Despite a huge line-up of various promotional, mostly Internet exclusive only material, the North Highlands (916 area code) representative Sixx Figgaz is still considered an underground artist; even if you focus solely on northern California rap scene. I won't even dare count all the mixtapes and collaborations that he managed to release within the last couple of years. Nevertheless you should know that one of the most important is "Tha Grind" solo endeavor (labeled as his debut) that dropped in the beginning of 2011, which BayUndaground staff has even had a chance to review (read the article). The year is not over yet and the artist is back with the second official enterprise, the hereby "West Coast Language".
After hearing a first few tracks from this album I was really positively surprised and I was pretty sure that it would be way better than the previous record. All songs from "916 Ridin" until "Like That" prove that Sixx Figgaz is a good craftsman, he feels which music will fit his style and blends with it in an excellent way. In fact the beginning of the project is where the artist shines. He showcases nice flow with interesting lyrics - almost always circulating around a certain subject - decent rhymes, and all this perfectly mixes with a carefully chosen production. However if you look at the tracklist you will notice that there are 19 full-length joints in total and - as usually - such long albums are simply destined to contain worse parts. Well, truth be told there are in fact a couple of weak performances by Sixx Figgaz scattered here and there. Namely the host sometimes tends to come up with poorly-written lyrics, where rhymes either don't appear at all or are repetitive - he ends a bar for example with barbecue and then leaves barbecue yet for the second time (it obviously rhymes, but oh well). Such strange attitude can ruin a perfectly picked beat, just have a look at the extreme case that I chose from "How We Livin" (which features a brilliant music by the way):
West livin state of mind can leave your face down
That's on the pavement, yeah you're long gone
Is that the answer? Niggas killin' niggas?
Prob'ly not, but that's the way our life control your trigger
That's what the men want for us to kill each other off
Let's put some thought into it, maybe we should knock'em off
Form an army like the Panthers and go strong
Unfortunately there are a few songs that I consider weak, only due to lousy rhymes. I don't know, maybe Sixx Figgaz is sometimes freestyling? Anyway, he should either stop doing this or pay more attention to what he writes. Obviously among 19 tracks you will find many noteworthy picks, but I won't deny - the above mentioned drawbacks have their impact on the whole album. Production itself is really nice though, I have no idea who's behind it, as no people are mentioned on the one-panel cover/insert. The title "West Coast Language" is quite accurate, because beats are a quintessence of a modern northern California street rap scene - slow or mild tempos, solid bass lines with gangsta sounds in the background. Only few joints feature something more futuristic: "City Lights" with a horrible autotune on the hook, "Holla At Shawty", "So Retarded" and "So Fly". I'm glad that Sixx Figgaz decided to diversify themes, therefore you'll hear him represent his town, talk about street thang, game goofy folks, women, hard grinding, constant struggle, police brutality, being real and more. As opposed to the previous solo "Tha Grind", I really felt this time that subjects do vary and are on point. Music itself and a major part of vocals is also a step forward. The rapper proved that he's capable of recording really great tracks - I truly enjoyed some of them, they really got my head bobbing. It doesn't change the fact though that there are flaws, especially weak rhymes here and there (as well as "Holla At Shawty" joint). With this being said, I feel that Sixx Figgaz is on a good way to release a really solid album from front to back - only some additional work on word selection is necessary. "West Coast Language" is a decent release, look for it when you have a chance, you will find some notable material among these 19 titles.
Sixx, thank you for once again providing the album for review purposes.
Written by: khamenei