Is Tekashi 6ix9ine unstoppable?
Tekashi 6ix9ine has staged the comeback of the year with his electric surge up the charts following his highly anticipated return to the music scene. Almost like a superhero team, the rainbow-haired rapper and Barbz Queen have proven again that they’re powerful together. Tekashi 6ix9ine, who was imprisoned for over a year on racketeering charges, earned his “Snitch9” reputation while testifying in a high profile case against many of his former gang members and other affiliates during his federal informant career. Prior to being taken into custody, 6ix9ine’s biggest hit was “Fefe” with Nicki Minaj, and it seems history has repeated itself with his latest single. When Nicki Minaj and Tekashi 6ix9ine joined forces again, this time, they had their sights set on a Billboard No. 1 and that they did.
The controversy and great disdain surrounding this viral collaboration between Tekashi 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj have only served to fuel the song’s popularity even further. Just weeks after earning her first Billboard No. 1 hit, Nicki announced that she would be featuring on the new Tekashi 6ix9ine track “Trollz.” Fans in abundance did not concur with the Queen Radio star working with the federal informant returned rapper, but Nicki demanded that she wouldn’t be swayed by public opinion.
Nicki Minaj has always stuck by Tekashi 6ix9ine’s side, even when he was first arrested in 2018. In the midst of all the controversy that followed the rapper’s high profile arrest, Nicki tweeted, “If I know somebody there is nothing you can tell me about them.” Recently in response to her Barbz defending her vehemently online against the backlash that ensued, Nicki once again expressed that she doesn’t care what anyone thinks because she has a mind of her own. “I’m not afraid of internet trolls, blogs, artists. I don’t jump on band wagons,” she wrote on social media. “Many will never know what it feels like to have a mind of their own.”
After working with the rapper in his pre-informant days on their Billboard hit “FEFE” in 2018, Nicki Minaj knew she and Tekashi 6ix9ine had something special together. While she wasn’t one of the rappers who commented on the likelihood of collaborating with 6ix9ine after his prison time, it seemed she always knew it would happen, and there they were right out the gate with all eyes on them as “Trollz” was headed for the coveted No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. It was initially reported that Tekashi 6ix9ine and Nicki Minaj broke the YouTube debut record with 46 million hits in the first 24 hours, but YouTube denied them the title.
When the rappers announced that they got the new record, YouTube made their own announcement citing that paid views will no longer be taken into account for the 24-hr debut record. “Videos eligible for YouTube’s 24-hour record debuts are those with the highest views from organic sources within the first 24 hours of the video’s public release,” said a YouTube rep in a statement. “This includes direct links to the video, search results, external sites that embed the video and YouTube features like the homepage, watch next and Trending. Video advertising is an effective way to reach specific audiences with a song debut, but paid advertising views on YouTube will no longer be considered when looking at a 24-hour record debut.”
It seems no matter what Tekashi 6ix9ine does, his wins will be harder to achieve than the average non-snitch artist. When he released his first post-incarceration single “Gooba,” he broke the YouTube 24-hr debut record for a hip-hop song with 38.9 million views, which guaranteed the song a spot on the list of the platform’s Top 10 biggest debuts. The record also went Gold within two weeks of its release and is now certified Platinum. However, “Gooba” was removed from the video sharing platform following a copyright infringement claim by a Kenyan producer who claimed the rapper sampled one of his beats.
It appears that both parties later got it all sorted, seeing as the video returned to YouTube within hours. The music video currently has over 133 million views. Tekashi was in good spirits when he alluded to the music video being reinstated on social media. His character was the polar opposite of his mood the following week when he didn’t get the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 that he was looking for the first time around. Who could forget that very educational rant the rapper went on shortly after, where he called out Billboard for colluding with the pop stars who took the top spot that week.
Tekashi 6ix9ine was visibly outraged when he revealed the analytics updates that he had been receiving from chart data for all of that week leading up to a surprise “last minute” surge up the chart by Ariana Grande and Justin Bieber’s track “Stuck With U.” He literally called out Billboard for “cheating” the tally, which did not look good for either of them. Billboard retorted with the fact that the artists who got the No. 1, marketed their single with promotional packages and merchandise. After he accused Billboard of manipulating the charts, they allegedly removed his chart history from their records, but it has since been restored.
The rainbow-haired rapper was obviously disappointed by his solo song “Gooba” peaking at No. 3 that week, but he did learn a few things from the experience. After announcing that he’d be putting out a new song with Nicki Minaj, 6ix9ine immediately started ushering fans to his webstore, where he was offering bundles with the digital single “Trollz” along with either a CD, vinyl, or cassette copy, and of course, merch. Though he’s had a few setbacks, it is clear that Tekashi 6ix9ine is not demoralized by the challenges the industry has set out for him; in fact, he pretty much builds his career off of it.
With all of that said, Nicki Minaj and Tekashi 6ix9ine were a shoo-in for the Billboard No. 1 spot on their debut week. The Barbz Queen has not only copped her second No. 1, but she has returned to the coveted spot within the space of six weeks. That has got to be a record return for an artist who earned their century on Billboard before their first No. 1. According to Billboard, it took Nicki Minaj 109 entries to finally make an appearance at the top of the ranking. She is also the first female rapper since Lauryn Hill to debut at No. 1 on the chart. Like kismet, Tekashi 6ix9ine is celebrating his first No. 1 record ever with the very artist that assisted his first Top 5, multi-platinum certified hit, which is currently 8x Platinum – might I add. Like “Gooba,” the rapper’s song “Fefe” peaked at No. 3 on the chart in 2018 and now here we are in 2020 with “Trollz” the No. 1 song on Billboard.
One thing that is not debatable now is that these two multicolored superheroes come together with their colorful aesthetics, and playful sugar rush binges in their fantasy Candyland, renown is guaranteed. Their distinctive sounds and styles are not only doing numbers but also topping charts. Both rappers reacted to the win online – Tekashi 6ix9ine said, “YOU CAN SAY WHAT EVER IM NUMBER 1 AND YOU CANT TAKE THAT FROM ME I WENT UP AGAINST THE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND WON!!!!!!!!!” he wrote on Instagram. Nicki Minaj shared a voicenote on Twitter of her just cackling gleefully and ending with her signature tongue roll.
Both rappers have a lot to celebrate and will likely be celebrating for a very long time to come. This accolade will be etched in the memory of hip-hop for lifetimes. The legend of a federal informant topping Billboard charts, a snitch dominating hip-hop. It’s so unprecedented that it just had to naturally happen at an unprecedented time in history. Perhaps Nicki Minaj and Tekashi 6ix9ine always knew that it was meant to be, but many of us are just catching on. Do you think this will be their last collaboration together or the second of many to come?