Famous or Infamous?
Does hate really get more likes?
As I scroll through Facebook, I see another ad for Hulu’s new documentary, ‘69: The Saga of Danny Hernandez.’ Released in November, the film chronicles the rise to fame of 24 year old rapper Daniel Hernandez, more commonly known as Tekashi69. Although his debut single, “Gummo” was released in 2017, Hernandez has gotten more attention for his online antics and legal troubles than his music. This begs the question, do we tune in to watch people we hate more than we admire?
24 year old Hernandez burst onto the rap scene via Soundcloud in 2014. Slovakia based label, FCK THEM, released his first single, “scumlife” and shortly after music videos featuring anime. His unmistakable appearance with rainbow hair and numerous “69” tattoos, including several on his face, and his online trolling of other Soundcloud rappers gave Tekashi just enough of an edge for people to take notice. His “screw you” attitude is what people loved to hate.
However, his music quickly took a backseat to his mounting rap sheet.
In 2015, he plead guilty to 1 felony count of use of a child in a sexual performance. Videos were uploaded to Instagram of the then 18 year old Hernandez engaging in questionable behavior with an underage girl. In an attempt to further his bad body image, his words not mine, Tekashi then also reuploaded the videos to his own personal account. Despite the severity of the charges, he was sentenced to1 year probation and 300 hours of community service.
Tekashis official debut single “Gummo” was released in October of 2017 and reached #12 on the Billboard Hot 100. Not even 3 months later, he’s involved in an altercation with a 16 year old fan in Houston. The fan reportedly was recording video and when he refused to delete, Hernadez grabbed him by the neck and threatened him.
An underage relationship, 6 misdemeanor charges, 3 shootings and a kidnapping rounds out the majority of 2018 for Hernandez. On November 18, 2018, he was arrested on federal charges and racketeering and firearms related to his affiliation with the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. His debut album is also released while he’s in prison but only after it was already leaked online.
In February 2019, Hernandez plead guilty to 9 counts of federal racketeering facing 47 years to possible life in prison. However, in exchange for his testimony against 2 fellow gang members, he was sentenced to only 2 years in prison. Given credit for time served and due to Covid concerns, he was given early release to be served as house arrest in April of this year.
Now if you’re like me, you might be wondering why Hulu would give anyone making a documentary about Danny Hernandez the time of day? On the surface he seems like a monster, but could there be more to him than meets the eye? Or is he the perfect target for people to unleash some of their hate?
Why do we love to hate villain's so much? Often in movies and tv shows, they get more attention than the good guys. And after reading through all the comments about Hernandez, it’s clear he’s become the villian. People claim he’s a rat and a snitch, but no one that I saw mentioned anything about his music.
Personally, I love a good villian in a movie. They make the story interesting, they add spice. Often, they are shown to have sex appeal and danger. But usually in a movie, the villian makes the redemption arc and all is forgiven. They get the girl in the end because they have seen the error in their ways and turned their life around.
But this is real life and 2020, where everything is awful. We don’t want the comeback story, we want to wallow in our misery. We want the villian to stay awful because that’s the mood that’s been set for this year.
Has Hulu struck a goldmine with this documentary? Only time and the ratings will tell. Personally, I can’t stand to know anymore than I already do about this clown, but you decide for yourself.