He may well be one of the most talked-about rappers in the game right now but you’d be hard-pressed to find many favourable words for Tekashi 6ix9ine on the internet. What you will find though, and lots of them we might add, is countless memes calling him a snitch.
6ix9ine has only just gotten out of prison, having served time as part of a deal which saw him rat out many of his fabled gang mates, and it seems he was always intent on making a big return when he did finally breathe the air of freedom. However, while it would be very easy for us to hang a whole review of his new album TattleTales purely on the rapper’s public perception, we luckily have a plethora of way, way below average songs to go on instead.
The perception of 6ix9ine is key to his ascension to the top of the publicity stakes. A rainbow-haired middle-class gang member, 6ix9ine was already the butt of jokes before he landed himself some jail time. Largely thought of like a fake mumble rapper—the lowest of the low—6ix9ine’s image and shock publicity stunts was what kept him in the spotlight. A seemingly young and comparatively soft rapper trying to act like a bonafide gangster would never end well. Sadly, on this album, he seems to still believe his own lies.
Aside from ‘Gooba’ which does have a certain guilty pleasure attached to it, the songs are utterly devoid of personality. Even the additional features provided by Akon and Nicki Minaj dissipate as quickly as they materialise. It means all we are left with is modern malapropisms and appalling rhymes coupled with a serious lack of artistic integrity. In short, the record sounds like it was composed on an iPhone app in the cab ride home from prison—or daycare, I’m not sure which.
Perhaps the best line in the whole album is “Your bestie is a d**k sucker, I big dub her / As-Salama-lama Alaykum, you big hater / You nothin’ but a hater, hater, clout chaser” which is only enjoyable for its powerful punch of heavyweight irony.
Otherwise, it is just more of the same tough guy image thinly laid upon some trap beats, which lack any real substance themselves, and delivered in the over-compressed format that modernity has suddenly decided we need.
The only real value TattleTales provides is in the curiosity stakes. Like the laboratory rat he has become, with dyed hair, mutated grills and a nose for only enjoying cheddar, the album is something to only be wheeled out in controlled areas where it is certain it cannot be unleashed upon the unsuspecting public.
That’s not to say the record won’t make 6ix9ine a very rich man, he dropped a new video for album track ‘TUTU’ a matter of hours ago and it is already nearing 10 million views on YouTube. Certainly, he will have his fans, many of which will claim that people just don’t “get it” but musically there’s a mountain of artists far superior. It must be said, he’s a character that, above all else, is highly watchable—like a mumbling, grill-wearing modern-day clown. A very rich clown.
But all in all, TattleTales does a grand job of ratting Tekashi 6ix9ine out as the phoney we all knew him to be. Remove the hype, the funny coloured hair and an insatiable appetite for shock tactics and you have nothing but a spoiled brat spitting his dummy out over and over again.