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FutureStarrThe Making of 6ix9ine
Tekashi 6ix9ine's meteoric rise to fame was swift. Describing himself as "modern day Joker", Hernandez quickly established himself as an engaging cultural provocateur whose outlandish persona fits seamlessly with social media culture.
Director Karam Gill's three-part documentary series Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine offers an honest account of rapper's life and relationship to social media. Additionally, it examines manufactured fame and how that can impact young people.
In 2017, TEKASHI HERNANDEZ, better known by his stage name 6ix9ine, was experiencing great success as an extravagant rapper with an outlandish persona. He amassed millions of Instagram followers and made waves with his aggressive singles addressing gun violence, drugs and his relationship with Kanye West.
Tekashi Sixx was an overnight hit upon release of his debut album "Gummo" and his follow-up "KOODA," featuring collaborations with Yung Beef, Mo Dollaz and Trippie Redd.
His large following on social media allowed him to break into mainstream music industry and become a successful musician. Eventually, he signed a record deal with Universal and established himself in music as one of its own stars.
As his career advanced, Hernandez created an intensely personal brand tailored specifically for today's "attention economy." His provocative persona served as an effective means of upsetting people while antagonizing them in ways they found both entertaining and painful - creating a celebrity who had no intention of being nice to anyone.
At least, that didn't stop him from showing off his wicked sense of humor and crafting music that quickly caught people's ears online; often with catchy rhythms that were easy to understand.
Sooner or later, Hernandez's extreme persona began to backfire on him. His public persona made him vulnerable to vicious attacks from others; even his gang found it more difficult than before to defend him.
In April, he was arrested by federal authorities on charges related to racketeering and firearms possession. Following negotiations with prosecutors, he reached a plea bargain agreement and is cooperating with them against members of his former gang, the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods.
Soon after Tekashi was arrested, photographs surfaced online showing him involved in several violent acts - this caused quite an uproar and ultimately led to him being denied bail.
Even while going through legal troubles, TEKASHI HERNANDEZ still maintains an impressive presence in the music industry and his popularity is steadily growing due to his distinctive and aggressive rapping style.
Daniel Hernandez, more popularly known by his moniker 6ix9ine on social media, has become an iconic presence. Hailing from Brooklyn with an iconic rainbow-themed look and tattoos to match, as well as an aggressive style of rapping. 6ix9ine has amassed a considerable following that enables him to generate significant income via his posts on social media.
Although successful in his field of art and security firms, 6ix9ine is an extremely dangerous individual who has threatened lives, sued fellow artists and security firms, been arrested on federal racketeering charges, and sentenced to two years of incarceration after pleading guilty to nine separate charges including armed robbery and conspiracies to commit murder.
His unruly behavior has made headlines for all the wrong reasons, and director Karam Gill isn't afraid to confront his subject directly. Gill explored 6ix9ine's life for Supervillain: The Making of 6ix9ine which will air on Showtime starting February 21.
Gill revealed his surprise upon discovering how hyper-calculated 6ix9ine's social media strategies are. In an interview with Page Six, Gill expressed amazement at just how intelligently his plan worked out on social media. He realized just what an adept mastermind he is.
This docuseries documents Meek Mill's early days as an emerging rapper. It chronicles his transition from underground rap stardom to mainstream success and highlights their notorious Twitter feud.
At one point, Tekashi becomes a target for gang members looking to capitalize on his celebrity status and take advantage of lucrative contracts offered to him. When his situation deteriorated further, his label boss, Grainge, took serious measures in protecting Tekashi.
Even so, 6ix9ine continues to attract fans who are willing to pay money to see him perform live. His efforts have proven fruitful; now one of the most well-known and profitable rappers in hip-hop.
As Gill noted in an interview with Page Six, the rapper does not always live up to his reputation and has become a toxic presence in our culture. Gill notes in the documentary that Lil Wayne is truly horrible human being whose actions should be condemned publicly.
Tekashi 6ix9ine has become one of the most controversial rappers in hip-hop history since his meteoric rise to stardom has amassed millions of fans globally. His criminal past, controversial public persona and affiliations make him a formidable presence within hip-hop.
At 16, he began his music career. Soon thereafter, his passion for rapping became evident and in 2014, he went pro as a full-time rapper. By 2018, his debut album Dummy Boy had been certified platinum.
Since then, he has released several songs and music videos, appeared in films, and joined the Hip-Hop Legends Tour as part of their roster of legends.
At 13 years old, his stepfather was tragically murdered outside their home, leading to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression in him. This event forced him into living an altered reality that caused severe emotional turmoil for a period of time after it occurred.
From his early teen years onward, 6ix9ine experienced many difficulties with drugs and was involved heavily with smoking and drinking, leading him to experience difficulty focusing in school and eventually being expelled.
His mom found herself grappling with this same challenge; due to living in poverty, she didn't have enough money for things like new clothing purchases.
6ix9ine was also suffering from mental illness and would often act up at school.
After turning 16, he began becoming involved with gangs and joined one known as Bloods.
He was involved in numerous gang activities such as kidnapping, robbery and arson. Additionally, he was accused of gambling and extortion.
During this period, he was in a relationship with Rachel Watley (who now sports two tattoos of him on her body).
They now share a daughter together, Saraiyah Hernandez.
6ix9ine was arrested in New York City in September 2018 on charges related to gang activity and racketeering activity.
He faced 47 years in prison. Instead, he accepted a plea bargain that reduced his sentence.
He faced many difficulties once out of prison and began being pursued by some of those with whom he had dealt while imprisoned. They would stalk him until he eventually ran from them all together.
As the story of Tekashi 6ix9ine unfolds, his infamous rapper is at the center of a criminal probe. Recently arraigned for racketeering charges as well as weapons possession and child abuse allegations among others, Tekashi was given bail pending trial and subsequent legal proceedings.
His story is unique: this Brooklyn-based rapper was raised by his mother and older brother in poverty without contact from their father until early teenhood, leaving him suffering with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression due to their childhood environment.
After landing a job at a deli, Hikari-Ultra record label boss Peter "Righteous P" Rodgers heard him rapping and gave him his big break to launch his career. Since then, several songs of his have become staples on hip-hop playlists including his signature track, "Gummo."
As soon as he began making music, he took time and effort to explore different sounds, while remaining open to receiving advice from both his friends and record label.
As his popularity increased, he gained followers on social media - which enabled him to build up a cult following and establish himself.
Social media was an instrumental factor in Tekashi 6ix9ine's rise to fame, showing the world his talent as a rapper while marketing himself and building his brand successfully. Thus Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine provides such an insightful look into his life and journey towards fame and fortune.
Karam Gill's documentary employs self-consciously rough found footage and smooth, stylized interludes to paint an intimate portrait of 6ix9ine's rising career. The narrative weaves together years of Instagram videos, interviews with people who know him well, as well as audio from 6ix9ine's suburban safehouse.
TattleTales paints a fascinating portrait of someone whose social media persona has been carefully constructed in order to shock. However, it remains an unsatisfying listen - 6ix9ine has yet to master the art of writing memorable songs for his albums (TattleTales for instance is composed of fragmented tracks without much coherence or substance).