Tekashi 6ix9ine sat down for his first post-prison interview with New York Times writer 

“Tupac Shakur was convicted of rape,” he said, sitting inside a Manhattan hotel. “Is Tupac Shakur loved or hated? Loved! What’s the difference between me and Tupac Shakur? I never caught a rape charge — ever.

When asked if he felt his art was contributing to the world, 6ix9ine replied “of course,” then proceeded to play 2Pac’s “Troublesome ’96.”

“This is one of his biggest songs,” he said. “What’s the difference between that and “Billy”? “A born leader, never leave the crib without my heater!” You’re telling me he gave back through his art? You’re lying to me. I got to feed what, in 2020, is relevant. I got to feed the masses. There’s no difference between me and Tupac Shakur.”

6ix9ine went on to admit he’s addicted to the attention, admitting he grew up “being a nobody.” He also explained why he doesn’t make more thought-provoking content, given everything he’s been through.

“When somebody’s in the gym and they want to listen to 6ix9ine, why do they listen to 6ix9ine?” he said. “To turn up! When you’re with your girl and you wanna listen to R&B, do you put on Chief Keef? People hate me because I’m the most straightforward: I’ll knock you down. I’m a genius at what I do.

“When you want to listen to R&B, you go to Usher. When you want to listen to Hip Hop, you go to Nas. When you want to listen to rock, you go to AC/DC. When you listen to 6ix9ine, you don’t want to hear, ‘My mama was crying …’ I can go there, but my fans don’t want that. You don’t go to McDonald’s and get filet mignon.”

One obvious difference between 6ix9ine and ‘Pac is 6ix9ine is still alive, but concerns about his safety are omnipresent considering his “snitch” reputation. As he told the Times, he’s only worried about losing his life when he doesn’t have a security team, which is currently made up of between eight and 12 men.

But he does think about death, noting, “At this point, it’s a lifestyle. I worry about it, but I’m not scared of it. The streets is a myth. Right now, if I left this interview and took the train by myself to Bed-Stuy, I wouldn’t come back. If you took a trip to an island full of cannibals, are you coming back? But you don’t put yourself in stupid situations.”

Elsewhere in the interview, 6ix9ine also talked about his 2018 arrest on racketeering charges and his decision to testify at the October 2019 trial of alleged Nine Trey Gangsta Blood members Aljermiah “Nuke” Mack and Anthony “Harv” Ellison.

“We go to meet with the feds,” he recalled. “They say, listen, do you know anybody that’s looking to harm you? Because at this point I’m not cooperating. There’s been a split, and they know it because they hear all the wiretaps. So Friday morning, I do the interview at the Breakfast Club. I know the feds are monitoring me, making sure no one comes to hurt me, but I don’t know why at this point — I’m pretty scared. I’m tired.

Tekashi 6ix9ine’s Testimony Helps Convict Ex-Fellow Gang Members

“On Sunday, I went downstairs and I said, “I need to speak to your boss.” I’m ready to snitch now. The very next morning, they said, you know what, if something happens to this kid, somebody kills him, it’s on us. They took everybody down, knowing in the back of their head, this kid is about to let the whistle blow. The very next morning, I was in their office.”

The rest is history. 6ix9ine received 24 months in prison but was let out early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now officially off house arrest, he’s been traveling across the country, antagonizing as many people as he can along the way while promoting his forthcoming album Tattle Tales. 

Read the full New York Times interview here.