The two hooded gunmen may have simply been the gangstas who couldn’t shoot straight.
They may have actually been trying to shoot the rapper Chief Keef as he stood outside the W Hotel in Times Square.
Or, they may have been trying to shoot Keef’s less famous cousin, the rapper Tadoe, who stood nearby.
Or, they may have simply been seeking publicity that would boost everybody’s Instagram followers and YouTube views. The hip-hip regions of the internet reverberated with the news:
SHOT FIRED BUT CHIEF KEEF NOT HIT!
Whatever the intent, the single bullet one of the gunmen fired early Saturday morning struck the hotel’s marquee, high over the heads of Keef and Tadoe.
The numerous surveillance cameras in the area recorded the gunmen fleeing uptown and then hopping into a van that was later recovered in Brooklyn. The most obvious suspect was the Brooklyn rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, who has been having a running online beef with Keef and Tadoe.
Tekashi was out in Los Angeles, but the NYPD figured he could have had somebody fire the shot. Police believe the dispute began when Tadoe found Tekashi’s number in the phone of a woman he had been involved with, the rapper Cuban Doll. Tadoe had called the number using FaceTime. Tekashi had answered and held his phone so a pal could video Tadoe’s rant.
“Lose that number!” Tadoe can he heard demanding. “I kill people!”
“You do not kill nobody,” Tekashi replied.
Tekashi posted that video online, as well as subsequent photos of Cuban Doll joining him in Hawaii to help celebrate his 22nd birthday right around the time of her 20th.
Cuban Doll posted a photo of herself with a bruised face allegedly inflicted by an enraged Tadoe before she departed and flew off with Tekashi.
She also posted a statement that marked her—at that moment anyway—as someone eminently worth following:
"I've been scared to speak out on this situation but I refuse to continue to hurt in silence. This isn't the first or second or third time that this has happened to me. It has been happening for awhile and i never spoke about it publicly because I never want people to think I'm weak.”
She continued, “This is happening to other girls my age, publicly and I see them getting made fun of on social media when really they need help. Its scary to be vulnerable. Social media is mean. But now I don’t have a choice. I know I'm not alone and there are other women that can relate to this, who are also afraid to speak out. No matter the circumstances, a man should NEVER hit a woman. I’ve decided to speak up today because I know I have a lot of young women looking up to me and I have to be a leader.”
She also said, “Domestic violence is no joke! Y’all making one big joke out of this making songs & memes but what if it was your mother then what I guess y’all would laugh in her face & tell her she deserve everything that’s happening?”
Cuban Doll had another worthy moment in a video that begins with her lounging outside with Tekashi in New York. He is holding her orange toy poodle when he goes into a rant about Chief Keef and his Chicago crew for the benefit of a video camera. She demonstrates the good sense to take her dog and slip out of view as he rages on.
Of course, one might ask what she is doing with Tekashi in the first place given his 2015 conviction for Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance in uptown Manhattan. The criminal complaint, which uses Tekashi’s actual name, Daniel Hernandez, describes three videos of another kind in which he and his pal Taquan Anderson appear with a 13-year-old girl.
“On the first video, the child engages in oral sexual intercourse with the separately charged defendant Taquan Anderson, while the defendant, Daniel Hernandez, stands behind the child making a thrusting motion with his pelvis and smacking her on her buttocks. The child is nude in the video.
“On the second video, the child is sitting on the lap of the defendant and the defendant has his arms around the child. The child is wearing a light-colored bra and dark colored underwear and separately charged defendant Anderson pours a cup of liquid on the child’s breasts and grabs the child’s breasts with his hands.
“In the third video, the child is completely nude and is sitting across the laps of the defendant and the separately charged defendant Taquan Anderson. The separately charged defendant touches the child across her legs and vagina with his hand. The same three individuals are observed in all three videos.”
Tekashi is quoted as telling NYPD Detective Maureen Sheehan that he had first taken to using the hashtag #SCUMBAG69 because, “The SCUMBAG persona is just for shock value. It started when I started making clothing with the words HIV and Pussy on it. They got famous and went viral.”
He had since applied the same principle to a music career. The court papers quote him explaining why he posted the videos of himself and his pal with the child.
“I was doing it for my image.”
On the ride from the uptown police facility where he was questioned down to Central Booking in Lower Manhattan, Tekashi said, “If you find that girl, I really want to apologize to her and her mom. I’m going to go to jail for 15 years and be a registered sex offender. That Hashtag is legit now.”
Imagine how pleased Tekashi was when the Manhattan District Attorney’s office agreed to a deal in which he would avoid a jail sentence if he stayed out of trouble for a year, performed 300 hours of community service, and got a high school equivalency diploma. He was subsequently summonsed for driving without a valid license in Brooklyn. He got into a brawl at LAX Airport in Los Angeles that was videoed and looked like it might have been staged. He also got into a tussle at a Texas mall.
In April, Tekashi and his entourage got into a shoving match with the rapper Casanova and his crew at the Adrian Broner fight in the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. One of Tekashi’s entourage fired a single shot that hit nobody. A video captured Tekashi as he appeared to explain to the responding cops what happened.
“Shot in the air,” he can be heard saying.
Tekashi was ejected from the arena and his scheduled appearance there as a performer was nixed.
He remained at liberty pending a hearing that had been set to determine if he had lived up to the strictures of his probation or should be sent to prison for one to three years. The hearing has been postponed eight times over the course of a year and a half, with the most recent date set for June 19.
Meanwhile, the NYPD is investigating the single shot that may or may not have been fired in an attempt to hit Chief Keef or his cousin, Tadoe. None of those involved were even born in 1994 when the rapper Tupac Shakur, then 23 years old, was shot just on the other side of Times Square. Those shots were fired by a terror of the streets known as Tut who had previously robbed an entire church congregation and the occupants of a school bus. Tut had been dispatched to rob Tupac as payback in a beef with another rapper. But Tupac had resisted and had been shot in the groin.
Tupac uttered an immortal line when he was wheeled from Bellevue Hospital in surgical scrubs.
“I can’t believe I'm wearing polyester,” he said.
No such lines are likely ever to be offered by the likes of Tekashi and Chief Keef and Tadoe. Tekashi IS a kind of polyester.
And police wonder if Friday’s shooting of a hotel marquee may have just been a shot in the air, a publicity stunt to build image and social media standing. That would be a stunt too many.
“It’s way more drama than anybody needs,” a police official said.