closed the case.
Also in October 2018, Santiago Albarran—the young man who accused 6ix9ine of choking him at a Houston mall—submitted an affidavit of non-prosecution, stating, “I want to advise the Court and the District Attorney’s office that I do not wish to pursue charges against [Tekashi 6ix9ine].” The affidavit was formally filed in December 2018, and the case is now inactive. Harris County prosecutors had charged 6ix9ine with misdemeanor assault.
In November 2018, shortly before he was arrested and charged in the federal case, 6ix9ine took a deal in a case involving the alleged assault of a police officer; he pled guilty to “disorderly conduct” and the violation did not appear on his criminal record.
Tekashi 6ix9ine’s album DUMMY BOY was also released after his arrest.
Originally Appeared on Pitchfork