Day69 is the debut mixtape of American rapper Daniel Hernandez, better known as 6ix9ine, Tekashi69, or just Tekashi. Tekashi is a Brooklyn native, and has been making quite a stir not only in the underground and Soundcloud hip-hop scene, but also in the mainstream. Honestly, it’s not that much of surprise. With all due respect, the man looks like a juggalo who just ran in a color run. He has garish, technicolor hair, and in some photos where his mouth is open, you can spot him wearing rainbow colored cosmetics over his pearly whites. Looks aside, his music is the embodiment of the dark and grimy hip-hop that comes straight from Soundcloud. Heavy, distorted bass combined with TR-808 triplets and drum beats and a side of chilly synth lines is woven into the DNA of this album. This all begs the question of whether or not this album is any good, and if this is another example of an artist breaking out of Soundcloud and being a consistent part of the mainstream for years to come.
And to that, I say no.
Despite the decent amount of hype surrounding the album, Tekashi’s garish persona and his raspy, blunt flow, the album, for the most part, does not spend all of its 27 minutes that well. Don’t expect much diversity when it comes to these songs; despite being one the most fascinating looking rappers to come out of Soundcloud, they are all either about drugs, sex, gang life, or simply how tough and wild Tekashi and his gang is. One of the great things about hip-hop is its format allows the artist to weave incredibly coherent and vivid stories about how they grew up, who they met, what they do day to day, what events changed them, what events didn’t change them and so on. Tekashi, however, spends most of his time just rapping about the aforementioned drugs, sex, etc. in the most banal and unspecific way possible.
Despite having 11 tracks, this album is not unique lyrically or even sonically. The tracks on the album are incredibly short, with the longest being a four minute remix of “GUMMO” with a hastily pasted in Offset feature. If he had just added a minute or two of content to each one of his songs, I can guarantee you that I would not be having the same gripes on this album. I’m not saying that you can’t get your point across or tell a story in a minute or two; underground legend MF Doom did that consistently on Madvilliany. But Tekashi’s lyrics seem to always just set the scene of what he is doing or what he is about to do. He’s either at wild, insane parties taking enough drugs to make Keith Richards blush and having sex with enough girls to make Mick Jagger jealous on tracks like “MOOKY,” or he’s rolling with his crew on the street, getting ready to bust some heads with his “SCUM GANG” on “DOOWEE,” or some combination of the two on tracks like “Billy” It always avoids the specific details of whatever Tekashi does or has done in his life. We just get these vague, empty settings and action that left me feeling indifferent.
Onto the tracks themselves: there are quite a few that I enjoyed surprisingly, and they mostly occurred in the first half album. The opening track, “Billy,” sort of lives up to some of the hype surrounding the album. It’s full of raw, primal energy that just gets you bobbing your head to it, along with a looped orchestral sample that gives the song an epic, sprawling vibe, as if we’re being introduced to Tekashi’s dark, grimy underground world. Relatively speaking, “KEKE” is pretty good, due to rapid, looped pianos that remind of an 80’s new-wave song on coke. This song has two decent features, one from A- Boogie wit da Hoodie, and another from, oddly enough, Fetty Wap, the two-hit wonder. I liked “KOODA” as well, mostly because it uses looped piano’s similar to that on “KEKE.” It was better structured than the other songs. It’s beginning, middle, and end are better defined compared to the other tracks.
Aside from that, however, I didn’t like much else. From a creative standpoint, I disliked the “GUMMO” remix the most, mainly because it has a hastily tacked on Offset feature that doesn’t really add anything to the song’s overall value. Offset is just sort of known in the middle, with no significant changes made to beat during, before, or after his feature. He’s just kind of there. “Rondo” is pretty bad too, mainly because of the Tory Lanez feature, with him doing these autotune croons that so many modern rappers are obsessed with now a days. The lyrics by Tekashi and the feature by Young Thug aren’t that much more interesting either; Tekashi just wants to throw down with anyone who wants to get in his face, and Young Thug just loves his cushy rapper lifestyle.
The final track “CHOCOLATÈ” is an awful song. The instrumental is bearable, but the lyrics on this thing are terrible, featuring an incredibly tasteless reference to Columbine on it. For a point of comparison, when Eminem brought it up on “I’m Back” back in the 2000’s, he did it to make a point about how bullying in schools drives people to snap and commit horrible acts.When Tekashi did it, he’s just trying to say that he’s gonna shoot up people who cross him similarly to how a lot of people were shot up in Columbine. This is just a pathetic, and ultimately tacky, reference to a tragic loss of life just for the sake of proving how violent and edgy Tekashi is. making it unnecessary and ruins a decent track.
There’s not much else to say about this album. All the other tracks are ultimately forgettable and inconsequential. Almost all the instrumentals sound the same; they either feature these glitzy or cold synth lines with booming basses and generic trap beats. The lyrics are repetitive. Tekashi is either consuming all the drugs in the world, having sex with all the women in the world, or kicking all the asses in the world, not necessarily in that order. With the added forgetability of the instrumentals and lyrics, the lengths of the songs ultimately cripple the album; nothing stands out because every track is just so short that you don’t have enough time to commit the lyrics or beat to memory.
Tekashi makes a rough landing with his debut mixtape, and it’s unknown where he will go from here. The initial hype and mystery have fizzled out by this point; occasionally you see a person post an ironic “SCUUUM GAAANG” on a music thread or two, much to the chagrin of others. That’s about it really. From where I’m standing, he just seems like a moderately well known soundcloud rapper with a few shallow bangers and not much else. I don’t feel this is a very well put together album, and I wouldn’t recommend this record to anyone who’s looking for something more in their hip-hop. Even if someone just likes hip-hop for its bangers or hype tracks I still wouldn’t recommend it for that. My verdict is skip it and look for something else.