Genre: Rap, Latin Trap
Anyone who has an inkling of interest in hip-hop will know who Tekashi 6ix9ine is, or has at least heard of his ridiculous name in passing. Rap’s inescapable rainbow-haired lightning rod of controversy, his antics have solidified him as more of a social media star than an actual rapper.
Since he dropped his viral “GUMMO” single in October of 2017, even his constant skirts with the law weren’t able to stop him from climbing up the Hot 100. An absolute marketing genius; the excellent use of his outlandish image and larger-than-life online persona has led to 6ix9ine’s meteoric success through the power of memes.
But by the end of the day, all these stunts can only boil down to one thing – is 6ix9ine’s music any good?
Only one track off DUMMY BOY sees 6ix9ine performing without any features – “WONDO”. He enlists the help of the many A-listers that he’s met over the course of his breakout year; with Kanye, Nicki and Anuel AA each doing double duty throughout the album.
Known for his aggressive shouting rap style that was present throughout the entirety of his DAY69 mixtape, 6ix9ine attempts to steer away from that for a more universally appealing sound. On lead single “FEFE”, he drenches his voice in auto-tune and really subdues his delivery to the point of parody. Sacrificing his iconic sound in favor of a safer aesthetic, he leaves the beat (Murda Beatz) and his guest (Nicki Minaj) to do the heavy lifting.
Furthermore, the rest of the features on this album steal the show. Tory Lanez, whose two releases this year have been average at best, probably provides the best singing feature of his career. Same goes for Gunna on “FEEFA” who shows he’s a lot more proficient at the sing-rap flow than 6ix9ine’s very poor imitation of it.
Nicki Minaj’s second feature on “MAMA”, arguably the best song on the album, is another scene stealer. The eccentricity that she brings here should have been more abundant on Queen. Kanye’s feature on this song is equally as killer, extremely catchy and reminiscent of his performance on SchoolBoy Q’s “THat Part”. His second feature on “KANGA” sees him trading bars with 6ix9ine. With an incredible energy exuding from both of them, it just makes me wish Kanye could bring the same energy for Throne 2.
That’s about it for the positives of this album. I’ve barely mentioned the man himself because 6ix9ine is the weakest link on his own project. Save for the occasional flashes of brilliance when he reverts back to his scream flow on standouts like “STOOPID” and “TATI”. He is too easily outshined by his guests and the production. Barely bringing anything else to the table other than the occasional energy, 6ix9ine feels like a featured artist on his own album.
It’s commendable that he would try to go out of his comfort zone and experiment, but clearly, the decision to snuff his manic energy was a wrong one. This cannot be more evident on the two of the worst tracks here – “BEBE” and “MALA”. These rip-offs are horrendous attempts at hopping onto the current Latin pop trend that do nothing but drag the album down. Anuel AA does his best over these cookie cutter beats but his singing isn’t exactly stellar. Still, comparing it to 6ix9ine’s abysmal auto-tune lathered crooning, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call Anuel the next Michael Jackson.
DUMMY BOY is a disjointed effort that has much more misses than there are hits. This was the album that would break him into superstardom, but the actual music falls too short to warrant that.