Even in federal custody, Brooklyn rapper Tekashi 69 is dominating the headlines. News like his lawyer’s recent claim that 69 won’t be cooperating or taking a plea deal in his RICO case feeds the fire of speculation that has surrounded the artist and his onetime Nine Trey Gangsta Blood affiliates since their November arrest. Now, one man characterizing himself as an insider is ready to tell his side of the story. Author and former Nine Trey gang member Snow Billy is set to release a book called 69 Shots, which he says will be a story about 69’s “rise and fall” through his affiliation with the Nine Trey organization aka Treyway.
Snow Billy recently promoted the book – and what he says will be a movie – in a much-discussed interview with Youtube channel BBN news. Snow said the book will be available in “three weeks.” He also told BBN host Jack Frost that as a prominent figure in the Treyway movement, he was one of the masterminds who gave then-21-year-old Daniel Hernandez the backing to become 69, one of the most talked-about artists of 2018. Despite 69’s public persona, Snow frames 69 as a “good kid” used for other people’s opportunism, whether it was his manager Shottie (who Snow says stole from 69), or his record label 10K Projects, who Snow says has 69 in a “f*cked up” 360 deal.
Snow says that he initially sought to market the rainbow-haired artist in a kid-friendly manner — despite his charge for use of a child in a sexual performance, which isn’t brought up in the interview. He claims that the creative struggle with others within the Nine Trey movement compelled them to “remove him” from the equation by trying to kill him in January 2018, when Snow was shot in the head and neck in Brooklyn. Just days after the shooting, he was arrested and sent to New York’s Rikers Island jail for five months on an outstanding warrant. In those five months, 69’s career ascended with the help of antics and controversy that Snow Billy claims he wanted to steer clear of. Snow believes that someone wanted him silenced, but now he’s speaking to the world.
For what it’s worth, Seqo Billy, a Brooklyn-based rapper who is familiar with Snow Billy, 69, and Treyway, called Snow “a fraud” and said “a lot” of the following accusations are false, but you can read through the most illuminating ones below:
Snow Billy believes the crew tried to kill him because he disagreed with 69’s image
Snow Billy says that he disagreed with 69 being marketed as a gang member, and wanted to take advantage of 69’s colorful aesthetic and sense of humor as a more “mainstream” artist. But Snow says that his Nine Trey partners disagreed, and tried to take his life so they could have the final say.
Snow alleges that in January, while out celebrating his birthday in Brooklyn, his cousin and another close friend shot him in the head and neck. He claims that while he was in the hospital, the ATF and NYPD visited him and told him that “if we find out this was a gang-related hit, we will be going Federal on the whole situation.” He then says that the FBI recently “snatched him up” (presumably in the recent gang sweep) and told him that they heard he was shot because he didn’t want to “sanction” 69 as an official member of Nine Trey, an allegation which he said “for the most part there’s some truth to.”
Snow thinks that Shottie was a bad influence on 69 and isolated the rapper from everyone
Three days after Snow was shot, he was sent to jail for five months on an outstanding warrant. Over that period, 69 began “trolling” and spurring conflict with gangs and other artists all over the country. Snow believes that 69’s former manager Shottie was the main battery in the rapper’s back, and refers to him as a “grimeball” and similar epithets throughout the interview.
Snow believes that Shottie pushed away a man he referred to as “Chris,” 69’s original manager, who Snow credits for the success of 69’s breakout “Gummo” hit. Snow also contends that Shottie then played other members of Nine Trey “against each other” in order to be the sole voice in 69’s ear.
Snow claims Shottie was stealing money from 69
Shottie was characterized in the interview as more of “a robber” than a businessman. While 69’s former booking agency MTA says that Shottie only took 10% of 69’s show fees, Snow says that Shottie would routinely take “more than half” of 69’s proceeds from club walkthroughs and shows. Most managers are entitled to approximately 15-20%.
During 69’s last interview with The Breakfast Club, he claimed that his management negotiated a $2.5 million tour deal but only gave him $300,000. The FBI also believes that the theft occurred despite MTA’s paperwork which reportedly states otherwise.
Snow says that Shottie was continuously stealing from 69, but not sharing the proceeds with other members of the Nine Trey set. Snow referenced a moment during the crew’s arraignment that The Daily Beast reported when three other members of the crew “looked expectantly” at Shottie when “the question of representation and bail arose.”
69 was allegedly robbed by a disgruntled member of his crew
31-year-old Anthony Jamel Ellison, aka Harv was indicted on October 31 for conspiracy to obstruct commerce by robbery, obstructing commerce by robbery and carrying a firearm to commit a crime in the July kidnapping of 69. Snow alleges that Harv was once one of 69’s “main security members” who even fought for the rapper at LAX, but was “jerked” by Shottie out of traveling money. Snow says that Harv “felt he had to do what he had to do” to get his recompense and send a message by robbing 69 of a reported $750k in jewelry and between $15k and $20k in cash.
Snow says that 69 is in a 360 deal and signed for a $30K advance
69 has joked in the past about signing a seven million dollar record deal, but Snow contended that his actual deal is much less lucrative. He told BBN that 69 only received a $25-$30,000 advance from Elliot Grange’s 10K Projects. Snow says he was working with lawyers to try to get 69 out of the deal around the time he was shot last January.
69 “got tired” of not getting his just due
Snow says that 69 “got tired” of his treatment from Shottie, an opinion that could be supported by 69’s behavior in his final months of freedom. In October, 69 hired a new security team to protect him instead of the Nine Trey members who had escorted him before. During a November Instagram live session, he said “f*ck Treyway.” In a November clip posted to Instagram just days before his arrest and ominously captioned “watch it all crumble,” 69 denounced Treyway and said that he had “fired” all of them and had no one on his team.
It was that video, along with his Breakfast Club interview, which made Nine Trey members want to “super-violate him,” as an FBI-wiretapped conversation exposed.
Before fame, 69 and Shottie lived in a house called the “dog pound” where the “Gummo” video was filmed
Snow alleges that before 69 blew with “Gummo,” the rapper was without a home and living with Shottie and other Nine Trey members in a house deemed a “dog pound” in the Bed-Stuy section of Brooklyn. The brownstone was a haven for people in the crew with nowhere else to go. That house is also where the “Gummo” video was shot.
Snow says that he suggested 69’s rainbow hair for him to “standout.”
69 had been dying his hair different colors while he was around the Treyway crew, but Snow claims that he suggested the full rainbow look in order to “go for Disney” appeal, despite 69’s sexual misconduct charge. He thought the look made sense to “make his image standout more than any rappers in the game.” Snow referenced 69’s cartoonish song and album artwork aesthetic and reiterates throughout the interview that his plan with the first manager Chris was to market 69 to the youth.
69 Shots is meant to be a teaching moment
Snow clarified during the interview that his aim with the book is “gang prevention.” Snow says that he’s been through the wringer in the streets, noting “I lost my life in the penitentiary and got it back, and lost my life in the streets and got it back.” He wants the book to show the youth through 69’s story that gang culture “might seem glorious at the beginning, but it’s nothin’ but poison at the end.”
Perhaps we will eventually hear what 69 or other members of the organization say when they have the latitude to speak on these allegations, particularly the embattled rapper himself.