6LACK is one of few new rappers coming forth with substance, plain and simple. In the meme era of virality and mumble rappers, it can be difficult to find new rap that actually has something to say. 6LACK (born Ricardo Valentine) on the other hand, a 24-year-old Atlanta rapper, attempts to weave a story of his recent life with his newly released album FREE 6LACK. Having just gotten out of a disastrous record deal that saw him not be able to release music for five years. The new album also paints a picture of love and loss. Songs like “PRBLMS” and “Ex Calling” speak on the problems of dating and loving in a digital age.
One must realize the necessity for the kind of music that he is putting forth. In each “class” of up and coming rappers, there are certain roles that need to be filled. The most important role would have to be that of the one with something important to actually say. 6LACK fills this role in the age of over-production and underwritten lyrics. His almost Frank Ocean-esque way of crooning into the mic on some of the slower songs deeply affects the listener, almost as if he is speaking directly to the listener. This is most shown in the song “Learn Ya.”
All in all, 6LACK’s FREE 6LACK is an important album for 2016. In a year where it felt like rap and the world were falling apart, an album with true feelings and emotions from someone new was a much-needed respite. Give it a listen.