Decades ago, rap groups like M.O.P. and Onyx used to shout their lyrics in an aggressive way and although their topics were generally the same, their choruses, music videos, and most importantly albums always contained enough variation to be worthy of praise. I guess in terms of vocal style, you could place 6ix9ine in the same category, but these days when a barked delivery is laid over a Trap beat it has more in common with noughties Crunk than nineties east coast Boom Bap. And that brings me neatly to Brooklyn rapper 6ix9ine, the often lambasted artist who is dissed on the regular because of his rainbow hair and teeth, not to mention his past sexual antics with an underage girl. To be fair, if you discount his appearance and his crime, some of his music teeters on credible, his single “Gummo” for instance was a decent track and with its energetic and slightly threatening style, it was for a short while a break from the overtly pop sound of Mumble Rap that’s plaguing the airwaves.
I’ll acknowledge that 6ix9ine is not the greatest rapper by a long stretch but his style and sound has its place. Being part of a sub-genre sometimes referred to as “Scream Rap” and with a sound that’s a mixture of Lil’ John and Fredro Starr, I was slightly looking forward to him bringing something credible to a genre that is now 95% pop. If his debut release was back-to-back “Gummo” I’d have been impressed but sadly, that’s not the case (although for the most part, his first album-slash-mixtape Day69 does contain tracks that sound very much like that particular joint).
With an 11-track album, when a third of the songs sound the same, it’s not a good idea, and unfortunately that’s not the only problem. Day69 begins strongly with “Billy”, a short but decent opening track that’s followed by the hit “Gummo”…
Straight away however, we then veer into pop territory with the next two songs. “Rondo” featuring Young Thug & Tory Lanez contains an autotuned chorus and radio-friendly production and “Keke” featuring Fetty Wap & A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie is a hybrid track with a decent verse but a pop chorus…
Then it’s back to 6ix9ine’s trademark hardcore-esque sound for the remaining songs. “93” which contains okay production (and an okay delivery here and there) is short, “Doowee” is rowdy but also short, and “Buba” is also rowdy but, you guessed it… short. “Kooda” sports a Gummo-ish sound with recycled lines (“Niggas iffy, uh, Blicky got the stiffy, uh”) but the song contains lacklustre production, complete with claps and generic Trap snares. “Mooky” also contains another generic Trap beat.
“Gummo” featuring Offset, is a remix (of the song we’ve just heard) and the Migos member adds nothing new to it, if anything he ruins the track. The album ends with the over-normalised track “Chocolate” which features the sound of synthesizers and echoing vocals, this is arguably the most unique song here but it too is short.
To be fair, 6ix9ine isn’t the worst rapper out there and this isn’t the worse release either, but as an album, there’s too many negatives. The song titles on this album lack imagination with some of them teetering on gibberish. The lyrics on Day69 are hardly inspired either, with 6ix9ine yelling “Pop that nigga” on “Doowee” and “Stomp that nigga out” on “Mooky”, the whole thing slowly becomes a testament to ignorance and mediocrity. It’s almost as if 6ix9ine has seen and heard some underground Hip-Hop and he’s trying to emulate it but he hasn’t the artistic talent to invent anything other than derivative music. Judging by his relatively rapid transformation from bland kid to rap caricature, you have the feeling that his whole persona is an invention of his as he sat in a tattooist’s chair one day. In fact his tatts all seem to have been inked on the same day which is very suspect.
Back to Day69, this release is inundated with gunshot noises and yelling “Scum Gang!”, there’s also no varied sounds or topics, and aside from a couple of attempts at “going pop”, the album is pretty much the same song reworked multiple times. I mean how many times can you hear about “stacking a brick” and “fucking a bitch” before it becomes repetitive? The answer is not that many.
Other than his name, I have no idea what the title of this album is referring to (surely February 23rd is the 54th day of the year and not the 69th) but I guess that doesn’t really matter. The biggest problem here is that Day 69 is a short album and I mean very short. Most songs are around the two-minute mark and the whole thing is just over 27 minutes long which hardly constitutes an album. Like Jus Allah’s M.M.A. LP, this is simply too minuscule to matter, regardless of how much you might be a fan. If I was reviewing this album on whatwentrightwith.com it’d just scrape past a 5/10. If only Tekashi 6ix9ine had stayed in the studio for a little longer and tried a little harder to vary his output, he might have made something better, but as it stands, his debut release is both microscopic and monotonous to have any real impact on the scene.
Somewhere Over The Rainbow.