A new documentary about the controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine has been released by Hulu — you can watch a trailer for the film below.
69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez, which is described as “part investigative documentary, part real-life gangster movie”, was directed by Vikram Gandhi.
- Read more: The troubling rise of Tekashi 6ix9ine
A synopsis for the film promises to “unpack the life of polarising rap sensation and internet troll Tekashi69. One of the most controversial figures in contemporary pop culture, 6ix9ine repeatedly broke the internet with his sensationalist music videos and social media beefs before infamously testifying against Brooklyn gang the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods in a landmark trial.
“Director Vikram Gandhi gets up close and personal with the neighbourhood locals who knew 6ix9ine when he was still just Danny Hernandez — before the hardcore persona and the face tattoos — to chronicle his meteoric rise and fall from fame and probe the harsh extremes of addiction to fame in the digital era.”
In a statement about the film, director Gandhi said: “All of my films explore identity, specifically the inner life of charismatic figures. I’m fascinated by the difference between the perceived person on the surface and the real person underneath. Social media has made this distinction even more profound and no story better conveys this new crisis of the digital self than the short-lived career of Tekashi69. With nearly 15 million Instagram followers, Tekashi69’s digital footprint was a global force.
“What made him so fascinating were the contradictions built into his very existence: A Mexican kid with facial tattoos and rainbow hair shouting the n-word, flaunting gang affiliation, starting beef, and posting his own violent acts online. When I realised 6ix9ine lived near me in Brooklyn — and that I’d frequented the bodega he used to work at — I hit up his manager to talk about making this documentary. I never heard back. A few months later Tekashi 6ix9ine was arrested on federal charges facing forty-seven years to life. Soon after, he started cooperating with the FBI to convict members of the very gang that had once supported him.”
He continued: “After years of traveling the world as an investigative journalist, I was compelled to explore this true-crime story in my hometown. Retracing the steps of Danny revealed a rare and uniquely-New York saga: On the very same blocks in Brooklyn — where a condo sells for millions of dollars — the shootings, robberies, and kidnapping linked to Tekashi69 were occurring.
“I strongly believe that the core of documentary filming is access, sitting down with people and really listening to them. As I moved further into the story, I met a motley crew of personalities who were integral to Tekashi69’s development as an artist and celebrity. Danny Hernandez wanted to be famous so badly that he was devoured by his digital avatar, Tekashi69.”
6ix9ine’s manager Murda Murphy has, however, denounced the film, calling it “unauthorised” and “trash” (via HipHopDX).
“THE HULU & SHOWTIME @6IX9INE PROJECTS!! ARE BOTH UNAUTHORIZED!!” he wrote on Instagram. “NOTHING TO DO WITH US!! THE PEOPLE IN THESE TALKING ARE [CAP]! ARE NOT INVOLVED WITH US IN ANYWAY!! DON’T SUPPORT THIS TRASH!! WHEN @6IX9INE DOES SOMETHING YOU’LL BE THE FIRST TO KNOW!”
Another 6ix9ine documentary, the Showtime-produced Supervillain: The Making Of Tekashi 6ix9ine, is expected to be released in 2021.