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the Talented R&B Artist 6lack

Name Ricardo Valdez Valentine (6lack)
Birthday June 24, 1992 (Age 31)
Hometown Atlanta, Georgia
Genre R&B, Hip Hop
Labels LVRN, Interscope
Social Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / YouTube

As a long-time fan, I’ve eagerly followed 6lack’s career from the beginning. His soulful vocals and vulnerable songwriting hooked me from his very first mixtape. Now with two acclaimed albums under his belt, 6lack stands as one of contemporary R&B’s most promising talents.

Humble Beginnings in Atlanta

6lack was born Ricardo Valentine on June 24, 1992 and grew up in Atlanta’s Zone 6 neighborhood. As a shy kid, he found solace in music and started writing lyrics as a teenager. T-Pain, Future, and other Atlanta trap artists inspired his early material. After high school, 6lack attended Valdosta State on a music scholarship but soon dropped out to focus on his budding music career full-time.

Influenced by introspective artists like The Weeknd, 6lack began incorporating more melodic vocals and vulnerable themes into his music. Songs like “Ex Calling” earned him local buzz in Atlanta’s hip hop scene. This initial success led to a record deal with LoveRenaissance (LVRN) and Interscope Records in 2015.

Breakthrough with Free 6lack

6lack’s career skyrocketed with the November 2016 release of his debut album Free 6lack. Propelled by the sensual “PRBLMS” and the toxic relationship anthem “Ex Calling,” the album debuted at #34 on the Billboard 200.

Free 6lack showcased 6lack’s buttery smooth vocals, atmospheric production, and raw personal lyrics. He sang candidly about relationship woes on “Luving U” and exposed his insecurities on “Alone / EA6.” Critics praised the album as a unique, introspective take on contemporary R&B. In 2017, 6lack earned Grammy and BET Award nominations, proving he was an artist to watch.

Refining His Artistry on East Atlanta Love Letter

On September 14, 2018, 6lack followed up with East Atlanta Love Letter. The album debuted at #3 on the Billboard 200 and contained collabs with artists like J.Cole, Future, and Khalid. Standout tracks like “Switch” and “Pretty Little Fears” showcased artistic growth and further critical acclaim.

Sonically, East Atlanta Love Letter expanded on 6lack’s signature raw emotions, hazy production, and smooth vocals. Lyrically, it tackled themes like unrequited love, childhood trauma, and self-medication even more boldly. He earned two more Grammy noms and won Top R&B Artist at the 2019 Billboard Music Awards, proving 6lack was no one-hit-wonder.

6lack‘s Unique Artistic Style

What makes 6lack so special is his ability to articulate the deepest of emotions through music. His vulnerable lyrics tackle personal trauma, insecurities, and relationship woes with refreshing honesty. Songs like “Scripture,” “Stan,” and “Sorry” find him apologizing for past mistakes, questioning religion, and confronting childhood pain.

Yet despite the heavy subject matter, 6lack’s atmospheric production and smooth vocals provide a lush, sensual listening experience. His music envelops you in his raw, intimate world. He provides refuge from the pain he describes so candidly, whether singing over airy guitars or hypnotic electronica.

This combination of dark lyricism and soothing melodies has earned him the label “dark R&B.” Yet the classification fails to capture the full complexity of his artistry. With two successful albums already under his belt at just 31 years old, I can’t wait to see 6lack’s continued evolution.

The Future is Bright

From his modest beginnings in Atlanta to headlining world tours, 6lack has already accomplished so much. He has amassed:

  • Over 2 billion global streams
  • Over 5 million Instagram followers
  • Two Grammy nominated albums
  • A Billboard Music Award for Top R&B Artist

Major artists like Drake, Khalid, and Kehlani have all jumped to collaborate with him. Given his undeniable talent and growing fanbase, I believe the best is yet to come from 6lack. His vulnerable artistry fills a unique niche in contemporary R&B. As he continues mastering his craft, the musical and cultural impact of artists like 6lack will only become more apparent. Get on board now before his star rises even higher!