The Decaturian

6LACK’s East Atlanta Love Letter

Rebekah Icenesse

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On Sept. 14th, Ricardo Valdez Valentine, also known as his stage name 6LACK, released his second studio album “East Atlanta Love Letter.” The 14-song record embodies Valentine’s struggles and experiences with past relationships and heartbreaks and provides a more personal feel than his previous album “FREE 6LACK.” This album is also the first time he has had features from other artists. Gaining mostly positive critic reviews, “East Atlanta Love Letter” really put me in my feels when listening to the first few seconds of the record.

           The first track, “Unfair,” sets the tone for the entire album. Three seconds into the song and I was already hooked by the slow melody that resonates through the entire song. 6LACK opens with the lyrics, “All my mistakes don’t make me less of a man” and croons about the unfairness of love and struggling through a relationship. “I don’t wanna fight with being wrong.” He sings with falsettos that are flawless and effortless. I wish this song was longer than two minutes and 17 seconds because this tune is a great opener for the rest of the album that continues to get better.

           “Sorry” is the fifth track on the album and another great addition that focuses on hard apologies. 6LACK’s isolated vocals add more emotion and hit the listener deep with feelings of regret over previous mistakes. This song has a piano backtrack that adds more soothing and chill vibes that really put you in his mindset. You feel like you are seeing a crumbling relationship first-hand from the vulnerability that hits the song hard.

           “Disconnect” heavily relies on piano chords as well and focuses on the loss of connection between two lovers. Hence the title, this song is all about the disconnection that has formed and how hard it is to mend that brokenness. 6LACK showcases more of his powerful vocals that plea with his lost love to understand him and his trying to fix things. He reiterates in the final lyric, “I’m trying to work it out,” and ends the song with an angry voicemail from his ex that ties up the song and tone all together.

           If you want to know anything about 6LACK’s life, listen to “Scripture.” This song details different events in his life and how it has made him the man he is. He sings about his previous struggles, like getting a gun put in his face, his newborn daughter, and a car accident that almost cost him his life. The emotion 6LACK puts into this song is very heavy with the tone that no matter what happens, he will continue to prosper and make his own way.

           Other standout songs are “Pretty Little Fears” feat. J. Cole, “Loaded Gun,” and “East Atlanta Love Letter” feat. Future.

           When listening to 6LACK, there is a lot of different emotions that can be felt. There’s sadness, anger, heartbreak, and determination. There’s so much depth to these songs that it is hard to review them all without writing a whole novel. He puts his all into his music and continues to make records that stick with the listener hours after.

6LACK makes me miss relationships that I have never even had. His lyrics are so vulnerable and personal that they relate to you, even if you have not been through the exact thing that he has. I have not heard such genuine and real lyrics, and it is really sad how true these songs are. These songs hit you with a heavy heart and make you feel emotions or bring up past memories that are painful, but that is the beauty with this album. It stirs up your emotions and feelings so you can feel his thoughts and pain. It makes you want to lay in bed on a rainy day and feel sad for the heartbreak you have experienced.

This love letter does not only come from East Atlanta, but it comes from every heartbreak felt, and 6LACK does a tremendous job in making the listener feel for him. His music speaks volumes for any soul who listens and this love letter will be the saddest, but realest letter you have ever heard.

 

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