Scamming is a hustle that can probably be traced back to the beginning of time. Today, with ever-evolving technology, fraud has become a very popular, illegal way to make money. In fact, in February, the Federal Trade Commission reported that in 2020, it received 2.2 million fraud reports from consumers for a total of more than $3.3 billion.
It isn’t all criminal masterminds committing all of the fraud. All it takes is an Internet connection and easily obtainable equipment to start scamming. Many are learning how to scam– especially with credit cards– through a phenomenon known as scam rap: a genre of hip-hop where artists brag about scams they pull off and put listeners up on the scamming game with instructions.
The leader of the pack in scam rap is Teejayx6, a teenage emcee hailing from the West Side of Detroit, a city that has become synonymous with scam rap. Teejayx6 was recently featured in an episode of HBO’s series Generation Hustle, a collection of documentaries devoted to scammers of all types. In Teejayx6’s episode, he takes viewers through his journey from learning the art of scamming at the age of 12 to scam rapping his way into a multi-million dollar deal with Atlantic Records.
For an example of quintessential Teejayx6 scam raps, one needs to look no further than his 2019 song, “Swipe Story.” In it, he describes hitting a lick for Playstation Vs from Walmart. He starts with telling listeners how to emboss fake credit cards and ends with how explained to the cashier why he needed thousands of dollars worth of gaming consoles all at once. On his song “Dark Web,” he spits, “the government tried to ban me from the dark web / I downloaded TOR browser and got back in, / went and got a VPN, just bought another BIN.” He is explaining how he used a TOR browser to access the Dark Web (a collection of websites hidden from the internet where illicit transactions are made) and getting access to a Virtual Private Network that scammers use to change IP addresses as to evade law enforcement.
Though many view him as the preeminent scam rapper, Teejayx6 is not the only one and he did not start the wave. In 2017, Bossman Rich’s “Juggin Ain’t Dead” hit the airwaves and regaled listeners with bars like, “bitch I need a couple of bands, it’s time to load up / hit Bitcoin, them ops about to load up,” while flossing bands of money. More recently, fellow Detroit acts Kasher Quon (a self-proclaimed Detroit legend who introduced Teejayx6 to rapping) and the ShittyBoyz have joined Teejayx6 as scam rap elite. There is also Also adding to the movement is Oakland emcee Guapdad 4000 who has made a name for himself by self-depicting as a fraudster.
However, though the scam rap boom may be entertaining, not everybody has had a happy ending like Teejayx6 with his $10 million record deal. The news has featured a few headlines of rappers who bragged about scams, some other than credit cards, and got bagged by the law. Last October, LA rapper Nuke Bizzle, who bragged about getting rich off of fraudulent unemployment, was arrested after applying for $1.2 million in unemployment benefits and using stolen identities to obtain those benefits.
Though many feel like Teejayx6 has exposed too much of his crimes on wax, in interviews and in the HBO doc, he seems pretty confident that he will not be punished for any alleged crimes. The only time he was arrested was a stunt pulled by his team where he was taken off stage by actors dressed as agents (shown in the doc). Nevertheless, with his new deal and other acts gaining popularity, it looks like scam rap will only keep growing.