Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine’s legal proceedings took a strange turn on Monday. 

According to USA Today, the 22-year-old rapper, whose birth name is Daniel Hernandez, faces a RICO (Racketeering Influenced Corrupt Organization) charge that could possibly land him life behind bars. 

The presiding judge in the case, Judge Paul Engelmayer, took a particular interest in the rap rivalry mentioned by prosecutors in the charging papers.

Assistant U.S. Attorney, Michael Longyear, spoke of an incident involving Tekashi and his entourage at the Barclays Center, where he was supposed to perform the opening song for one of the fighters. A rival rapper was supposed to introduce the opponent. When the musician’s self-proclaimed crew, 9 Trey Bloods, came into contact with some of their rivals, shots were fired.

“So the gang rivals were singing for different boxers?” asked Engelmayer. 

This prompted laughter in the otherwise glum courtroom. 

Engelmayer continued to ask about the rap beef, prompting Longyear with more questions about the incident.

“Who sang the intro songs?” Engelmayer later asked, to which Longyear replied, “I don’t have that information.”

The Assistant U.S. Attorney revealed that much of the evidence used against the rapper comes from his own social media!  He also claimed that a confidential informant made recordings that will also be used as evidence.  

Tekashi's co-defendant and ex-manager, Kifano “Shottie” Jordan, offered the court a solemn and stern statement towards the end of the arraignment: 

“I love all my family. We don’t fall. We don’t bend. We don’t break.”

Tekashi's carefully crafted gangster image have led him to face a mandatory minimum of 32 years in prison. Prosecutors attest that the "FEFE" rapper has been caught on video affirming much of their charges, some footage was even filmed by Hernandez himself. His lawyer, however, alleges that Hernandez’s image is just that—an image.  

“An entertainer who portrays a gangster’s image to promote his music does not make him a member of a criminal enterprise,” said Hernandez’s lawyer, Lance Lazarro. 

Lazarro also said the rapper was offered protection by federal agents after some of his co-defendants were heard threatening his life on wiretaps.  It gets even more interesting.The Blast reports the rainbow rapper also had to be transferred to a secret location because his life was in danger, although his legal team, says it’s not because he snitched on his co-defendants. Prosecutors, however, claim he might have been a target of a planned hit.

The trial will is slated to begin September 4, 2019. 

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