Six One Tribe came on my radar back in 2021 with the release of The Soul in the Ville EP; a four track release that features a host of emcees – Corduroy Clemens, Trip God F’R F’R, Gee Slab, HB Mandella, Negro Justice, Riø Tøkyø, S-Wrap, 3van 6rey – and comes out of the gate swinging hard with relentlessly energy for the 16 minute runtime. It’s a helluva introduction to an impressive group of talent that has grown and morphed over the last year and a half into something even bigger and more impressive.
For the uninitiated, Six One Tribe is a collective of hip-hop talent from Nashville, TN that aims to create memorable music while propping up the community as a whole. There are approximately 16 “members” of the group at this time but they’ve been quick to note that “dozens” of other artists and creatives have contributed to the affair. All that is to say, it’s not about a membership card, it’s about creating a memorable body of work with as many people from the scene as they can wrangle. It’s difficult not to be aware of the group given that they’ve been on the cover of Nashville Scene, won Best Hip-Hop Group Single and were featured for Tribe Over Everything. For a group with a mission to raise awareness of Nashville’s hip-hop scene, they’re doing a helluva job already.
The mission of the group is undeniably admirable but there’s the obvious open question: does the full-length release, Tribe Over Everything, measure up to their goal? Spoiler alert: it does. Sonically, the production has improved tremendously since Soul in the Ville. No offense intended to that original release but there’s more headroom on the full-length that gives plenty of sonic space for the emcees and beats to shine tremendously. The album is dynamic as well; drifting between bouyant bangers, chilled out soundscapes and the occasional explosion of Soul-tinged party grooves. If you’re looking for an entry point, I advise starting with “Live in the Moment” (featuring Corduroy Clemens, Negro Justice and Ronni Raxx) as it embodies the diversity of styles, joyful vibes, personal insights and deep musicality that the project aims for.
The true strength of the album is the diversity of styles. “Black Mercedes” delivers an ominous beat mixed with hypnotic verses with a dash of humor. “Keys to the Kingdom” is a contemplative groovy track slathered in immerse vocal performances. “They On Notice” (the lead track) is confidently slick, creating an irresistible urge to bob along. “Is You Shittin’ Me?” is a blend of mischievous vocals and slow, deep, bass marching to a hilarious gang vocal chorus. “Grow Again” is absolutely berserk with energy. “Love Circle” is a melancholy, introspective, journey that instills some optimism as the album closes.
Just about every track on the record has something to catch your ear, ideally introducing you to some new emcees along the way and a peek at the landscape of Nashville hip-hop. That last bit is important to remember; Tribe Over Everything is an introduction to the group and our cities scene. It’s not holistic by any means but it serves as a calling card for folks to take notice that Nashville is a city that can’t be ignored when it comes to hip-hop. Just like the lead track says, Six One Tribe is putting the world on notice. Don’t miss it.