Cover Image: Complex Presents Dummy Boy

Complex Presents Dummy Boy

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Member Reviews

I received this book from NetGalley and the publisher, in return for an honest review. This review is based entirely on my own thoughts and feelings.

Overall rating : 4*
Writing skill : 5*
Interest: 2*
Details: 5*

I'm at a loss as to why I requested this one at the time, to say I was even remotely interested going into this was a lie, but in hindsight I'm glad I did. I was a fan of Tekeshi's music back in 2018, I was actually a bit obsessed. I am probably so far removed from his target audience but I liked it none the less. But as a person he was a bit of a t*#t. I saw a lot of the topics covered in this book first hand on social media, but I kind of lost the full story when I lost interest. A full downward spiral is a bit of an understatement, he lost the plot.
This book covers everything of his rise and fall in a brilliant, concise, chronologic way that made it super easy to follow. I still don't quiet know who the writer is in comparison to the people involved, maybe that will be covered in the published version. If you like a biography of a controversial character with a very colourful lifestyle this will tick all your boxes.
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Great, compelling work about a pretty unlikable guy. Comprehensive, in-depth look at the trial, and probably the best book anyone will ever get about Tekashi69.
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Rather sprawling account of one of the most controversial figures in music today. Worth persevering though as it is such a mind boggling story - and grim at times too.
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Complex Presents Dummy Boy: Tekashi 6ix9ine and The Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods delivers exactly what the title suggests. Author Shawn Setaro successfully dissects the Tekashi69, Nine Trey Gangster Gang saga from the very beginning, to the dramatic end.
This is not your typical biography. Instead, this book reads like a modern day crime story. Dummy Boy is a very specific read. It is written for those of us that are interested in knowing exactly how a young rapper was able to forge an alliance with a notorious street gang to bolster his image and internet clout, only to find himself in the center of a racketeering case.
The author examines exactly what caused Daniel Hernandez aka Tekashi69, to flip and become “cooperating witness number two” within 24 hours of the government takedown. In Setaro’s examination he fills in every blank and leaves no stone unturned.
Here’s what I learned from the book: The Nine Trey Gangster Bloods aka TreyWay, basically imploded long before the racketeering takedown. The internal strife  and betrayal within the gang caused a lack of trust and loyalty. According to Tekashi, members of his own gang kidnapped him, stole his money, and had an affair with his girlfriend. With all of this in mind, Tekashi felt the gang had turned on him long before he turned on them. Therefore, cooperating was his ultimate payback.
Rating this book was a little challenging at first. For some reason I expected to read more about Tekashi’s life outside of the gang. But then I had to go back to the title, Complex Presents Dummy Boy: Tekashi 6ix9ine and The Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods. After processing this I realized there’s no way I could have possibly expected anything more. For that reason I give this one 4⭐️s. It is very well written and extremely detailed.  However, there were times I struggled following all the people and their roles because there were so many names. 
Thank you Kingston Imperial for gifting me this eARC in exchange for an honest review.
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In Complex Presents Dummy Boy, Shawn Setaro details the ups and downs of rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine's career. Specifically, he follows Tekashi's involvement in the Nine Trey Gangsters gang and the ensuing criminal case against Tekashi and many of Nine Trey's members. 

The description of the book hooked me by promising a "critical examination of internet trolling in the Trump era, and an exploration of the long-running connection between rap, gangs, and police in New York City". Unfortunately, I don't know if the book delivered on this front. 

Setaro's description of Tekashi's antics, his crimes, and the trial of the Nine Trey Gangsters is quite thorough. However, the book sometimes read more like a summation of the facts of the case rather than an analysis of why something happened or why something was impactful. As such, I found these parts to be somewhat dry. 

When the book did take a more argumentative direction towards the critical examination I was hoping for, I did not always feel that Setaro's claims were well substantiated. For me, this weakened the strength of the arguments Setaro attempted to make, particularly regarding the police investigation and the trial itself. Perhaps it's because I don't know a lot about American rap music and culture, but I felt that there were so many interesting parts of the book that Setaro could have elaborated more on. In general, I would have loved to have seen Setaro engage in less description and more analysis/critique because he does have valuable and unique insights to offer - they just need more space to develop.

If you want to learn more about Tekashi's career and antics, you might enjoy this book more than I did. However, if you're more interested in the investigation into Tekashi and the trial itself, I'm not sure if I would recommend this book to you.

Readers should note that subjects in this book use explicit language and slurs. There are discussions of sexual assault, domestic violence, and gun/knife violence.
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This isn't usually the kind of book I read because I'm not really interested in modern day rap music or soundcloud rappers.  I was interested in this artist because of his brushes with the law.

This book doesn't disappoint, even for a non-fan like me.  The story of Daniel Hernandez aka Tekashi 69 is told in an engaging way with twists and turns along the way. 

Enjoyed it thoroughly.

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