It’s inconceivable to speak about Tekashi’s success with out mentioning the darkish undercurrents his actual life. His profession presents a moral minefield, whereas additionally standing as an emblematic hip-hop story 2018. The x-rated equal Rainbow Brite, he was one a number of controversial artists to assist cement the mainstream bility “SoundCloud rap.” For Tekashi, picture was all the pieces; rapping was an afterthought. Though the “additionally raps” moniker is on no account a novel idea, Tekashi mastered it. He was the king a visible world through which expertise is not a requirement for entry. “I didn’t actually need to be a rapper or no matter,” he informed Adam22 the No Jumper podcast. “I simply thought making music as a result of all people was like: ‘You look mad cool.’”
The motion would have been comparatively innocent had it not been for Tekashi’s unquenchable thirst for viral clout. He had the presentation: rainbow-colored hair and grill to match; face tattoos; and the quantity 69, with its sexual connotation, emblazoned throughout his physique greater than 200 instances. But he wanted an avenue to maintain, and extra importantly legitimize, his relevancy. This need led him to a set Brooklyn-based Bloods referred to as the Nine Trey Gangsta Bloods, who in flip latched onto the impressionable Daniel Hernandez and by no means let go. He struck a cope with Kifano Jordan, A.Ok.A. Shotti, to be his supervisor; how he linked with Shotti, who was busy avoiding an excellent warrant in New Jersey for narcotics trafficking whereas Tekashi scratched and clawed his method to web fame in 2016, stays unclear.
A success document adjustments all the pieces, and for Tekashi, “GUMMO” was his breakout second. Minimalistic and bloodthirsty, the only was an instantaneous smash that fered very actual signifiers New York: Bed Stuy brownstones, trash luggage full weed, cop automobiles, crimson bandannas, and gang indicators. The credibility that Tekashi so desperately wanted was paying f, and the rap opera commenced in full power. His relationship with the gang was mutually helpful: he was their money cow and with the exception a couple of rumbles right here and there, they stored him secure. Within a yr forming the partnership, Tekashi and his crew started charging a payment $100,000 per present, just for all the pieces to return crashing down in a flood federal fees.
The fast rise and fall Tekashi 6ix9ine is finest exemplified by DUMMY BOY, his latest full-length musical fering that was delayed, leaked, and rushed to launch. If an image is price a thousand phrases, then the relatively disturbingly correct portrait used because the album’s cowl artwork tells the complete story: a cartoon model the grinning malcontent, together with his trousers dropped all the way down to his knees, stands in a puddle his personal multi-colored waste.The album was speculated to be Tekashi’s industrial and creative breakthrough the place he lastly served up a big-budget enviornment rap unfold. Instead, the loss of life rattle a undertaking is a featherweight and amateurish try at such a spectacle, awash with laughably ill-conceived concepts. Disjointed, formulaic, and worst all an outright snooze fest, it’s a failed pop crossover try on which Tekashi appears extra desirous about molding himself to the sounds the second than pushing ahead the provocative, loud, dumb enjoyable that obtained him well-known within the first place.
The opening monitor “STOOPID” is explosively catchy with a diabolical appeal. Bobby Shmurda, who’s presently serving a seven-year jail sentence, delivers a brief however thrilling verse, recorded over the telephone, that interpolates his 2014 hit “Hot N***a.” From there, issues start to take a flip for the more serious. “TIC TOC” is an affordable try and attempt to replicate Lil Baby’s success on his acoustic-driven tracks, whereas the heavily-auto tuned “FEEFA” is characterised by the type played-out guitar lick meant to cue the listener into the truth that it’s a self-serious entice ballad. “KIKA,” which is smothered with Caribbean-flavored spice and quasi-steel drums, appears to have been recorded in latest weeks. Tekashi makes use of his tiresome, hyper-aggressive grunts and screamo circulate to attempt to clear his title and distance himself from his previous. The stale operating joke all through the album Tekashi getting lower f earlier than he’s allowed to scream his signature battle cry, “TREYWAY!,” is supposed as a humorous by means of line, however comes f as extra a pitiful facade than anything.
