No Slack for 6lack as we go Off The Record with Sticky Keys [17th Edition]

Welcome to Off The Record! A Fresh Weekly Album Review segment brought to you by @stickykeys!
17th Edition
September 18th 2018
East Atlanta Love Letter

I had to put on my crying goggles for this one! I’m not sure what genre to classify this album under, but among all the recent mumble-rap releases over the past two weeks, this seemed to have the best quality over all of them. I’ll just call it ‘sad R&B over trap beats’. I should have seen the red flag as I was reading the title of the album ‘East Atlanta Love Letter’ that it would be a really sad album. I have come across the name of the artist before, but I can’t remember where from. So who is 6lack?

6lack also goes by Ricardo Valdez Valentine. He was born on June 24, 1992 in Baltimore, Maryland and moved to (you guessed it) Atlanta, Georgia five years later. Not much else can be found about this young rapper/singer’s career other than the fact that he sang at a very young age in his father’s studio and that he used to battle-rap in middle school.

While he was in university, he signed to Flo Rida’s record label in 2011 and he dropped out from university shortly after. Due to having little finances on him, he would spend most of his time recording or sleeping in the studio or outside on the street. He would eventually leave the label over issues over artistic license and management. He has cited T-Pain, Usher, Sade and The-Dream to be his musical influences.

East Atlanta Love Letter’ is 6lack’s second album since signing to LoveRennaisance and Interscope Records and this album has four feature artists: Future, Offset, Khalid and J. Cole. There are fourteen tracks on this album, two of which, ‘Switch’ and ‘Nonchalant’ have already been released as singles (two months and one month ago, respectively). The total run time for this project is forty-seven minutes.

6lack’s ‘Switch’ music video

6lack’s ‘Nonchalant’ music video

And damn! What a long-winded forty-seven minutes it felt like! I’m not going to lie, I didn’t even listen to the second half of the album. It just felt like one sad story repeating over and over again. I mean, The Weeknd plays some pretty sad songs, but at least he is able to keep his music somewhat entertaining. But ‘East Atlanta Love Letter’ made me want to curl into a ball in my office and drink hot cocoa. I may not be a big fan R&B, but I do appreciate most of it enough. Maybe R&B fans will have a different opinion about this sad, sad piece of work. But besides the constant emoji feelings I was getting, it was an excellent production and a great job to the sound team (I feel bad for them). What do you think of this album?

One Love.

Stay tuned for the next edition and be sure to follow me at @stickykeys! Also if there are any albums you would like me to review, drop a comment below.

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