Reviewed by Andrew Midgley
"6 Luv" refers both to Dru Bex's home city of Toronto - colloquially known as "the 6" - and to the authors of his borrowed beats: each of '6 Luv''s tracks originates from a musical collaborator. This brings a variety of hip-hop breaks to a mixtape that is pretty low on melody: '6 Luv' is many things, but tuneful is not one of them. Interviewed by Rapzilla, Dru Bex explained the problem of being a Christian rapper from Toronto: he cannot help but be influenced by Drake's darker sounds (which he loves) but he wants to provide a lyrical counterbalance that shines the light into his cultural arena. There are valiant attempts at this on, for example, "Pray 4 The 6 (1 Luv 9th Wonder)", a journey through Toronto prompting the titular exhortation, and it is encouraging to hear a rapper get local in his gospel focus. But much else here is merely standard rap fayre refracted through a lens of Western Christianity: conversion as crisis/inspiration point is checked off on "Swavey Syndrome (1 Luv Hazakim)" - "I switched up my ways and I switched up my sound," claims Bex - and even some dissing of Christian hip-hop peers on "Christian Rappers 2016" as Bex repeatedly instructs them to "be humble". Ironically, given this latter, the best track here is about the pitfalls of pride, with Stephen The Levite's provision of beats on "Inner Villainy" being the album's trump card, even if the track is woefully short at 2:49 - it could have been a rap opus akin to Kanye West's "Monster". Instead it peters out. Fifth track "OMW (1 Luv Beautiful Eulogy)" is a surprisingly emotive pastoral turn on the subject of enduring suffering in God's strength ("Hold on longer/He will give you strength/He says, 'I'm on my way'") but the Achilles' heel of '6 Luv' is that for all of its production values, occasional gems and torrents of vocoder, it doesn't have enough tunes.
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