If you hadn’t already guessed from their name, Seed of 6ix is a direct spinoff of Three 6 Mafia. Both Locodunit and Lil Infamous are DJ Paul’s nephews, and based on his name it’s no surprise that Lil is the son of the late Lord Infamous (RIP). It’s sad to know that Infamous didn’t live to see his literal seed follow him into the music game — he passed in 2013 and the group was formed in 2014. Everything about “A Beginners Guide to Destruction” suggests they aspire to achieve the Mafia’s success, including the fact they are signed to Paul’s label Scale-a-Ton Entertainment. I’d just leave it at that and move on to the review, but when I tried to go to DJ Paul’s website I got redirected to an online pharmacy. Either he forgot to renew the domain name before it expired, or the pandemic had a negative effect on his business enterprises, or Paul quietly decided he didn’t need it any more.
With Paul’s appearance on the single and video for “Get Buck” the Seeds couldn’t escape the Mafia’s shadow even if they wanted to (they don’t). This creates an conundrum that can’t easily be solved. The appeal of the Mafia had as much or more to do with the thumping production of DJ Paul and Juicy J than their lyrical skills. When you bought a Mafia album, you knew that shit would slam in your trunk and rattle your windows ’til they formed cracks. Paired with an unapologetically energetic and rowdy enthusiasm to “Tear Da Club Up” the group’s reputation was thus codified. Three 6 Mafia was about your emotional reactions. Dissecting the intricacies of their lyrical content and delivery was often a detriment to enjoying their work.
By casting themselves in the Mafia’s mold, “A Beginners Guide to Destruction” are simultaneously forced to adhere to both those high and those low standards. “Drone Trappin'” perfectly summarizes the problem. Paul’s influences goes beyond his cameo on the track. The instrumental is a prototypical sample of Mafia production — a whistling bomb that sounds like “Terminator X to the Edge of Panic,” ominous minor piano keys, a rumbling bass and a slow methodical beat. It overtakes and overshadows the performances of Lil Infamous and Locodunit and that turns out to be for the best. “Flying birds down South for the winter/I’m trapping with the drone, yeah I deliver.” In an effort to convince us they live it like they talk it the bars are interspersed with helpful advice like “No tracin’, you can still trap on probation.” I wouldn’t recommend trying it though.
Songs like “All or Nothing” end up being more aptly named than Seed of 6ix intended. “We got the hoes and plenty of those” are the kind bars that today’s youth would call cringe. It’s not the misogyny that’s problematic though. It only becomes obvious through the banal simplicity of the rhymes that neither Seed has much to say, which forces the group to rely entirely on DJ Paul’s musical influence to elevate songs like “Whole Bitch” to an acceptable standard.
“A Beginners Guide to Destruction” has merit for a few very specific people — fans of DJ Paul, fans of Lord Infamous, or fans of the Three 6 Mafia family. Beyond that it’s hard to say Seed of 6ix do anything better than their famous predecessors. They brag about getting fucked up on “Pills,” then tell you they got “Way Too High” in the process, but that’s what happens when you’re “Playing Wit the Dope.” I can’t even tell you it wasn’t their intention for the song titles to tell the exact same stories as their raps.
In the end the album is emblematic of a problem with a large part of the music scene, even rap subgenres like horrorcore Memphis rap that Mafia made famous — people hear what succeeded and imitate it to try and succeed themselves. By being direct kin of the folks they are imitating, Seed of 6ix get a pass, simply because it’s unlikely they could have sounded like anything else even if they tried.