The relaxation the album is par for the course, using the previous pray and spray tactic within the hopes that any quantity expedient modern sounds will stick. The polished latin pop on “BEBE” and “MALA,” located back-to-back and that includes blase performances from Anuel AA, is watery and nearly similar. “KANGA” cannibalizes lyrics from “Aulos Reloaded,” a track Tekashi put along with French artist Vladimir Cauchemar, and unwaveringly bites Kelis’ “Milkshake” and A$AP Rocky’s “F**kin’ Problems” (it’s price noting that Tekashi appears like he’s doing a horrid impression Fat Man Scoop). Kanye West and Nicki Minaj seem twice on the album, as if Tekashi is making an attempt to point out the world that he belongs in the identical dialog as two mainstream higher-ups who, humorous sufficient, ship some essentially the most ridiculously underwhelming performances the undertaking. All in all, it appears as in the event that they’re babysitting the red-in-the-face rapper in hopes piggybacking f his sizzling streak. Kanye jokes about getting “cancelled” and pegged as being “about as black as Macklemore,” whereas Nicki shamelessly capitalizes on the now three-times platinum “FEFE.”
Perhaps essentially the most startling and telling side DUMMY BOY is the way in which that it depends on its friends. The blueprint inside is totally and totally contradictory to Tekashi’s come-up f solo hits like “GUMMO” and “KOODA.” He has all the time been a singles artist, with a penchant for crafting earworm songs. His singles up thus far had been head-turning cultural moments that relied on his discernible sense pacing and rhythm. His model was one reckless abandon: he was wholly uninterested within the fundamental tenets rhyme construction or complexity. And that’s wonderful for some, however when paired together with his limitless conceitedness and single-minded aim to change into a fixture on the Billboard charts, it turns into a extreme hindrance.
From a advertising and marketing standpoint, Tekashi’s creative selections on the album are genius, as is his means to leverage publicity into assist from business mainstays. The sometimes tasty manufacturing from the likes Murda Beatz, Scott Storch, and Boi-1da is one the album’s few saving graces. However, it’s the general high quality the remaining product the place he falls woefully quick. Tekashi seems like a customer on his personal album: he will get outperformed by options who half-heartedly lend their names and stoop to his stage so as to squeeze into the mediocrity his rainbow-colored realm. Nowhere is that this extra obvious than on “DUMMY,” a remix TrifeDrew’s “Stuck in Dubai” the place Tekashi solely pops on the final 30 seconds the track. To make issues worse, the overwhelming majority his temporary appearances are rendered inauthentic by his clumsy lyrics and lack vocal vary. He would have been higher f staying in his consolation zone, though it appears uncertain that even that will have saved this random assortment singles that “characteristic” the supposed headlining act. His sound has been so totally boiled all the way down to essentially the most boring bits conceivable that it brings a wholly new that means to the hackneyed notion oversimplifying so as to attain a wider viewers. Dark, nasty, callous, and at instances humorous, DUMMY BOY is successful and largely miss, braindead black gap an album that by in giant ought to have been left on the chopping room ground.
Whether individuals are listening to DUMMY BOY out morbid curiosity or as a result of they discover Tekashi compelling is unimportant. The truth nonetheless stands: the album is everywhere in the streaming charts, like each different piece music that Tekashi has launched so far. It in all probability would have finished even greater numbers if he had been round to advertise. Instead, Tekashi now faces 32 years to life in jail after getting snatched up by the FBI and plastered with racketeering and firearms fees amongst others for his proximity to gang-related actions. Prior to his demise, the imperiled rapper lived as if he was the one operating the present. He spent the yr outsmarting everybody, reveling in his repute as a bully and publicly scary his rivals, actions that had been amplified by social media.
But by the tip his run, he had damaged cardinal guidelines that dwell on the lethal intersection the business and the streets. He agitated highly effective individuals together with his “check my gangster” angle and lived as much as his notion as a “unfastened cannon and legal responsibility.” It’s true that numbers don’t lie, however they do depart room for error within the margins, and neglected miscalculations had been Tekashi’s undoing. His transfer to wash up his public picture and pursue safer cash got here when it was far too late. Realized or not, he turned the sufferer his personal enterprise. Everyone gladly soaked up his stardom and dumped him the minute his fame was not advantageous. Not that it’s a lot price pondering at this level given his impending trial in September 2019, nevertheless it begs the query: was the tireless seek for fame price it?
In hindsight, maybe this was the inevitable finish to Tekashi 6ix9ine’s story all alongside, one that may presumably accumulate mud as a window right into a terribly weird interval in hip-hop lore. On the opposite hand, perhaps Mr. “10 for 10 on the Billboard” actually was on the cusp superstardom. With his profession now indefinitely on maintain, there’s no means understanding what may need been.