He’s back. After an early release from prison, New Yorker rapper 6ix9ine has returned with a new single titled “GOOBA,” his first as a lead artist since 2018’s Bobby Shmurda-featuring “STOOPID.” 6ix9ine is a controversial character for a number of reasons. Among them are his arrest for the use of a child in a sexual performance, his persistent use of the word “nigga” despite being a white Latinx person, and, to a lesser extent, his “snitching.” The rapper has experienced massive success and even more intense social media retaliation, and on his new single, he aims to take control of his narrative and back up his self-proclaimed title of “King of New York.”
The comeback single begins with a militaristic tone and dark drum pattern as he demands that “a nigga don’t dick ride, don’t blick ride.” The ominous trap beat subtly bubbles in the background of the production which makes its inevitable explosion even more enjoyable. Despite his absence from the music scene, 6ix9ine shows some musical growth with his use of a drill cadence on the second verse. The song floats between the trap foundation of 6ix9ine’s past singles and the drill scene of New York’s present. This certainly isn’t as catchy or saccharine as the Nicki Minaj-assisted “FEFE,” but it sees 6ix9ine embracing his “snitch” status and flipping the current narrative on its head (“Tell me how I ratted, came home to a big bag”). His delivery is aggressive, but calculated.
“GOOBA” will likely debut in the Top 5, maybe even at #1. The song capitalizes on our culture’s collective fascination with 6ix9ine, not as an artist but as a figure. 6ix9ine symbolizes everything we’re simultaneously drawn to and repulsed by; he exists at the center of hip-hop despite him having all of the elements that we’ve canceled other artists for. He just broke the record for largest number of viewers on an Instagram live video (2 million) and the “GOOBA” music video broke the YouTube video counter. For him, the music doesn’t even have to be good to get our attention. Musically, “GOOBA” is fine, but it’s what the song, and it’s inevitable success, means for the culture that makes it infinitely more interesting. We often talk about artists who “deserve more” and artists who are “underrated,” but we still run to stream his new single and tune into his livestreams. Do we, as a collective, care about 6ix9ine wrongs and lack of exceptional talent? Should we care? Does it even matter at this point?