It is very easy to hate this 21-year old kid yelling at the top of his lungs about shooting people as he sports rainbow hair down to his shoulders and teeth that look like a Home Depot paint samplers. With these new kids like Lil Xan saying that Tupac is boring and Lil Yachty freestyles sounding like a shitty open mic comedian doing a terribly offensive impression of a deaf man rapping along to the radio, it’s very easy to lump Tekashi 6IX9NINE into the mix for this ‘get off my lawn’ ‘kids these days’ old man conversation about the death of rap.
Gummo is a banger. This a New York street anthem. This is the shit you hear on the street as a car sits at a red light with the windows down blasting and you start to nod your head as you catch a little bit of Tekashi yelling ‘Niggas iffy, uh, Blicky got the stiffy, uh’ over a beat that makes you want to punch a hole through a tree.
There’s this strange misremembering of what ‘New York hip-hop’ actually was back in the day. Yes, Biggie, Nas and Jay-Z are all known for their lyrical prowess and thusly, they are considered to be the greatest but their success has somehow skewed the view of what New York rap actually is.
Let’s listen to some other New York ‘lyricists’:
These videos are literally mirrored images of the Gummo video. Mad heads on the block shouting about murdering fools. Don’t you see? This is what New York rap has been for decades. Tekashi 6IX9INE is simply carrying the baton for the next generation of angry assholes.
If anything, he’s representing New York the hardest right now. Calling him ‘Top 5’ is lowballing it. Name 5 New York rappers who are better? A$AP Rocky, Joey Bada$$, [insert another rapper with a dollar sign in their name].
Point is, the list of names is short. Cardi B is one of the most successful rappers on the planet right now and her biggest hit, Bodak Yellow, was rapped over a Southern trap beat. Not sitting here trying to discount her success at all but Tekashi IS Bushwick. You cannot separate the two.
Okay yes, I suppose this is where I talk about the fact that he pled guilty to Use of a Child in a Sexual Performance. When he was 18 years old, he appeared in a gross video with a 13-year old girl. That happened. That cannot be ignored.
If you’re having a discussion about Tekashi 6IX9INE being a disgusting human then you are totally free to have that conversation. I will not correct you on that. But if we’re exclusively talking about this anime gangbanger’s music then he deserves more respect for repping New York in a time in music where Atlanta is stepping on every city’s throats.
Gummo > Whatever Papoose song you like.