Tuesday 20 October 2020

Review of 'TattleTales' by 6ix9ine

This album is a crime against music. Send 6ix9ine back to jail.

My music’s not that good. But yo, my videos.’ This is something that the rapper himself is quoted to have said in a meeting with a former record manager. The dude knows that his visuals are the main attraction – there’s something undeniably fascinating about his tatted-up rainbow-haired appearance and Willy-Wonka-And-The-Traphouse visuals. None of his fans are in it solely for his music. NONE OF THEM. I refuse to believe otherwise.

To give 6ix9ine some credit, his shouty delivery is quite distinctive. He just chooses to waste it by spouting out vapid lyrics and jumping on beats so bland that even Migos would reject them in a heartbeat. His music would be a lot better if he stayed in Shouty Rap Mode instead of AutoTuned Reggaeton mode. This was one of the aspects that really made me loathe his last record DUMMY BOY – half the songs were derivative auto-tuned Latin pop numbers that felt even less inspired than his rap tracks.

Going into this album Tattletales, I knew that it was going to be much of the same dross. This begs the question: why bother listening to another 6ix9ine album? Well, if I’m honest, I haven’t written a scathingly negative review in a while. I need to balance out all those glowing reviews. This was an easy target.

I’ll admit that TattleTales does offer two brief glimmers of potential. The first is opener ‘LOCKED UP PT. 2’, which sees 6ix9ine getting surprisingly personal about his time behind bars. The sound of a jail door slamming is repeated excessively throughout the track to the point that it becomes comical, however it’s still the most serious track that the SoundCloud rapper has ever produced. Then there’s ‘GOOBA’ – while it swiftly devolves into generic trap rap, the opening machine gun kick drums and 6ix9ine’s energetic delivery are quite thrilling.

The rest of the album however is an atrocity. Whoever mixed this album must have been drunk – ‘TUTU’ noticeably drops in volume as the beat comes in, while the shrill synth on ‘NINI’ is as pleasant to listen to as a dentist drill. The lyrics meanwhile are even more lazy than on DUMMY BOY. ‘Ray Charles, I ain’t never seen a bitch I need’ on ‘CHARLIE’ is the only half-witty line on the album – and he proceeds to then re-use pretty much exactly the same Ray Charles pun on ‘GATA’.

The record definitely feels rushed - the sloppy mixing and repetition of lyrics are clear proof of this. 6ix9ine could do so much better if he put as much effort into his albums as he puts into his visuals. He also needs to drop the auto-tuned reggaeton tracks altogether and focus on his shouty rap USP. Only then does he stand a chance of putting something out that’s remotely enjoyable. If he can’t do that, he should give up albums and stick to videos. Putting out lazy albums just for the sake of raking in some extra revenue to buy his sixty-ninth Lamborghini is shameful behaviour – especially when so many decent artists are pouring their blood, sweat and tears into records that go unheard.