- Members of the Hype House have been criticised for collaborating with rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine.
- Tekashi 6ix9ine, 24, whose real name is Daniel Hernandez, pleaded guilty to a 2015 sex crime charge and made a plea deal on firearms and racketeering charges in 2019.
- Members Thomas Petrou, Olivia Ponton, and Tayler Holder all posted TikTok videos with the rapper.
- At least two of the videos have been deleted or made private in the wake of the controversy.
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Hype House fans are criticising some of its young TikTok stars for collaborating with the controversial rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine.
Daniel Hernandez, the 24-year-old rapper better known by his stage name, appeared in videos with several members of the TikTok creator collective. Many comments on those videos called out the influencers for befriending Hernandez, who is currently halfway through a four-year probation sentence stemming from a 2015 child sexual performance conviction.
The collaborations come as Hernandez, called the “villain” of rap by The New York Times, tries to rehabilitate his image and promote his new album after serving time in federal prison and on house arrest after making a plea deal on firearms and racketeering charges in 2019.
Reflecting on his career in a recent interview with The Times, Hernandez said that he wants to continue making music. “I fell in love with the life. I fell in love with the fact that I inspire people. When kids see me, they go crazy,” he said. The rapper’s new album, “TattleTales,” was released on Friday.
Hernandez surprised members of the Hype House with help from the collective’s founder, Thomas Petrou, 22, according to a vlog Petrou posted on Tuesday.
Top comments on the video included one calling Hernandez an “abusive predator” and another asking if Petrou and the rest of the Hype House were just ignoring “all the horrible things” Hernandez had done.
Hype House members Olivia Ponton, 18, and Tayler Holder, 23, later posted TikTok videos of each dancing with Hernandez. Insider has reached out to representatives for Petrou, Ponton, and Holder for comment.
@itstaylerholderStay mad * @6ix9ine
In Ponton’s video, Hernandez dances with the 18-year-old woman and points at her behind. TikToker Sabrina Quesada commented, facetiously writing, “YES!! set that example for your young fans!! so smart.”
Ponton made her video private on Wednesday afternoon.
Hype House member Ondreaz Lopez, 23, was also featured in a video on Hernandez’s page. On Tuesday, commenting on a post from the TikTok drama Instagram page, @TikTokRoom, Lopez said the rapper’s publicity team had wanted them to film the video. “We ain’t even finish the full dance it was so awkward,” Lopez said.
As of Wednesday, Hernandez had deleted the video.
The Hype House has underage members, including 17-year-old Avani Gregg. While not presently associated with the Hype House, Charli D’Amelio, 16, is close friends with the group and was featured in a video on Petrou’s channel on August 27.
Hernandez pleaded guilty to the 2015 sex crime charge, admitting to using a 13-year-old girl in a sexual performance. The Daily Beast reported last year that Hernandez’s ex-girlfriend said he sexually assaulted and abused her, claims that Hernandez admitted to in a 2019 court agreement.
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- Tekashi 6ix9ine was reportedly moved to another location for house arrest after a neighbour leaked his address
- Tekashi 6ix9ine says he has no regrets about snitching on his former gang: ‘I’m supposed to be loyal?’
- Tekashi 6ix9ine can spend up to 2 hours a week making backyard music videos while in home confinement, a judge ruled
- Tekashi 6ix9ine has been released from prison to serve the rest of his sentence at home because of the coronavirus