A documentary made in secret about the life and career of rapper Tekashi69 has dropped on Hulu Monday, and the first look at the film "69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez" shows how a "cool Hispanic kid from the ghettos" became someone completely different and one of the more controversial figures in pop culture today.
Hulu surprised released its own documentary film Monday ahead of another Tekashi69 documentary series called "Supervillain" that's meant to debut in early 2021. This one though sits down with people who knew the kid Danny Hernandez before he became 6ix9ine.
"There were two separate people at the beginning, but that morphed into one," one of his friends says in the trailer.
Vikram Gandhi, best known for his film "Kumaré," directs "69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez," and this is not one of your typical glossy rock documentaries on the latest pop star of the day. Gandhi examines 6ix9ine's ties to Brooklyn gangs, his online persona that courted shock value and his eventual massive legal problems. Above all, Gandhi discovers how the public front of Tekashi69 took over the real-life person Danny Hernandez and features interviews with his neighborhood locals who knew him before he donned the hardcore persona and the face tattoos.
Gandhi had approached Tekashi69's manager about a documentary but never heard back, only for the rapper to be arrested on felony charges a few months later facing 47 years to life and to begin ratting to the FBI about his gang members. But Gandhi says that his film is ultimately about examining identity and how fame can change a person.
"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," Gandhi said in a statement. "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."
He continued: "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."
"69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez" is directed by Gandhi and produced by his company Prophets along with Jeremy Falson and Jude Harris. It's executive produced by Van Toffler, Floris Bauer and David Gale of Gunpowder & Sky.
The documentary is streaming on Hulu now. Check out the first trailer for the film here and above.