Get Baked by The 6th Letter
The 6th Letter has been cultivating his craft for a good while now. After catching the attention of Jonny Shipes of the Smokers Club early, he went on to drop two projects on Toronto’s BKRSCLB, NorthernPlayalisticGetHighMuzik Vol. 1 and A Bathing Ape in a Hotbox. These established his spot nicely within the label’s universe: the fly guy who loves to get high. That first tape is especially significant, because this is the latest in a series of spiritual successors, this instalment 8 years removed. Plentiful streetwear bars intertwine seamlessly with lyrics about his love for the herb. Working alongside Raz Fresco for so long here has been beneficial: the label founder and prolific spitter has hunkered down on the production side of things recently, amassing new hardware and mastering it in what seems like the blink of an eye, and dropping beat tapes as well. This latest offering, Get Baked, is entirely produced by Raz, with appearances from Chicago’s Vic Spencer as well as the ever-impressive local Daniel Son. A steady growth is visible now just as it was on last year’s Coneman, which is another project fully helmed by Fresco. The soundscapes bring out some of his most confident flows (see "Chain Smoking Part II"), and that chemistry they’ve shown together in those past collaborations is on full display here.
“That’s a cool lil brush, But you paintin the wrong picture, Look I give em sumn to feel, That’s sumn for real For the seeds it’s on me, It cost nothin to build Long as you got ya mind right, You ain’t stuck in the field You ain’t gotta be slangin, robbin or clutchin the steel…” - The 6th Letter, Sincerely
While Get Baked isn’t a big sidestep thematically, the maturity that’s present here is hard to miss. He’s focused. He has his family to take care of, and that’s at the forefront in his mind. You can catch the children at the end of "Sincerely," telling the people about their love for their dad and BKRSCLB. It’s sort of similar to the Westside Pootie appearances on Gunn albums, albeit lacking that signature family braggadocio. "Poison" is another one of the more impressive tracks here. While discussing his kids, he’s also laying bare generational trauma and curses, and pledging to beat them. It’s a powerful manifestation, with a recognizable little clip to end the song off. He discusses how “the jealousy changes their perspective”, but doesn’t sound jaded in the least. It’s just the reality for rappers in this current landscape, where clout rules and they can’t help but be paranoid about people’s real intentions. Despite the occasional heaviness of life seeping in, they’ve excelled at making an album to smoke to; even the "Get Baked Interlude" is a decent addition to the canon of rap album radio skits. The standout track might have to be "Hands Clean" though. Daniel Son brings that trademark vicious presence, and some bars to make you chuckle too.
“Gotta destroy in order to build, you know the deal, Keep it real with yourself, they gon’ feel how they feel, 10 toes on your square, put some weed in the air, When you play this shit here, it be taking you near.” - The 6th Letter, Hands Clean
The beats are real crispy whether in your headphones or the whip, a gift from Raz for him to slide over. They range from classic boom-bap to the real hazy and almost psychedelic. The 6th Letter slips between dropping various sorts of wisdom and straight-up gliding over those pockets. Minds are melding here, and the BKRSCLB vision crystallizes a little further. While they might still be “too raw for the Junos” (When the Smoke Clears), the underground is catching on quickly to the heat that doesn’t stop coming out of Toronto. If in the last decade they’ve been laying a foundation, this is where the structure becomes impossible to miss.
Released: June 16, 2022