Can we just say it?

The world would be better off if Tekashi69 had gone to jail.

Even beyond his actual crimes themselves - and believe me, we’ll get to them - I hate to say it, but it would have made the world a better place.

Our culture may always have been excited by a glimpse into the abyss, but our current moment seems intent on simply plunging into it.

The sort of horrid decisions and mistakes that, in any other time, would led to an artist being “cancelled” no longer seem to hinder their careers - rather, the likes of cruel domestic abuse seem to make for a damn springboard. Check the next (and sadly, it’s increasingly obvious there will certainly be a next) artist to have a damning story of abuse break: watch their streaming numbers skyrocket.

To be fair, this isn’t entirely surprising. The natural instinct, after all, is to look into someone after hearing something about them. Yet, for the disturbingly large, and loyal, fanbases these guys are accruing, people aren’t just curious, they’re enamored by the depravity.

Folk made a lot of noise about Eminem when most of us were kids. Yet, Slim Shady (whatever Marshall Mathers has become since) was a mirror up to culture. In short: Mathers reveled, and found a voice, in smearing the chunk of America that genuinely thought the way he mocked. Tekashi? He simply is that guy. Yet, you sure as hell don’t see the same level of outcry.

Yes. Yes, I hoped Tekashi69 would end up in prison. So it could all just stop. So we would no longer have to struggle to understand how he grew so popular in the first place. So fans would no longer lose faith in a favorite and wonder how the hell an artist such as Nicki Minaj would stop not only to collaborate with a violent sex offender, but shoot a flirtatious video sitting around licking candy with him. (Really? Even with your brother facing down charges of pedophilia, Nicki? You thought this was the look?) So that this generation just might grow up without another depressingly terrible influence.

Instead, we’re left yet again to try and understand how this young man’s crimes not only have essentially gone unpunished, but by his not needing to register as a sex offender.

Essentially, he’s faced no real consequences for his actions. Message to the youth? Do whatever disgusting thing you want, there are no real repercussions once a major label has your back.

Let’s actually be clear about what this guy did, for the “it wasn’t that bad” crowd. In fact, the whole build up the trial was successfully downplayed. Tekashi had, indeed, uploaded a video to social media (genius points here, people) involving the 13 year old girl in question, in which, “...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 the buttocks. The child is nude in the video.”

Quite simply, they could - and did - try to pass it off with Hernandez as the primary offender. However, Rich Juzwiak, reporting for Jezebel, revealed a more disturbing reality that is receiving disturbingly less acknowledgment since: he spoke of another, even more damning, video.

He related a video, “in which 6ix9ine is seen fondling the breasts and smacking the butt of a 13-year-old who was being penetrated by two adult males at the same time—orally and vaginally. Weiss quoted 6ix9ine as saying in the video, “This is what we do, this is how we rock.” None of this is to even begin to go into the litany of other crimes 69 faced, which Pitchfork recently dug into in detail.

Obviously, wishing jail time on a young man is quite the statement, and I never thought I’d find myself in such a position. Yet, Tekashi’s continued freedom, let alone his ability to profit (massively, I’d imagine) and influence an entire generation of fans, sends a grim message in the already suffocating Trump era: actions with no consequence, fame with no standards, celebrity without any shred of morality.

These are dark times, and Tekashi69 is only the latest harbinger. It’d be nice to see people more bothered. Maybe can indeed learn from his sins and grow, but some time away from a burgeoning lifestyle that only seems to be emboldening his lack of fucks would have done him good, only further exemplified by the shooting of his bodyguard - almost directly after his legal win. We surely could all use some time away from him.