One day in the summer of 2017, Daniel Hernandez, better known as the rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, appeared outside a Brooklyn row house to shoot the video that would make him a star, and eventually ruin his life. Against the menacing strains of his viral hit “Gummo,” he and a crowd of men in red bandannas danced, waved guns and made cryptic symbols with their hands. Hernandez, clad in a green tracksuit, thrashed his rainbow hair and bared his multicolored teeth. At one point, he removed his own bandanna to show off a recent tattoo that would become his most identifying feature: the numerals “6” and “9” that covered half his forehead.
From living in a tenement and working minimum wage jobs, 6×9 rose above to fame and prosperity. Now he faces 32 years to life in prison. Read his story here.