From a nobody outta nowhere in particular, Tekashi 6ix9ine swiftly became that tattooed face always staring back at you. It was all by design, meticulously mapped out over several years, according to the European svengali would was pulling the strings on the young rapper’s streaky rise.

In a tale published Monday in Vulture, the Slovakian businessman and FCK THEM indie rap label chief Yaksha opened up his playbook which helped turn 6ix9ine into one of the hottest properties in hip-hop last year.

Not for the first time, Yaksha — characterised in the story as “Bratislava’s Sean ‘Puffy’ Combs’ — and his team hatched a so-called “off-kilter marketing plan” which would see the young artist leave the comforts of home. 6ix9ine relocated to Europe where he would shape his profile as a credible artist, then make the return trip, “From Europe Back to America,” as he described it.

The buzz was built out of the use of wild imagery – coupled with his lairy hair and street lyrics — that’s just fine in the US of A but freaked out audiences in Eastern Europe, according to Yaksha. The result: headlines. And publicity was converted into cash on their return to the United States, where his November 2018 release Dummy Boy narrowly missed out on top billing on the Billboard 200 albums chart.