In “I’m the Not the Same,” Missing-nin doesn’t give us some big theatrical intro as a precursor to the slow-rolling charisma that will unfold in most every track of his new record 6600 volume one but instead cuts into a fat groove with as sleek a lead vocal as he can muster up. Much like the heavy-handed “Idol,” “I’m Not the Same” features a pretty grungy master mix, but it’s necessary to facilitate as buoyant a bass element in the backdrop as possible. There’s nothing like lo-fi noise and blunt lyricism to put me in the mood for profound hip-hop, and in this sense, Missing-nin gets 6600 volume one started right.
“Show It” brings Big Blu Raggg into the mix for a compelling guest performance, but I don’t know that any of the features in this record are as cunning in their presentation of persona as Missing-nin is on his own. “Pick up the Pa$e” feels like the breakout single of the album’s first half, but not because of some ridiculous radio buffering in the masters. If anything, the rawer our leading man goes, the more likely it is that he’s going to hit every button in terms of both charisma and lyrical killer instinct.
“Dub” is another song that feels like an immediate hit single, and the chemistry between Missing-nin and Tfemi in this specific performance is something I could really get used to. “Do You Feel Me? (filler)” is the right kind of segue into “Ups & Downs,” and I like the progressive aesthetical cues it implements into Act II in 6600 volume one. There’s been a lot of conceptual content coming out in the underground the last couple of years, and while this is no different in some ways, the manner in which it’s distinct from the competition is too significant to be ignored.
“Mane” brings H.C. into the fold for a glowing groove fest, and I think that this collection of beats works really well beside the ironically passionate “Pink Lemonade,” one of the simplest songs in the entirety of the tracklist. There’s an interesting combination of self-righteous poeticisms and unfiltered humility in the swing of the music here, but never does the clash of components result in a creative breakdown on Missing-nin’s part. On the contrary, this record has a flow that you can’t practice into existence – you’ve either got it or you don’t.
Mia Royale makes a second appearance in 6600 volume one with “Stay…,” the concluding song in the album, and while the track has a nice slow jam finish to it, I don’t know that it’s the lone piece of vulnerability sewn into the stitching of this LP. Instead, I don’t believe there’s a single song here that sounds removed from the soul of Missing-nin as it stands well outside of the recording studio, and though I haven’t had the chance to see him perform live in concert just yet, I’m certain that what we’re hearing here would likely sound like a small sample offering in comparison.