In a sign of the craziness that spins the world of Tekashi 6ix9ine, an Arizona man who claims to be drug lord El Chapo’s nephew is telling people that he is the jailed rapper’s new manager and agent.
But, of course, there is an added twist.
The man is now said to have fallen out of favor with Tekashi because of a voicemail message in which he noted that he knew where Tekashi and his family lived, and threatened to have the recording artist’s mother deported.
“His brother lives there. His mother lives there. She don’t even have no fucking papers,” music promoter Jose Avila said in the 49-second message he left on Nov. 15 for a member of Tekashi’s security team. The message has been obtained by The Daily Beast.
Avila was promoting a Tekashi appearance in Austin, Texas, later in the day that he left message. The rapper—whose real name is Daniel Hernandez—had made it known he was not going to be at the venue.
“You need to please tell Danny bro’ that he needs to fucking call me and that he needs to come to my show, okay?” Avila says at the start of the message. “I ain’t his fucking n----s, I ain’t his fucking brother. He ain’t going to play with me. He needs to come to his show or I'm going to cut his probation, okay?”
At the time, Tekashi was on probation for a sex crime involving a juvenile. Avila was threatening to use his purported connections to have Tekashi locked up.
“I know a lot of government people and I’m going to send his ass to jail if he doesn’t come to Austin, Texas, today,” Avila said. “He fucking makes me lose money already.”
Avila continued, “He needs to fucking come and be a fucking man. Or I’ll put his ass in jail.”
Tekashi seems not to have been immediately informed of the threats to put him behind bars and get his mother deported back to her native Mexico. But he was apparently aware of Avila’s purported blood link to Joaquin Archivaldo Guzman Loera, the drug lord on trial in Brooklyn.
“My uncle [is] in New York,” Avila had texted Tekashi's booking agent around the same time. “Guzman Loera... My uncle sons control all USA.”
“El Chapo,” the booking agent had texted back.
“Yess,” Avila had replied. “Haja.”
The boast was dubious. Law enforcement officials and El Chapo’s own defense lawyer, Jeffrey Lichtman, say they are unaware of a nephew named Jose Avila and almost certainly would have heard if there were one. But the booking agent, Tasea Ferguson, the chief executive of MTA Booking in Atlanta, had no reason not to take Avila at his word. She passed on his El Chapo claim to Tekashi with concern.
“I said, ‘Danny, these Mexican guys are going crazy,’” Ferguson recalls.
Ferguson is an experienced professional who had been able to book two European tours for Tekashi as a way of demonstrating to leery American venues that trouble did not necessarily go wherever the rainbow-haired one went. She had, along the way, handled countless complications and emergencies of Tekashi’s making. He was now poised to start making big money with an American tour, marketing deals and endorsements, and a new album.
But Ferguson indicated to Tekashi that her devotion has its limits. She suggested that if things escalated she would give Tekashi’s address to Avila, rather than have him come to where she lives with her two kids.
Tekashi spoke to Avila and afterwards was almost solicitous toward him on Instagram. He began by announcing that he was canceling all future dates, including the one just hours away.
“Austin, Texas, I think I was supposed to be there today,” Tekashi told millions of viewers in the Insta-world. “I’m not not there today.”
But he quickly added, “I spoke to the promoter, Jose Avila with Avila Music. We are going to be in business. I am coming back Austin, Texas.”
Tekashi indicated in the same posting that Avila had caused him to suspect Ferguson and his management team had been stealing from him. Never mind that financial records reviewed by The Daily Beast indicate that, if anything, Ferguson had been taking less than the 10 percent industry standard, along with paying out of her own pocket expenses that were her notably irresponsible client’s responsibility. Tekashi's manager, Kifano “Shotti” Jordan, also appears to have taken less than the usual 10 percent.
Regardless, along with calling his booking agent and manager “dirty,” Tekashi announced that he had summarily dismissed his entire team.
“I fired everybody [...] I don’t got no manager. I got no booking agent. I got no PR. I got no publicist. I got nobody on my team. It’s just me,” he said.
The sacking of Jordan and other members of the team may have had something to do with their avowed membership in the 9 Trey Gangsta Bloods, the same gang set to which Tekashi had declared allegiance across social media. That included a video posted in May featuring what he called the “Bloods gang car,” painted in the color and pattern of a red bandana.
“Blood war!” he calls out. “Really Bloody shit,”
He and a couple of other young men then climb in and drive away.
“We out of here, Blood.”
By mid-November, Tekashi had begun to realize that membership in a criminal organization, even as part of a marketing strategy, can be construed as a federal crime. He made that clear on the Breakfast Club radio show the day after the mass firing, when he claimed that he was afraid of only two things:
“God and the FBI.”
His fear of the FBI was justified two days later, when he was arrested along with four members of his team—also allegedly Bloods—on federal racketeering charges that could carry a mandatory minimum sentence of 32 years, with a maximum of life.
When Tekashi was brought before a federal magistrate the following evening, his attorney, Lance Lazzaro, did not fail to note that Tekashi had recently fired Jordan and the three other co-defendants. Tekashi was remanded nonetheless.
On Nov. 26, Tekashi and his co-defendants shuffled in shackles into another Manhattan courtroom, where the rapper was seated apart from the others. They all entered not guilty pleas before Judge Paul Engelmayer. All also remained in custody.
Avila was in the spectator seats, dressed more for Arizona warmth, seeming as impervious to the New York cold as to the irony of showing up as a supporter after threatening to throw Tekashi in jail. He was unsettlingly solicitous and attentive to Tekashi’s mother, whom everybody calls Nati. He later posted photos of himself sitting in a restaurant booth beside the woman he had not so subtly threatened to have deported.
“I’ve been doing prayers next to the boss Nati after a rich dinner,” he wrote in Spanish. “Giving encouragement to each other is not easy but we will get out of these bitter moments.”
Another photo shows Avila standing with a reassuring arm around the mother.
“La Mama Nati,” he wrote.
In the days that followed, Avila is said to have told people he was Tekashi's new manager and agent. And it briefly seemed like it might be true.
But, by one knowledgeable account, all this was before Tekashi learned of the exact contents of the phone message. Tekashi found out about the threats in recent days when one of his people visited him in jail. Avila’s suggestion he could have Nati’s lack of papers investigated is said to have particularly angered the rapper.
On Thursday, Avila claimed to The Daily Beast that he was still Tekashi's manager, despite the phone message. He insisted that Tekashi and his remaining people had invited him to New York at the time of the not guilty plea. When asked if he was also El Chapo’s nephew, he hung up.
A source close to the rapper dismissed Avila’s claim out of hand. “There’s nothing to manage. Danny’s in jail.”