Tekashi 69 (6ix9ine) is one of the most unique rappers ever to come out of New York. That’s a big statement, and it’s also true. With his rainbow-hued locks and multicolored grill, the young artist seems more like a manga character than an ordinary person. He’s taken over YouTube with mind-blowing music videos that feel like mini motion pictures full of incredible outfits, explosive visual effects, machetes, and of lots of fire.

“I got the best videos in America with no budget,” 6ix9ine told MASS APPEAL in this very rare interview that is our latest episode of Open Space. “These industry videos got 50K to 100K and I work with zero dollars.”

It is clear that 6ix9ine has created his own visual world: a post-apocalyptic version of New York City mixed with anime-like appearance. But the Mexican-Puerto Rican youth who comes from the real side of Bushwick, Brooklyn, stresses that his message to his fans is for them to embrace themselves.

“Make your world and be who you want to be,” he says. “If you want to be an astronaut, be that shit, build a spaceship in your backyard and do something! Build your own fucking world. I’m Tekashi 69 and I want my world to look like it is on fire.”

Watch our entire Open Space interview to hear 6ix9ine speak about not wearing any name brand clothing, his family, his creative process, and his plans for the future.

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What started as a humble graffiti ‘zine in 1996 would soon grow to be one of the most trusted outlets for youth-spawned urban culture. Today, Mass Appeal is a media collective led by authentic voices and inspired minds. We are a platform for radical creatives who are transforming culture.