Arts and Entertainment

Question: Is Listening to 6ix9ine Justifiable?

Because of the inseparability between 6ix9ine’s music and his character, listening to his music is not justified.

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For 6ix9ine, his garish, rainbow-colored hair and equally showy tattoos make him a striking figure. His hyper-aggressive lyrics, vocals, and instrumentals make his music intriguing to many. In addition, his ongoing legal battles, among other controversies, have monopolized headlines over the past few years. All of these features comprise the single, unified entity of 6ix9ine, and have been responsible for his major success.

It is not his substantial musical talent that has allowed 6ix9ine to become the immensely successful artist that he is today; it is his whole persona that has led to his triumph in the music industry. 6ix9ine’s character is offensive, unpleasant, and unrelentingly aggressive, but this creates intrigue for the public, as people tend to gravitate toward those who push the limits of social acceptability. This is, in large part, responsible for his meteoric rise. All aspects of him, ranging from his appearance to his music and album art, tie into his aesthetic as a provocateur of the status quo in hip-hop. For this reason, it is impossible to separate 6ix9ine from his music, as he and his music go hand in hand. There is no argument to be made about any lack of consistency between 6ix9ine’s music and his persona, as incessant profanity and themes of murder, assault, sex, and drugs are prevalent in both.

It is no surprise that 6ix9ine is loathed by many. In 2015, 6ix9ine was convicted for his involvement in the sexual assault of a 13-year-old. He was accused of choking a 16-year-old fan during a meet-and-greet earlier this year. He was arrested on federal crime charges of racketeering in November, for which he may receive up to life in prison. In corroboration with the legal charges against him, 6ix9ine’s lyrics involve themes of violence, murder, and robbery, among other offensive topics.

There is no separating 6ix9ine from his music because 6ix9ine is his music, and vice versa. The objectionable parts of his persona are just as—if not more—common in his lyrics. What has led to his success is his constant, unyielding ability to offend and provoke, as seen in both his personal endeavors and his music. For many other artists whose stage personas vary drastically from their personal characters, listening to their music is reasonable. For example, Richard Wagner is heralded as one of the best composers of his time despite his outspoken antisemitism because his music does not convey his bigoted ideology. On the contrary, what is portrayed in all aspects of 6ix9ine’s life and career is consistently negative, violent, and graphic. 6ix9ine made the conscious decision not to distinguish between his character and the themes in his lyrics. Because of this, to listen to 6ix9ine is to not hold him accountable for his wrongdoings and to endorse his appalling, abhorrent actions in the past.