By Christopher Brocker
Assistant Music Director
6lack, which is pronounced black, is a rapper and R&B singer from Atlanta. The numeral six in his stage name pays homage to the east side of Atlanta called Zone 6.
6lack has a background in battle rapping and he even battled fellow Atlanta native Young Thug in his youth.
6lack began receiving attention for his debut album Free 6lack in 2016. Heavy-hitting tracks such as “PRBLMS” and his Future inspired “Ex Calling,” solidified himself in the world of atmospheric R&B.
Collaborations with Khalid, J Cole and Selena Gomez further pushed 6lack into the mainstream.
6pc Hot EP is attributed to 6lack’s love for hot wings. 6pc Hot EP was even accompanied by the launch of his hot sauce “600 Degrees by 6lack.”
The rollout for 6pc Hot Ep also included a promotional campaign for the black-owned local wing stop “Goodfellas” in Atlanta. 6lack’s EP comes nearly two years after his sophomore album East Atlanta Love Letter.
This song has easily the most replay value. “ATL Freestyle” sees 6lack reflecting on his life and his hometown.
6lack is good for a witty bar regarding relationships and he delivers with the lines, “Taking out the trash on yo a**, I get rid of bad friends like a dump truck.”
Part of 6lack’s appeal is his authenticity and relatability. He’s a self-proclaimed introvert who illustrates his down to earth persona with lines like “I grew up eating hot wings and listening to Gucci.”
“ATL Freestyle” is a tribute to his hometown that takes the listener on a nostalgic walk through 6lack’s neighborhood to reminisce with him. Worth mentioning, however, 6lack’s filtered voice and delivery share a strong resemblance to Travis Scott.
This is a very somber and atmospheric song that is on-brand for 6lack. The track opens with spacey production and heavy trap beats.
The saxophone layered into the mix gives the production a more nuanced take on the atmospheric R&B sound. The Dreamville star, Ari Lennox, contributes with the background vocals, adlibs, and spoken snippets.
This is a collaboration that I would love to see more of. “Long Nights” is a brief yet enjoyable track with great replay value that is fit for late-night cruises.
This is the first time on the EP where 6lack is more blatant in referring to the state of the country regarding the pandemic, police brutality and more.
Lines such as “It’s a big war outside. Grab your love, it’s time to slide” and “If you took me for granted that’s a shame, make sure you love me ‘fore the world go out in flames,” display his reflection on contemporary affairs.
“Float” also includes name drops of artists like Usher, T-Pain and MC Hammer.
Know My Rights
6lack dives into his rapping pocket here. 6lack flows over heavy trap production with bars filled with braggadocio.
6lack flexes his trips to Ghana and walking through airports in designer clothing. He then further plays on these lines with, “I got bags from all the stress, now all my bags belong on jets.”
6lack typically has a raspy tone in his music with a laid back delivery, however, on a braggadocious trap song like this, he comes across lazy. 6lack’s lack of energy becomes more prevalent when juxtaposed by Lil Baby’s verse.
Considering how oversaturated the trap genre is and the lack of originality and energy from 6lack, it makes this song forgettable.
“Know My Rights” feels like the forced trap hit for the project that comes up short.
Elephant in the Room
This track opens with hard-hitting trap production accompanied by distorted autotuned vocals. This, however, is maybe the most enjoyable part of the entire song.
6lack does deliver with signature brutally honest lines like “You asked me if I’m choosing my dreams over you, I said ‘Hell yeah’.”
The woozy production and subject matter make for a compelling track, however, there was potential for more.
The snippet that opens the song should have been utilized more throughout the track. “Elephant in the Room” is one of the stronger tracks on the EP, yet still should have been executed better.
The final song on 6pc Hot EP sees a more romantic side of 6lack longing to be with a love interest while coping with social distancing.
Relatable subject matter for many that could have been fleshed out more, however, the brevity of this song fits the cohesion of the EP. The production features beautiful strings and piano with expected reverb.
Although, it’s been nearly two years since 6lack’s sophomore album East Atlanta Love Letter, he’s still been very active through features and collaborations.
I’ve personally been a fan of 6lack since Free 6lack. However, since the release of the debut, there have only been a handful of songs I’ve praised.
6pc Hot EP is a product of the moment, considering some of the references to contemporary affairs. The conciseness of the project is appreciated and the record is seamless.
I am anticipating what is next for 6lack, however, I probably won’t revisit this project much through the remainder of this year.
I would like to show appreciation to 6lack for highlighting black businesses in this time and staying true to himself.
Featured image via 6pc Hot album cover.