Coming to Showtime beginning this Sunday, February 21:
SUPERVILLAIN: THE MAKING OF TEKASHI 6IX9INE
Showtime broadcast (February 2021)
A docuseries exploring the rise and fall of the notorious SoundCloud rapper.
Over the course of three episodes, filmmaker Karam Gill delves into the transformation of Daniel Hernandez into the attention-seeking Tekashi 6ix9ine, a wildly successful rapper who cultivated an audience – and an over-the-top persona – via social media only to find himself convicted of felony charges related to his gang association. As noted by the series’ title, Gill frames Hernandez’s story through the lens of a comic book origin, but with the rainbow-hued performer in the position of the Joker more than of Batman – a larger-than-life personality that revels in the dark side, illustrated via segments showing the construction of an action figure version of 6ix9ine. These sequences also attempt to structure the proceedings through the various elements of Hernandez’s supervillain schtick – trauma, appearance, mission, weaponry, etc – which doesn’t always work, but keeps the proceedings colorful. Ultimately, Gill convincingly shows that Hernandez’s story is one of garnering fame, using the tools of social media to tap into an audience hungry for the latest sensation, and demonstrating a willingness to escalate his efforts to hold on to them at any cost. While 6ix9ine has a demonstrably large following, it’s a fairly specific one, leading one to wonder if a more general viewership either knows or cares enough about him or his aggressively obnoxious antics to tune in for close to three hours.