Rapper 6lack performs from the soul
So much of pop music is impersonal, with often interchangeable songs about partying, having a good time and finding (or losing) love, whether that’s in dance-pop, country, hip-hop or R&B. Not many pop performers can bare their souls and still make hits, but Atlanta R&B singer 6lack (pronounced “Black,” with the numeral six nodding to his roots in Atlanta’s Zone 6 neighborhood) has done just that. Over the course of two albums (including September’s East Atlanta Love Letter), he’s forged a strong emotional connection with his listeners, singing about his real-life struggles and insecurities. It’s a stark contrast to impersonal music about partying and finding (or losing) love.
“I wanted to talk about the stuff that people obviously go through and experience but nobody is actually hitting right now,” 6lack told Complex in 2017, after the release of his debut album, Free 6lack, which featured the hit single “Prblms.” That song helped 6lack land on a spot opening on tour for fellow emotionally expressive R&B singer The Weeknd, and on East Atlanta, his collaborators include Future, J. Cole, Khalid and Offset. Stereogum called 6lack “a gifted singer, capable of smooth ruminations on heartbreak” on East Atlanta, and those smooth ruminations have set him apart from his peers, while carving a unique place for him on the pop charts.
The Pearl at Palms, 8 p.m. Dec. 7, starting at $39.95 plus tax and fee. 702.944.3200