Real talk: As much as it’s my chosen profession to keep up with what the kids are doing these days, I couldn’t readily identify a Tekashi 6ix9ine single if my life depended on it—and I’m fine with that. So, it came as a bit of a surprise to me that this aesthetically-challenged (and now, legally challenged) hip-hop artist would be recruited to help market anyone’s fashion line, let alone current fast-fashion favorite, Fashion Nova.
As of late, Tekashi has been making headlines for federal racketeering charges. But as TMZ reports, prior to being taken into custody, the rapper also inked a six-figure deal with Fashion Nova, promising to namecheck them in one of his songs and include their branding in a video. Specifically, he was purportedly expected to spit the lyric, “Splish splash, Fashion Nova make that ass phat” on his single, “MAMA,” one of the tracks on his latest album, Dummy Boy, which dropped on Tuesday.
We know. That’s some epic songwriting right there.
But when the track debuted, the lyric was...altered, instead saying, “Splish splash, Apple Bottoms make that ass phat.” *Cue the chin-scratching emoji face*
First of all, has anyone bought or promoted an Apple Bottom jean in close to a decade? Tekashi was just hitting his teens around then, so we’re wondering how he pulled this reference out of his ass (pun intended). Second, he reportedly collected his fee upfront (prior to being arrested), so why renege on recording the lyric as originally planned?
Several sources speculate the answer may lie with Nicki Minaj, who is featured on the track, along with Kanye West. If suspicions are correct, Minaj took issue with Tekashi shouting out a brand closely associated with her nemesis, Cardi B, a longtime Fashion Nova ambassador who released her immediately sold-out collab with the brand in mid-November. Exercising her power as a self-proclaimed Queen, she asked Tekashi to change the lyric, and he complied.
We’ve reached out to Fashion Nova for comment, and will update accordingly; but with money already having changed hands, and the proposed video shoot still unfinished, it was seemingly bad business on Tekashi’s part. That said, he’s already in jail, possibly until he stands trial next September. According to TMZ, Fashion Nova “hasn’t yet demanded money back from the deal,” reportedly opting to wait to see how it all works out. But given the charges Tekashi’s facing, as well as his mounting legal fees, who knows what he’ll be worth by then?