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Free 6lack is equivalent to that favorite movie everyone adores. Years go by, and the idea of whether something that beautiful could be replicated begins to seep in. If the sequel is subpar, that could affect the view of the original work. Thankfully, 6lack picked up where he left off from his debut.
The Atlanta artist released his sophomore LP, East Atlanta Love Letter, on Friday (Sept. 14.) The body of work features 14 tracks and vocal appearances from Future, J.Cole, Offset and Khalid. Producers are credited as Singawd and Yakob. 6lack shared in detail the reason behind his work in the LP’s booklet:
“I wrote this album for those with difficulty expressing themselves or their love. Communication is key and over time it’s proven to be my biggest obstacle. I want you to know that just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Never give up on love because it’s the most powerful feeling you can share with someone, and if you’re feeling doubtful, know that I wrote this especially for you to listen to during those times. I hope it helps” – 6lack
Two years to wait for an album feels like centuries to most music lovers. 6lack is quite aware of his sound, message, and how to keep a diverse audience entertained. He is an artist in his own right who has found the balance between rap and R&B. As he states in “Scripture,” “I’m an R&B ni*** with a hip-hop core… We just had to do it because if I didn’t rap anywhere on this, people gon’ hate me.”
Halfway through the work, when it begins to feel superfluous, he includes an interlude or sample that wraps up his message cleverly. This is proven on tracks like “Disconnect” and “Balenciaga Challenge (feat. Offset.)” He uses a sample from LightSkinKeisha where she preaches about the dangers of men being indecisive. She says:
Let me just say this: If a ni**a wanna f**k with me, he gon’ f**k with all of me, he ain’t gon’ f**k with me sometimes, he gon’ f**k with me at all motherf**king times, period. I ain’t going for none of that bullsh*t. You know these n***as be out here tryna play mind games and sh*t with a b***h like I ain’t got time for that!
The third track on the album, which features fellow Atlanta native Future, is the most memorable. On “East Atlanta Love Letter,” the duo sang very melodically yet perfectly. A feature like this feels destined. On 6lack’s debut project, he sampled Future’s “Perky’s Calling” on his track “Ex Calling.” The outro proves 6lack’s clever thought process. The idea of a “Stan” was first introduced in 2000 on Eminem’s LP, The Marshall Mathers LP. On that track, Slim Shady talks about an obsessed fan who causes the downfall of his own life. 6lack recreates a positive twist by discussing an uplifting and loving relationship.
So on a scale of one to 10, the album gets a solid nine. 6lack’s follow-up is worth the wait. He’s matured from “Ex Calling” to admitting that holding on to pride is deadly on “Seasons.” So like everyone’s favorite movie, there is the rare instance that the sequel is amazing, and that is the case for 6lack.
Must listen to tracks: “East Atlanta Love Letter,” “Balenciaga Challenge,” “Stan,” and “Seasons.”