Tekashi 6ix9ine has another court battle on his hands.
According to legal documents obtained by TMZ, the controversial rapper has been hit with a defamation lawsuit filed by Takashi Matsuba, a Japanese tattoo artist based in Brooklyn. The complaint alleges 6ix9ine—legal name Daniel Hernandez—created a false impression that he is somehow associated with the plaintiff, whose first name is just one letter off from 6ix9ine’s rap moniker.
The suit points to Hulu’s 2021 true crime documentary 69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez. At one point in the film, Matsuba’s name is superimposed on the screen, as the director can be heard saying, “A Japanese tattoo artist named Takashi would inspire Danny’s new persona, Tekashi69.”
Matsuba also has an issue with Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine, a three-part docuseries that aired on Showtime earlier this year. The series explores the rapper’s rise to fame and the steps he took to create his polarizing image. According to the lawsuit, the documentary includes a scene in which 6ix9ine explains his stage name was inspired by a tattoo artist who used heroin as part of his creative process.
“There was this tattoo artist named Takashi from our neighborhood,” 6ix9ine said, according TMZ. “He was this heroin addict. He did heroin to create. He did it to get himself in his little world. He did it to be himself. And that’s where I got the name Tekashi from. And that’s who I am.”
Matsuba says 6ix9ine’s claims were defamatory, as he’s never used heroin in his life. He also argues that the comments could harm his career, as “tattooing requires the use of needles, and heroin is connected in the public’s mind with hypodermic needles.”
The tattoo artist has reportedly demanded producers to remove his name and likeness from the Hulu project, but they’ve refused to make the edits. Matsuba is seeking unspecified damages. 6ix9ine has yet to publicly respond to the lawsuit.
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