Features: Tory Lanez, Young Thug
“RONDO” by 6ix9ine, featuring Tory Lanez and Young Thug, is a charged and assertive anthem heralding the bravado and swag associated with the self-affirming aspects of hip-hop culture. The track’s lyrics revolve around three main themes: flaunting wealth, asserting dominance, and engaging in combative behaviors. It’s a power trip that highlights the artist’s financial prosperity, the allure they hold for women, and their readiness to confront adversaries.
The hook of the song, repeated multiple times throughout, has 6ix9ine expressing his distaste for physical confrontations: “We ain’t throwin’ hands in this bitch,” he declares, instead suggesting wealth display as a more potent weapon, “Throw a couple bands in this bitch”. In the hip-hop lingo, ‘throwin’ hands’ means fighting, while ‘bands’ refer to large amounts of money, typically held together by a band. Notably, he is enlisting women as active participants in this display of wealth and dominance, instructing them to “do the dance on the dick”. Asserting their desirability and influence over women is a common theme in many hip-hop songs, and “RONDO” is no different.
6ix9ine’s verse carries this theme forward, dismissing those who pretend to be tough or gang-affiliated: “I ain’t playing with no wannabe tough nigga/ I ain’t playing with no wannabe thug nigga”. The term ‘nigga’ here is used as an insider term within the African-American community, though its use is highly contextual and remains controversial. The artist uses ‘bickys’, slang for guns, and the onomatopoeic ‘glttt-pow’ to underscore his readiness to confront his enemies. Such imagery serves to enhance his persona of a fearless, street-hardened figure ready to defend his status.
Tory Lanez’s verse introduces a touch of elitism, highlighting material success as a dedicated badge of status within the hip-hop community. He brags about owning luxury cars like Bentleys and Rolls Royce’s, ignoring traditional societal structures (“I got suspended, I didn’t have to do the dishes”) and pushing the narrative of non-conformity common to hip-hop. He also uses the line “I got a bands in this bitch” – an assertion of his cash flow – as his own show of dominance.
The song’s chorus emphasizes wealth display again: the lines “We ain’t throwin’ hands in this bitch/Throw a couple bands in this bitch” are repeated, underscoring the focus on material wealth as the primary tool for asserting dominance. The artists repeatedly encourage a woman to dance provocatively (“do the dance on the dick”), implying a sense of control and objectification. Such language, while explicit, is a part of the broader dialogue of power and possession in the hip-hop universe.
The song’s outro, a simple “Scum Gang” declaration, is a nod to 6ix9ine’s original rap collective—standing as a reminder of his allegiance, origins, and identity. It’s a salutation to the grittier aspects of the genre that have influenced the artist’s trajectory and, consequently, the song itself.
In sum, “RONDO” is a bold reaffirmation of the hyper-masculine bravado often associated with hip-hop. Its relentless focus on wealth, dominance, and confrontational readiness makes it uniquely representative of a sub-genre that unabashedly embraces such themes. Yet, it’s crucial to approach it with the understanding that it’s one facet of the multi-dimensional gem that is hip-hop—a genre that as much expresses struggle and vulnerability as it does power and extravagance.