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A Brooklyn tattoo artist is suing Tekashi 6ix9ine for alleged defamation — because the ex-con rapper named himself after the guy.
Japanese ink master Takashi Matsuba says he was surprised to discover he was mentioned in two documentaries about the tattoo-faced rhymer — which revealed that Tekashi, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, got his stage name from Matsuba, according to a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed Friday.
In Hulu’s November 2020 documentary “69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez,” a short clip shows Matsuba working on a tattoo, with the director saying, “A Japanese tattoo artist named Takashi would inspire Danny’s new persona, Tekashi 69,” the court papers say.
Then a March 2021 documentary released on Showtime titled “Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine” features Tekashi recounting the origins of his nickname and claiming that Matsuba “did heroin to create,” the suit says.
Matsuba says in his suit that he “never used heroin in his life.”
Both public mentions of Matsuba have hurt his reputation by falsely implying that he is associated with the 25-year-old rapper — who has served prison time in a gang-related case and was convicted of posting child porn — and by falsely claiming he’s a heroin user, the suit says.
The heroin claim is especially harmful to Matsuba “because tattooing requires the use of needles and heroin is connected in the public’s mind with hypodermic needles,” the filing says.
“Such an association would reasonably suggest to plaintiff’s clients that they would be in personal danger,” the suit continues.
Matsuba says he’s only met Tekashi briefly once, but the fact that the rapper is named after him leads the public to believe they are connected.
“Because of the vulgarity of the imagery connected to plaintiff, and of the many tattoos on defendant Hernandez’s body, as shown in the film, acquaintances and patrons of plaintiff have already asked him whether he is connected with defendant Hernandez,” the court papers allege. “He is not.”
Matsuba says the use of his first name is “an invasion of plaintiff’s privacy and exploits and damages his reputation.
“The likelihood of confusion (even with one letter being changed) is obvious; indeed it has already occurred.”
Matsuba says he’s asked Tekashi to cease and desist using his name. Further, he says he has asked the makers of the Hulu documentary to remove his image and name, “but they have refused,” the suit alleges.
Matsuba is suing Tekashi and Showtime for unspecified damages. Hulu is not named as a defendant.
A rep with Showtime declined to comment. Hulu and a criminal defense lawyer for Tekashi did not return requests for comment.
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