Just after midnight on Sept. 13, Kristian “Murda” Murphy was watching TV at home in Boca Raton, Florida, when his phone began buzzing.
“Murda u always outside we gon see you,” read a message from an account he didn’t recognize.
Murphy is a music manager, producer and entrepreneur who has worked with high-profile rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine, among other artists. Hours before the threats began, 6ix9ine posted a message to his more than 20 million followers on Instagram that mocked the recent death of rapper PnB Rock. Taking exception to the post, people began blowing up Murphy’s phone.
“I’m sitting home by myself literally watching TV, all of a sudden I see these texts started coming in and I’m like, ‘What the fuck?’” said Murphy, in a gravelly voice that retains the accents of his native Yonkers, New York. In addition to threatening bodily harm, the anonymous messengers told Murphy they were coming for one of his most valuable assets — the @murdamurphy Instagram account. It had more than 300,000 followers and brought in thousands of dollars a month thanks to people and companies who paid Murphy to share sponsored posts.
“WE PACKING ACCOUNTS SOON