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Tekashi 6ix9ine doesn’t care if his music is ‘McDonald’s,’ not ‘filet mignon’

When the pop culture cognoscenti try to explain the phenomenon that is Tekashi 6ix9ine, they focus on his polarizing rainbow-haired persona, his flamboyant trolling of other rappers or his role as a government witness in a federal trial against his one-time associates in the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods street gang.

Or they talk about his admitted domestic abuse of his daughter’s mother, or his teenage conviction for using a 13-year-old girl in a videotaped sexual performance.

They rarely focus on his music — as in whether it’s any good. They might regard the Brooklyn-born rapper, born Daniel Hernandez, as a poser, but the question of whether he contributes to the art of hip-hop is secondary to all other discussions about him.

As 6ix9ine’s new album, “Tattletales,” drops today, New York Times cultural writer Joe Coscarelli addressed the topic of his musical talent with the rapper himself, in a lengthy and wide-ranging Q&A.

It turns out — as with everything else with 6ix9ine — he is almost gleeful about the fact that he’s not the most respected of rappers. In his review of “Tattletales,” NME.com critic Luke Morgan Britton calls the album “a creatively bankrupt collection that exposes the depressing hollowness at the heart of his music.”

6ix9ine might not care, although he denied the widespread view expressed in Britton’s review, that he just puts out music to bolster a social media career as an Instagram villain.

When Coscarelli asked 6ix9ine if he really loves making music, or if the music is just a vehicle to fame and money, the rapper responded: “I love music.”

6ix9ine wouldn’t apologize for not producing music that is “more thoughtful.” Coscarelli suggested that he could record songs about his life experience, which includes going to prison and living in fear of gang retaliation; or growing up poor and dropping out of high school to help support his family after his stepfather was murdered.

At one point, Coscarelli mentioned that Tupac Shakur “put art into the world” by grappling with his demons.

After 6ix9ine claimed that he, too, is putting “art into the world,” Coscarelli conceded that his music might be “fun, turn-up music,” but it’s not “introspective.”

“I got to feed what, in 2020, is relevant,” 6ix9ine said. “I got to feed the masses. There’s no difference between me and Tupac Shakur.”

6ix9ine later said: “When somebody’s in the gym and they want to listen to 6ix9ine, why do they listen to 6ix9ine? 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” he said. “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.”

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