By: Papa Minnow
To find an artist that was more controversially discussed than Tekashi 6ix9ine in 2018 is an almost impossible task. While his musical talent has been recognized, it’s his supplementary antics that have propelled him to notoriety within the culture.
As a result, he’s landed himself in deep legal water and it’s likely that Dummy Boy will be the last body of music we hear from the 22-year-old rapper. The album debuted strong at the No.2 spot on Billboard behind ASTROWORLD after a recount of sales finalized the numbers. Additionally, a number of songs from the album continue to chart on the Billboard 100.
However, like his career, Dummy Boy‘s success has been hampered by 6ix9ine’s RICO case which prevented him from promoting the album and forced the label’s hand in releasing the project earlier than anticipated. In a weird way, Dummy Boy mimics the on-goings of 6ix9ine’s life.
The hit single, FEFE (Feat. Nicki Minaj), opens up with the phrase, “it’s f—–g Tr3way!” being yelled by 6ix9ine before the song gets into it’s groove. For those who don’t know, Tr3way is the gang in which 6ix9ine was affiliated. Nicki throws in a playful “Tr3way!” shout out of her own as the song comes to a close.
But the subsequent remainder of the album fails to mention Tr3way at all. Featured artist Tory Lanez even jokes about it on the song KIKA: “It’s f—–g Tre-…oh wait I forgot you can’t say that s–t.” And 6ix9ine himself gets stopped from saying it on the song KANGA.
This could be the result of 6ix9ine reportedly distancing himself from his crew during on-going investigations, or as complex reported; 6ix9ine was ordered by a judge to refrain from any gang affiliations.
Either way the situation hampers 6ix9ine’s ability to be the brash artist he is and it breeds an air of “je ne sais quoi” throughout a run of the album.
Musically, Dummy Boy is less of a traditional album and more of a compilation of songs strung together. It is, however, chalked full of hits.
STOOPID, TATI, and WONDO exude 6ix9ine’s traditional exuberance with brash rapping backed by high tempo production and blaring bass. On the feature front, 6ix9ine recruits heavy hitters such as the aforementioned Tory Lanez, Kanye West, and Nicki Minaj.
Newcomers Lil Baby, Gunna, A Boogie, and Anuel AA also join the fray. It’s with these features that 6ix9ine attempts to broaden his artistry beyond a brazen rapper, but the outspoken artist is reduced to a visitor on his own project.
The beats are catered towards the featured artist and 6ix9ine alters his style to compensate for the change in sound. This adjustment is apparent on TIC TOC featuring Lil Baby, where the beat is altered to align 6ix9ine’s style with Lil Baby’s.
Additionally, on the star studded track MAMA with Kanye West and Nicki Minaj, 6ix9ine feels like an afterthought as his monotone intro is left in the dust when Kanye and Nicki feel more exuberant than the rainbow haired rapper.
It’s evident that some of these songs were rushed in order to meet a deadline.
This isn’t to say the songs are not good, nor to say 6ix9ine can’t branch out, but the self-proclaimed King of New York just doesn’t stand out as the lead artist on the majority of features, look no further than the Latin records BEBE and MALA.
His strongest featured performance is on KIKA with Tory Lanez, despite the beat being catered to Tory, 6ix9ine keeps his persona intact on his verses.
As a whole, Dummy Boy lacks fluidity and there’s a disconnection of the music as a result of legal on-goings. 6ix9ine is a singles rapper so to find continuity in one of his projects is a futile adventure. However, he knows what he does best and he sticks wholeheartedly to it by compiling an album of hits from top to bottom.
Outside of the Latin records and a clear miss on the song KANGA with Kanye West; a contention for the worst three song run on an album, Dummy Boy delivers enjoyable music with exultant production, solid features, and a lot of replay value.
9-out-of-13 *do the math ;)*