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6ix9ine’s debut album is as fun as he is ridiculous

| Monday, March 5, 2018

Joseph Han | The Observer

I’m made uncomfortable by rapper 6ix9ine’s appearance. 6ix9ine, the stage name for American rapper Daniel Hernandez, sports rainbow colored hair to match his skittle-like teeth. He has the number 69 repeatedly tattooed on his face and also in two prominent positions on his torso, which is flabby but always exposed. He often yells “Scumgang!” in his songs and makes references to armed robbery and casual misogyny. But he never had the opportunity to make it to high school; his father was murdered when he was a teenager, forcing him to sell drugs to help his mother.

Therefore, this article will judge his music rather than his character, the shaping of which I cannot imagine.

“DAY69,” his debut album, is of the same character as his three singles which preceded its release — full of high energy. Each lyric he puts out seems as if it pains him to do so. His voice is constantly straining to deliver as much impact as possible.

Whereas Lil Peep was the figurehead for emo rap (rap which combines traditional hip hop with feelings of angst, worthlessness and general emotion), 6ix9ine is the most consistent and prominent leader of screamo rap. Screamo rap (defined by the emotional delivery of the music, not its emotional content), has come out of different works by Soundcloud rappers like XXXTentacion and scarlxrd. However, 6ix9ine is the most accomplished specialist of this sub-genre.

“DAY69” begins with a sort of guttural war crime: “Whole squad full of f—–g killers, I’m a killer too.” This sets the tone for the album. 6ix9ine is going to be rapping about people doing some despicable stuff, and you’re going to believe he does it as well.

6ix9ine does not relent from his shouting style for the entirety of the album. However, none of the artists featured attempt to mimic his style. Tory Lanez, Fetty Wap and A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie act as foils to 6ix9ine, all delivering impeccably smooth vocals against the grit that permeates the rest of the album. Young Thug and Offset, rapping in a more traditional style, do not fit so well into the music. Their verses feel like a limp middle ground in a work meant to polarize.

At times, some of 6ix9ine’s songs can feel derivative. “BUBA” interpolates Ski Mask the Slump God’s “Take a Step Back” without enough original additions to fully justify it as a different song. And the beat for “MOOKY” feels uninspired in a way most of the album’s instrumentals do not.

In general, though, “DAY69” contains new and exciting material. “CHOCOLATE” contains an echoing, resounding vocal sample and punching synths. He even interplays objectively horrible content in a manner similar to old Eminem. Whereas Eminem fans would constantly have to overlook his tales of murdering his ex-wife, 6ix9ine’s fans can take comfort in the fact that the horrible character of his lyrics are, for the most part, a sort of dark comedy. In “KOODA,” he raps, “Black van, pull up to your momma crib, boy / Tie her up, drive that shit off a bridge, lil boy.”

If you enjoy high energy music, “DAY69” will not disappoint. It does what it does exceptionally well, while disregarding any other way of existence. 6ix9ine lives in the manner he portrays his life on “DAY69,” creating a sort of reality show in an album, chock full of all manners of entertainment.


Artist: 6ix9ine

Album: DAY69

Label: Caroline Distribution

Favorite Track: “KOODA”

If You Like: XXXTENTACION, Lil Pump, Tay-K

4 out of 5 Shamrocks

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