Big 6IXVI is back with new mixtape #Chosen and you need to take this one in!
You have undoubtedly heard the infamous “It’s 6 Figure Music Baby” stamp, but you may not know the man behind it is 6IXVI. 6IX has run with a number of variations in name so you may know him under one of the others, but what he has kept consistently is the 6-i-x aspect. More importantly what he has kept is his status as the industry’s most trusted producer and engineer, with 6IX having been responsible for numerous UK hits. He produced both Skepta’s ‘Shut Down’ and Stormzy’s ‘Shut Up’ as well as having mix and mastered for Skepta, Stormzy, C Biz, Krept and Konan, Nines, Section Boyz to name a few.
Having worked with everyone, 6IX became tired with just being the man behind other people’s great music, especially when he knew he had the talent to be the frontman and eventually broke out as an artist himself. This started with singles but eventually led to his previous mixtape ONE EP which came out in July 2017. Less than a year on and 6IX is back to giving us yet another body of work, #Chosen, and what a body of work it is.
Stepping away from production and leaving that down to Seany Beatz, Mazza Beats, and Jay Youngs – each a heavyweight in this production game, and all part of the 6 Figure Music label. What this seems to have allowed for is 6IX to apply his trademark polish to his lyrics, delivery, and song composition that he would usually apply to his beats and mix downs. What this affords us is that we get a project that sonically flows extremely well from track to track, and feels well rounded off. It also feels the correct length, and importantly feels like a complete body of work with its closing track being the swan song to this particular musical journey.
The project gets a few features from both already established and some slightly lesser known talents, yet none of them feel out of place. We get features from frequent collaborators E. Mak, C Biz, and H Moneda for some impressive performances. But it is the lesser-known artists like Ling Hussle, BRG, and TEL Money that really stand out – and beg the question as to why we haven’t heard these names until now? 6IX drew in a real niche crop of talent and shone a light on them, but at the same time, their features only boosted 6IX’s tracks to that extra level.
But even without these features 6IX really put together some tight verses, and undoubtedly gave his guidance in the sound of the project. What is equally impressive is that 6IX seems to cement his own sound on this project, which is especially commendable in this current climate where much too often in the scene people are trying to sound like what’s popular. Here although 6IX’s style may not be what is commercially the popular sound, it doesn’t sound like it’s dated or trying to be different for the sake of it – the authenticity is undeniable. As such 6IX swaggers through the project sounding as comfortable, if not more, than the majority of established rappers.
Now usually this is the most difficult task, trying to pick one track that really captures your attention and really shows the best aspects of the project. However here you already have some big clues from above. If you haven’t guessed it, the track that stands out the most to me on #Chosen is ‘Fake Love’. The feature work on there by the aforementioned E.Mak and Ling Hussle perfectly complement not only the production, but really blend well with 6IX’s verses. Ling Hussle’s vocals provide a captivating and surprisingly catchy chorus, considering how mellow the track is, as well as providing some backing vocals to sections of 6IX’s verses. E.Mak is a man that should really need no introduction, but the Hayes emcee is a member of the 6 Figure Music camp and recently released his own project CTC. E Mak has a voice as distinctive as his rhymes, and if you’d like to know a bit more about him check out his interview with Khadejia here. But back to ‘Fake Love’, the track illustrates the conflicts between the streets and personal disputes, but more so it illuminates the thoughts of the elusive man that is 6IX as he is not someone who has done a lot of interviews. This insight alongside the fact it seems like the pinnacle of the sound the project was trying to create makes it a clear standout for me. Additionally, you can check out the visuals to the track, which originally premiered on Complex last Friday, above.
With 6IX’s musical ear there was never really any doubt that sonically the project would be cohesive. The fact he entrusted the production to the other members of his team was undoubtedly a wise move. Though Seany Beatz takes the majority of the producing credits, Mazza Beats and Jay Youngs equally created some excellent tracks when they were called upon. We all know about Jay Youngs we hear his personal stamp all over the scene, but this project should bring some more attention to Seany and Mazza, who actually linked up to produce, what was the standout track for me, ‘Fake Love’. 6IX, of course, added the finishing touches in mixing and mastering his own project, which is really no surprise considering the sound he curates is so sought after and respected.
On top of all of this is a well-delivered concept. Instead of focussing on having bangers or a few standout singles, with #Chosen 6IX has released a project with zero filler tracks and more importantly tracks that all gel together. Not just sonically either, conceptually and content wise there are recurring themes of the streets, the stresses of the game, and some more introspective lyrics and insights as well as some more typical rap bravado.
This may not be the project of the year commercially, but it sounds like it should be one of the blueprints for how the scene moves forward. I wouldn’t be surprised if everyone involved with the project received a boost in visibility, especially the producers. This project may not provide the political depth of a Wretch project, or be catering to the current wave which is Afro Swing, but what it is undoubtedly is authentic and quality music. This deserves more attention than it’s been given and everybody that is a real fan of UK Hip-Hop should take it in.
You can stream #Chosen below or here.