Tekashi 6ix9ine was sentenced to 24 months in prison and five years of supervised release on Wednesday in Manhattan Federal Court for crimes involving his former gang, the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods — but he will be out late next year due to the 13 months he’s already served in jail.
The sentencing took a wild turn shortly before the two-hour mark, when the divisive 23-year-old rapper, born Daniel Hernandez, struggled to address the judge in his final plea for leniency, and then revealed that his long-estranged biological father was in the courtroom.
With glassy eyes and a red nose, Hernandez initially hunched over the microphone, peppering the beginning of his address with uncertain “uhs” and “uhms.”
“I really don’t know where to start … this past year,” he said, before sitting abruptly, grabbing the mic, and clutching it close to his mouth. He then went on an emotional discussion of his life and took ownership of his poor decision to join Nine Trey.
“To be honest I don’t blame anyone but myself,” said Hernandez, who sported navy jail scrubs, white Nikes, and pigtail braids that now lack the color that matched his energetic musical persona. “I’m not a victim, I put myself in this position.”
“Your honor, my life is so crazy, I don’t even know where to start,” he said. “I took a glance at the audience and I see my biological father — the last time I [saw] my biological father was in the third grade.”
“I don’t even know if it’s a joke anymore.”
Hernandez had faced anywhere from some four decades to a life sentence in federal lockup after pleading guilty to nine racketeering counts in January. He copped a plea after reaching a deal with federal prosecutors in which he agreed to cooperate with them in the hopes of landing a lighter sentence. Ultimately, the rapper snitched on everyone during a racketeering trial in September against two purported Nine Trey associates, from low-level gang members to hip-hop stars like Cardi B, Trippie Redd, and Jim Jones.
Per the deal, prosecutors said that they would write a letter recommending a sentence less than the “mandatory minimum” — 47 years at the time — if Hernandez played ball, which they formally submitted last week.
However, the decision to grant a sentence below the mandatory minimum ultimately rested with Manhattan Federal Court Judge Paul Engelmayer.
This is a developing story and will be updated accordingly.