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Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine has been hospitalized after he was reportedly attacked by a group of men in a South Florida gym on Tuesday.
The rapper’s lawyer, Lance Lazzaro, told celebrity news website TMZ that the artist was inside a sauna at an LA Fitness when he was attacked by three or four men without warning. (Ed. Note: The preceding link contains violent footage.)
He said the 26-year-old musician attempted to fight back but was outnumbered.
One of the assailants filmed the violence. 6ix9ine, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, is seen lying on the ground shielding his face as two men kick him.
One attacker dressed in a black T-shirt and shorts pulls 6ix9ine’s hair in the video and can be heard taunting, “Take a picture. I want to be famous now.”
As 6ix9ine leaves the bathroom, there is blood visible on his face. The man behind the camera tells the rapper, “I’m not going to lie, bro, I’m a fan.”
6ix9ine replies and accuses the men of “jumping” him. Lazzaro told TMZ the attackers fled after employees heard the commotion and notified a manager. When an ambulance arrived at the gym, Hernandez was transported to hospital.
“He had cuts to his face and bruises,” Lazzaro told Variety.
TMZ reported he also suffered injuries to his jaw, ribs and back. It is not clear if 6ix9ine is still hospitalized.
The rapper did not have security with him during the attack, though Lazzaro said he plans to get the artist proper protection.
In April 2020, 6ix9ine was released from federal prison, where he served a two-year sentence for charges including racketeering, drug trafficking and firearm offences, all in connection with the Nine Trey Bloods gang.
He was given a shorter prison sentence after he co-operated with federal officials and provided names of his associates. The deal earned him leniency from charges that could have subjected him to a mandatory minimum of 37 years in prison for crimes that included orchestrating a shooting in which an innocent bystander was wounded.
The deal saw 6ix9ine labelled a “rat” by the likes of rappers Meek Mill and Snoop Dogg, among others.
It is not known whether the plea deal served as motivation for Tuesday’s attack against Hernandez.
On social media, several users have insisted the video of the attack is staged, specifically because the rapper is wearing a puffer coat during the incident, despite his lawyer’s claims he had been in the sauna.
— With files from former Global News reporter Katie Scott