You know how you were taught you should never judge a book by its cover? That’s wrong. You should, for instance, absolutely judge 6ix9ine, whose planned show this weekend in Pompano has been postponed, by his appearance. Just look at him. Rainbow hair. Rainbow grill. The number 69, which we all learned in middle school is the sex number, is tattooed on him in three places on his body, including the face. He looks like he was ejected from the Gathering of the Juggalos for some sort of sexual offense. He looks like what would happen if Jared Leto’s Joker were fused with Rainbow Dash from My Little Pony. Indeed, 6ix9ine is so grotesque as to resemble the unholy union between man and horse. Yep, he’s ugly.
Now, you might think that description is unfair, that appearance isn’t indicative of character. But that’s where you’re wrong, because 6ix9ine, also called Tekashi69 for reasons unclear, is also ugly on the inside. Most SoundCloud rappers are linked to some kind of crime, and Tekashi’s is a doozy: Late last year, the New York rapper pleaded guilty to three felony counts of use of a child in a sexual performance. The night of February 15, 2015, he participated in sexual acts with a 13-year-old girl in Harlem and uploaded them to social media. He is seen on video touching her breasts and having her sit naked on his lap. He also claims that he was 17 at the time and that the girl said she was older.
If that heinous crime isn’t enough, there’s also the controversy surrounding his hit single, “Gummo”: Supposedly, the track’s production was stolen from Pi’erre Bourne, who produced last year’s Playboi Carti slapper “Magnolia.” Bourne had sent the beat, along with a few others, to Canton, Ohio rapper Trippie Redd, who passed it to Tekashi, who used it without the original producer’s permission and turned it into a hit (Bourne reportedly used this leverage to argue for 75 percent of the song’s royalties, while Trippie Redd has broken ties with 6ix9ine). He's also gotten into fights and even choked out a fan at a meetup.
All of this has given 6ix9ine an unsavory reputation even in the SoundCloud scene. He's had to cancel and cut short shows in Minnesota, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia due to public outrage or threats from local gangs. (This now includes his show in Broward at Club Cinema, which has been postponed until June.) Most recently, he earned scorn from, of all people, Bhad Bhabie. “Trippie Redd birthed your ass,” she declared on Instagram Live. “Nobody knew who the fuck you was, I don’t wanna hear none of that shit.”
To his credit, “Gummo” is, well, not exactly a good song, but it’s effective. 6ix9ine’s vicious, shrieking intro grabs the listener by the throat even before Bourne’s woozy, carnivalesque beat drops, and his delivery remains as intense and feverish throughout. He sounds as if he’s on some sort of drug cocktail, like he’s mixed in meth and PCP with his ayahuasca and dusted it with cocaine. His references, which seem taken primarily from New York gang culture, are esoteric even for hip-hop: “Blicky got the stiffy,” “In the hood with them Billy n*ggas and them Hoover n*ggas.” All of these things — beat, words, delivery — combined make “Gummo” sound as filthy and confusing as the Harmony Korine movie for which it's named.
So we have the same old hip-hop problem of an infectious song made under questionable conditions by a true scumbag. Normally, this writer might say, “Well, you probably shouldn’t listen to this guy’s music.” Normally. But just this once, we can have our cake and eat it too, for there exists a parody of this song. It is better. It is funnier. And it is violently homosexual. It is “Cummo (Parody of Gummo)” by GayHipHop.
The premise behind this parody, which also takes a potshot at Tekashi's crimes (notice "#IFSHE13IM13" in the title) is simple: What if, instead of being creepy and violent, 6ix9ine and all the shooters and killers in his circle were just extremely gay with one another? What if instead of rapping about gangbanging girls, they were obsessed with gangbanging each other, with poppin’ booties and sending nudies? What if the song was all about giving your homie top and then letting him hit it from the back?
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Now, of course the song is hilarious this way. It’s not simply because it’s really funny to look at the hypermasculine gangbangers in the video and imagine them all making sweet, sweet gay love. There’s the way the vocalist swaps Tekashi’s guttural, pained shrieking with a mocking, effete sneer that you can still totally imagine issuing from the rapper’s mouth. There’s also the outrageous wordplay that is, rest assured, genius. Several Twitter personalities have commented positively about the parody. Comedian Zach Fox, who is credited with making “Bad and Boujee” a hit by turning the opening lines into a meme, said of the song: “There’s a robot that can do a backflip and all I can think about is ‘pop my booty like a wheelie n*gga I’m for really n*gga in the bed with them booty killers and them fruity n*ggas.’” Others have said they prefer it to the original.
And you know what? They’re right. “Cummo” is not only funnier than its source but also a morally superior work of art. It is a total subversion of the toxic, extreme heteronormativity and depravity inherent in hip-hop that made 6ix9ine commercially viable. It replaces the violence the original promotes with unabashed, raw homosexuality, and if one is to be glorified, it should the latter. It is perhaps even a part of the new perception homosexuality is gaining in hip-hop and youth culture. We can take it as an evolution from Tyler the Creator, whose sophomoric sexual expression was for years mischaracterized as homophobia. We can perhaps even put it in the same boat as Kevin Abstract of Brockhampton, who at once proudly expresses his homosexuality while also making fun of it, appealing to young fans that one Twitter user characterized thusly: “the teens are calling everything gay again, but in a positive way this time.”
For now, Tekashi's show has been rescheduled to June 9. So while you're waiting, listen to “Cummo (Parody of Gummo)” exactly 69 times. Then imagine how Tekashi might react to hearing "Cummo" for the first time, and laugh. And then you should listen to 69 Love Songs by the Magnetic Fields just for the hell of it.