Once broke and starving, the rising star has now been nominated for two Grammys. He discusses making rock bottom, narrowly evading extinction and becoming a father
6lack, enunciated “black”, is perhaps having a Wireless festival comedown. When we gratify in July, the 26 -year-old is amicable but tired, introspective and stone-faced, the ecstasy of crooning his heart-bleeding blend of net and soul to thousands in Finsbury Park having petered out.” I’m missing out on category hour, I’m set my figure through extremes ,” he says.” When the things that you fantasise about becomes a reality, you realise this remains a undertaking .”
For the rapper-cum-singer otherwise known as Ricardo Valdez Valentine, that job is to realise confessionals: deep dives into disillusioned relationships and his search to find a better life through music. It’s the American Dream made a mid-2 0s actuality, wrapped in sombre product then cast into the world with low-toned vocals.
He was raised in Zone 6, the eastern district of Atlanta, a breeding ground for flamboyant rappers such as Gucci Mane. But Ricardo was a quiet child, scared straight-from-the-shoulder by witnessing a few things he says he shouldn’t have: friends sitting in prison or lying in cemeteries. Instead he dove into Sade, The-Dream, Erykah Badu and Michael Jackson. Then, in his late teens, with little money and no plaza to stay, he moved to Miami with some friends to hunt down a record deal.
” We got signed with no management , no solicitors ,” he says.” There’s Ferraris outside, there’s Bugattis, the studio is beautiful- we were just like:’ Why not ?’ You learn later .” The label required punched records with pop formats but 6lack prayed artistic freedom. So they was sitting in stalemate.” It led from a situation that seemed like the world chances to,’ You might have just fucked yourself over’. My rock bottom was somewhere in South Florida. I hadn’t eaten for a while, I was super thirsty. I remember being by a trash can and seeing someone throw food away. I thought about going over there, opening it up and eating it. When I had that recollected, I was like:’ This better be worth it bro .'” It was- stage legends J Cole and Future appear on second book East Atlanta Love Letter, which has just been secreted, while he made two Grammy nominations for his 2016 debut album Free 6lack and single Prblms.