EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Fresh off of her appearance on Hulu's "69: The Saga of Daniel Hernandez" documentary, Tekashi 6ix9ine's ex Sara Molina talks about being a single parent to their daughter, what it was like as the girlfriend of one of the most controversial rappers in the industry.
There are many sub-stories intertwined in the ongoing tale of Daniel "Tekashi 6ix9ine" Hernandez. The rapper dons many hats: the rap world's greatest troll, the disgraced artist who turned into a snitch, or the unstoppable force that, regardless of his federal informant title, can emerge from prison only to collaborate with Nicki Minaj and land himself in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts. A global audience remains captivated by 6ix9ine's antics, but those closest to him recall Daniel Hernandez as a person who was mild-mannered, goofy, and enjoyable to be around. How he became the rainbow-haired "rat" with gang ties was a fast-moving evolution, and Sara Molina was there, right by his side, at every turn.
Photo Provided By Publicist / Hulu
Earlier this week, Hulu premiered their documentary 69: The Saga of Daniel Hernandez where filmmaker Vikram Gandhi combed the streets of Brooklyn, New York, speaking with 6ix9ine's former friends and associates. These were the friends that knew the rapper as the kid who worked at the local bodega—Danny, who involved himself with a hip hop collective comprised of underground rappers and graffiti street artists. While he was carving out his shock-value space within the crew as he printed his own shirts with words like "n*gga" and "p*ssy" in large letters, his home life took a turn. Hernandez's father was never in his life and his stepfather, who he was close to, was gunned down in his neighborhood. The collective became his substitute family, but everyone could see that fame was Hernandez's drug and he would do anything for his fix.
Sara Molina was 16-years-old when she met Hernandez in back 2012. The two had a mutual friend and after meeting, they were joined at the hip. The following year, she moved in with him as Hernandez was launching his rap career as a viral, controversial, and incendiary artist. By the top of 2015, Sara was pregnant with their daughter, Saraiyah. Molina witnessed first hand as the man she loved turned into one of the most hated rappers on the planet, and while she has been outspoken about sharing her experiences, she had reservations about her inclusion in the Hulu documentary.
"I didn’t know how they were going to portray [6ix9ine]. At the end of the day, I felt like it was something that I needed to do. I felt like my story needed to be heard just as much as his because we were in each other’s life for so many years that it would be hard not to mention me."
"I wasn’t really sure the angle of it. I didn’t know how I was going to be portrayed," she told us exclusively. "I didn’t know how they were going to portray him. At the end of the day, I felt like it was something that I needed to do. I felt like my story needed to be heard just as much as his because we were in each other’s life for so many years that it would be hard not to mention me."
Photo Provided By Publicist / Hulu
In the early days of 6ix9ine's career when he was a viral underground artist, people marveled at how he was able to do so much with so little time. Many don't know that Sara was helping him with whatever he needed behind the scenes. She may not have been a visible force, but she was dedicated to doing whatever was needed to help Hernandez.
"I’m not gonna lie, I stopped worrying about myself because [I was] so far up after him and taking care of him," she said. "His needs, what he wants to get done, I had to run and set up appointments, all these different things that you would think I’d put into myself, I actually put into him and helping him and supporting him so it’s just like, I did lose myself."
Even as close as she was to 6ix9ine, there was much about her boyfriend that she didn't know. In February 2015, the rapper filmed a music video with various other men that involved a nude girl performing sex acts. The video was later released online, and soon, it was revealed that the girl was only 13-years-old. 6ix9ine claimed he didn't know the girl was underage and was subsequently sentenced to four years probation.
"This was such a weird place in my life, for both of us, trying to understand what was going on," Sara recalled while speaking about that case. "I don’t think he understood what he’d gotten himself into and for me, I just didn’t completely understand it at all." Molina added that Hernandez wasn't sharing "the full truth of it." Although the music video incident occurred in 2015, Sara claimed she wasn't aware of the details until 2018.
