On Friday, rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine got off with four years’ probation for pleading guilty to the use of a child in a sexual performance back in 2015. He later celebrated at a post-sentencing afterparty in midtown New York where his bodyguard was reportedly shot. The tense celebrations continued on Sunday at local radio station Power 105.1’s Powerhouse NYC concert at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, where 6ix9ine wasn’t on the lineup but still became the main event. Tekashi showed up later in the night as a “surprise” guest of DJ SpinKing, performing a full set — including his hits “Gunmo” and “Fefe” — to a crowd that erupted in mass pandemonium. Vulture was on the scene: Risers on the floor shook, fans pounded their fists on their seats and moshed throughout the stands, and the entirety of the Prudential Center shouted 6ix9ine’s lyrics somehow louder than he could shout them first. It was a louder reception than even headliner Cardi B.
Tekashi, dressed in his own merch and with his rainbow hair pulled back in braids, was joined onstage by a deep entourage of over a dozen men, including a likely replacement bodyguard who followed his every move. Throughout his set, 6ix9ine alluded to the elephant in the room by noting how rare it is for him to get to perform at major events like this, similar to the comments he made at Jay-Z’s Made in America Festival in September when he was on the lineup. “Me, I never get invited to shit like this — ever,” he told the crowd. Earlier in the summer, 6ix9ine turned up in disguise at rival station Hot 97’s Summer Jam concert and was denied entry due to a feud with host Ebro Darden. Following his surprise appearance at Powerhouse, Power 105.1 wrote of the moment, “When other shows turned him down, Power 105.1 let Tekashi 6ix9ine turn up.” They continued their defense: “Tekashi 6ix9ine receives a lot of hate from the media, but we got the opportunity to see the real 6ix9ine.”