ILoveMakonnen’s New Album Is Simple, But That’s Why It’s Great

The Red Dragon is lean, but he’s still pushing major weight with his music. ILoveMakonnen is one of the most perplexing artists in rap, and his persona is unique.

Cocky and brazen, yet at times emotionally vulnerable, Makonnen seems like the kind of guy who will help your mom clean the dishes after dinner but then sleep with your sister. He’s a nice guy, but Makonnen is not afraid to impose himself when the moment calls for it, and Drink More Water 6 is one of those moments.

ILoveMakonnen is a polarizing figure, but it’s actually pretty easy to love him and hate him at the same damn time. His bars can’t compete with someone like Pusha T, but they’re still fun and great to sing along with; that’s one of the points of music right? To feel good, have fun, and sing along?

Makonnen had the clubs lit on Tuesdays, but that was back in 2014. He was still chubby, and was at the time associated with Drake’s OVO label, but that time has gone.

Makonnen Sheran is his government name, but now he likes to be referred to as the Red Dragon, a menacing and untamable beast; he’s even slimmed down a great deal, making that moniker sound a bit more threatening.

Drink More Water 6 is the Atlanta singer/rapper’s latest offering since ILoveMakonnen 2 was released last November, and it’s a much needed improvement over his past efforts.

Drink More Water 6 is a solo Makonnen mixtape, but as usual each song is different than the last; either the Red Dragon is releasing trap bars or Makonnen is singing about his feelings. Fortunately, the Red Dragon appears more often than Sad Makonnen.

Drink More Water 6 is a fitting follow up to Drink More Water 5, but when you really listen to what Makonnen is saying, the songs can lose their magic. Instead of applying a microscope to his music, just catch his vibe and don’t go any deeper than that.

11 tracks long, it’s a project length that Makonnen should be comfortable with; shorter than DMW5, but longer than his self-titled albums, this (not free) mixtape feels a little tired once you reach its odd ending, a rather flat song entitled  Where I’m At”. If you feel disatisfied, just go back to the beginng; the first 6 songs are by far the best, and could have been released as a small EP on their own.

Standout tracks “Uwonteva”, “Big Gucci” and “Want You” show that Makonnen is still capable of making fun tracks, but as a whole, Drink More Water 6 is an experiment that doesn’t focus quite enough on the Red Dragon, the only thing keeping Makonnen’s career relevant to anyone willing to listen. Sad Makonnen doesn’t show up often, but he drags down the project and does nothing to improve DMW6 or make it memorable, and it’s nothing casual fans of Makonnen would listen to to become more than casual fans; his fan base is growing, but if he wants to expand it, he needs to play to his strengths and unleash the Red Dragon.

DMW6 isn’t a fantastic project, but it’s simple and vastly enjoyable, which is just where it should be. It’s not realistic to expect perfection from Makonnen. He’s an interesting person, really fun to listen to and is easy to enjoy, but don’t come to Makonnen looking for refined, detailed songs. When you’re in a good mood, turnt, or anywhere in between, the Red Dragon is solid choice to enhance the vibes and improve the experience. Don’t focus too much on Makonnen though, he’d rather you just have a good time, and drink plenty of water.

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