Photo Provided By Publicist / Hulu
"October 26  was when they sentenced him for the four years probation," she said. "And they explicitly revealed the details that took place in that video in front of our family in the courtroom. [It was then] that I finally got the truth of what really happened that night in that video. I didn’t know for years."
In 2017, 6ix9ine filmed the music video that would change his life: "Gummo." The visual is still a hit until this day as it shows a scene on the streets of New York with a red bandana-wearing crew creating chaos. In the center of it all is 6ix9ine, relishing in the attention. Sara wasn't necessarily concerned with this new group of friends that 6ix9ine was attracting because she said his social circle was a revolving door. These friends, however, were unlike any company Hernandez had ever kept before.
"Truth be told he changed friends and his acquaintances just as much as he changed his freaking underwear. Many people who were around didn’t stay around," said Sara who at the time asked 6ix9ine if he had become a member of the Bloods gang. He told her "no" and that it was all for his "image," adding that his new friends were his entourage who were there to keep him safe. "You have people you work with and the people who work for you, so it was put to me like they were his security and they kept him right," Sara said.
During that time, Sara was at home tending to their young daughter as 6ix9ine continued to build a buzz. "I don’t think fatherhood was in his plans at that time," she said. "He wanted to be a rapper. He didn’t really want an obligation or something to hold him back." It's something that she reflects on now because she claims that he's not involved in their daughter Saraiyah's life at all. He spent two days with her immediately upon release from prison earlier this year, but Sara says he hasn't seen her since.
"It’s so frustrating at times. There’s times when I completely don’t care and I just feel like it’s his loss," said Sara. "My daughter’s gonna get to the age, if this doesn’t get any better, if it continues the way it is, that she’s gonna ask questions. At this point, it’s not her finding out who she is. People are going to tell her who she is. They’re gonna tell her, ‘You’re 6ix9ine’s daughter.'... At what point in life am I gonna be at when I’m mentally ready to have this talk with my daughter and be open and honest with her about everything?" Sara includes her own personal failure in those truths she'll one day have to share with Saraiyah.
"My daughter’s gonna get to the age, if this doesn’t get any better, if it continues the way it is, that she’s gonna ask questions. At this point, it’s not her finding out who she is. People are going to tell her who she is. They’re gonna tell her, ‘You’re 6ix9ine’s daughter.'"
There is an issue in their past relationship that Sara and 6ix9ine both can agree to, and that's the fact that there had been domestic violence. In the Hulu documentary, Sara said physical abuse was something that repeatedly occurred. Yet, 6ix9ine has recently admitted that while he did "beat the sh*t" out Sara" during an argument, it was only because he discovered that she'd cheated with his best friend and manager Kifano "Shotti" Jordan. Molina contests this account of events and claimed that what he said during that interview diminished the severity of reality.
"We were both fighting and throwing hands. Whatever I did was in defense of myself," said Sara. "At the end of the day, I’ve never thrown my hands on him first. A man is punching you in the face...at what point do you defend yourself?" she asked rhetorically. "Or do you just stay there and be hit so no one can say you guys were both fighting each other, whether you threw the first punch or he’s more stronger than you, whatever the case." Sara revealed that it was an incident in November 2018 that would lead to the end of their relationship, when, she says, 6ix9ine punched her in her mouth.
"What he did to me within his fame is nothing compared to what he did to me before he was famous. It was a lot that I really did deal with," she added. Sara Molina will forever be tied to Daniel Hernandez and Tekashi 6ix9ine, although many who knew him said in the Hulu documentary that it's difficult to distinguish the two as the days move forward.
"I’m a regular person, a regular girl, I’m a mom, I’m a sister, I’m a daughter, I’m a granddaughter," Sara stated. "I have a family to take care of, I have my daughter. I get stressed. My problems probably aren’t the same as many but I still have them nonetheless." She paused and added, "It’s not painted pretty but it’s still art, I guess in a way. Even though I‘ve been through all this stuff, there’s still some type of beauty in it because of the outcome."