A tattoo artist in Brooklyn is suing Tekashi 6ix9ine for claimed defamation after the rapper named himself after him.
According to a Manhattan Supreme Court case filed Friday, Japanese ink master Takashi Matsuba was astonished to see that he was included in two films about the tattooed rhymer Tekashi — which showed that Tekashi, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, received his stage moniker from Matsuba.
According to the court papers, a short clip from Hulu’s November 2020 documentary “69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez” shows Matsuba working on a tattoo, with the filmmaker remarking, “A Japanese tattoo artist named Takashi would inspire Danny’s new character, Tekashi 69.”
The suit claims that in a March 2021 documentary titled “Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine,” Tekashi recounts the origins of his nickname and claims that Matsuba “did heroin to create.”
In his lawsuit, Matsuba claims that he has “never used heroin in his life.”
According to the lawsuit, both public mentions of Matsuba have harmed his reputation by falsely implying that he is associated with the 25-year-old rapper — who has served time in prison in a gang-related case and was convicted of posting child pornography — and falsely claiming that he is a heroin user.
The heroin accusation is particularly damaging to Matsuba since tattooing necessitates the use of needles, and heroin is associated with hypodermic needles in the public’s view, according to the complaint.
The claim states, “Such an affiliation would properly convey to plaintiff’s clients that they would be in physical risk.”
Matsuba claims to have only seen Tekashi once, but the fact that the rapper bears his name causes the public to believe they are related.
“Acquaintances and patrons of plaintiff have already asked him whether he is related with defendant Hernandez because of the obscenity of the images connected to plaintiff, and the many tattoos on defendant Hernandez’s body, as seen in the film,” the court papers state. “No, he’s not.”
The use of Matsuba’s first name, he claims, is a “infringement of plaintiff’s privacy” that “exploits and destroys his reputation.”
“It is apparent that there will be misunderstanding (even if only one letter is changed); indeed, it has already happened.”
Matsuba claims Tekashi has been asked to stop using his name. He also claims that he asked the makers of the Hulu documentary to remove his image and name, but that they “refused,” according to the lawsuit.
Matsuba is suing Tekashi and Showtime for an undisclosed amount of money.
Hulu is not a defendant in the case.
Showtime’s spokesperson declined to comment. Hulu and Tekashi’s criminal defence lawyer did not respond to demands for comment.
- tekashi-6ix9ine-sued-by-tattoo-artist-04: Getty Images