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Tekashi 69 in SUPERVILLAN. Photo credit: Courtesy of SHOWTIME.

TV Reviews

‘Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine’ review: Looking at manufactured fame & a “horrible human”

The price of manufactured fame.

Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine is an upcoming documentary series coming to Showtime about the controversial rapper. The docu series features a number of tapes recorded by Tekashi while under house arrest. The three episode series examines his rise to fame and celebrity while looking at the impact of social media in today’s world.

On the surface it seems difficult to make a three part documentary about a rapper who has been in the public eye for less than five years. This becomes more apparent when the early moments of Supervillain show various photos of Tekashi flipping off the camera and wearing clothes covered in curse words. The lack of depth immediately becomes apparent.

While that may be true of Tekashi (director Karam Gill called him a “ truly horrible human”), that is not the case with Supervillan. The series looks at manufactured fame. The power of social media is often discussed and can never be underestimated. While there are also examples of what Tekashi did to try to become a celebrity, there is also an exploration of how sites like YouTube helped increase the young rapper’s popularity.

This leads to the question of manufactured fame. There is little talk of Tekashi’s talent. More time is spent explaining how we found his fanbase. It is an interesting method of examining just how much talent it takes to succeed in today’s fame obsessed world. While it is not necessarily groundbreaking, it makes for an interesting watch.

Supervillain always remains as interesting as its subject. Tekashi will put off lots of viewers immediately. Though much of it can be attributed to the trolling persona he has cultivated, it still is a difficult watch. This becomes increasingly difficult as the series gets more into Tekashi’s life. Many will find him more infuriating than intriguing.

'Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine' review: Looking at manufactured fame & a "horrible human"

As expected, there are plenty of interviews in the series. Usually, these are the parts of documentaries that add background flavor to the subject. That is also the case here, but it is also in these moments that Supervillain sometimes loses its way. Many times, the documentary will go too deep into exploring ancillary subjects. These interviews tend to go beyond just adding context.

Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine is a look at the sudden rise and just as immediate fall of the controversial rapper. Tekashi himself is the basic story of a celebrity starting to believe their own press. His calculated and abrasive personality makes this a difficult watch at times. When the series gets into how easily fame is manufactured today is when it is at its most fascinating. 

Supervillain: The Making of Tekashi 6ix9ine premieres on Showtime February 21

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