At this point, whether you like it or not, 6ix9ine is a name — and more unfortunately a face — that cannot be ignored in today’s mainstream music realm. The Brooklyn-based rapper is the exemplar of internet fame gone wrong — being famous more for his internet persona than this actual musical output. With the premature release of “DUMMY BOY,” early due to leaks and 6ix9ine’s recent arrest, music fans wonder how they let the candy-colored content creator get this far.
6ix9ine, admittedly, did get initial recognition with his music. His infectious, angry “GUMMO” introduced the world to his barking, agitated delivery. But what sustained his relevance was the character he constructed — this ignorant, rambunctious ruffian on a crusade to stir up trouble every time he went live on Instagram.
6ix9ine’s shortcomings as an artist are brought to the surface all throughout “DUMMY BOY.” 6ix9ine does no sort of exploration or expansion as an artist with his debut LP, and when he does stray from his trademark snarl, it comes off as forced, unnatural or outright uncomfortable.
With “BEBE” and “MALA,” 6ix9ine tries his hand at profiting off the recently explosively popularity of reggaeton, but falls flat in delivering anything worth remembering. What’s worse, 6ix9ine briefly explores this side of his artistry with two back-to-back tracks, and then ditches the idea for the rest of the project. Perhaps 6ix9ine felt a responsibility to tap into his Mexican roots, perhaps he saw it as a potential cash grab or perhaps he was as lost as the listeners are. Either way, 6ix9ine demonstrates a blatant disinterest in fleshing out this sound through this neglect of development.
Admittedly, the project has its redeemable moments. On “STOOPID,” 6ix9ine energetically crafts a song around the formula that made him famous from the jump — thumping beat, aggressive yelling — except this time he gets help from internet enigma and soon-to-be-free rapper Bobby Shmurda. “FEFE” is a surprisingly alluring and engaging point in the project. But what makes this song great really has nothing to do with 6ix9ine himself — Murda Beatz constructs a hypnotising, almost haunting beat, while Nicki Minaj delivers an uncharacteristically attention-grabbing verse given her recent musical output. The only output 6ix9ine gets from this highlight are the allegations for stealing rap upcomer Valee’s flow — which the jarring similarities are unlikely to be mere coincidence, looking at
The sporadic highlights from this project point to the glaring, primary issue with “DUMMY BOY” — the front man, the cartoon face peeing a rainbow on the cover art. 6ix9ine brings next to nothing to the table, and constantly gets outshined by his guests. On “KIKA,” Tory Lanez sounds great. The hook, the beat and the energy from the first 40 seconds straps the listeners in for the next club classic. Then, well, 6ix9ine steps in and genuinely ruins it. This is mostly due to his inability to mold to the song, attempting his typical bark on a sunny island club track. Instead, the Brooklyn rapper’s lack of stylistic versatility turns a promising party anthem into a confused, jumbled mess.
“MAMA” features Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, questionable career moves for arguably the former king and queen of the rap game. The sheer lack of quality from this track foreshadows the future irrelevancy that all three artists are destined and doomed to face. However, there is a great moment on the track. Nicki delivers easily one of the funniest lines of the year, deeming the trio as “the dream team.” Right.
An insufferable, 34-minute snooze of an experience leaves listeners wondering why they even wasted their time, why they even pressed play on a rainbow-colored — the same gang that now is out for his head. Perhaps that is the main idea surrounding 6ix9ine — why? Perhaps 6ix9ine is the pop culture wake-up call, an intentional glitch in the simulation. With the release of “DUMMY BOY,” audiences everywhere need to take a moment to re-evaluate, to ask the essential question — why?