Once burst and starving, the rising star has now been nominated for two Grammys. He discusses smacking rock bottom, narrowly evading demise and becoming a father
6lack, pronounced “black”, is perhaps having a Wireless festival comedown. When we encounter in July, the 26 -year-old is amicable but tired, introspective and stone-faced, the rapture of warbling his heart-bleeding blend of trap and soul to thousands in Finsbury Park having petered out.” I’m missing out on family hour, I’m putting my figure through extremes ,” he says.” When the things that you fantasise about become a reality, you realise this is still a responsibility .”
For the rapper-cum-singer otherwise known as Ricardo Valdez Valentine, the number of jobs is to obligate confessionals: deep dives into embittered relationships and his quest to ascertain a high quality of life through music. It’s the American Dream made a mid-2 0s actuality, wrapped in sombre creation then sent into the world with low-toned vocals.
He was raised in Zone 6, the eastern territory of Atlanta, a breeding ground for ostentatious rappers such as Gucci Mane. But Ricardo was a quiet child, frightened straight by watching a few things he says he shouldn’t have: pals 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 coin and no neighbourhood to stay, he moved to Miami with some friends to hunt down a record deal.
” We went signed with no control , no lawyers ,” he says.” There’s Ferraris outside, there’s Bugattis, the studio is beautiful- we were just like:’ Why not ?’ You learn later .” The name demanded collision records with pop formats but 6lack craved artistic freedom. So they sat in stalemate.” It travelled from a situation that seemed like the world-wide given an opportunity 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 hungry. I remember being by a trash can and seeing someone shed nutrient away. I thought about going over there, opening it up and feeing it. When I had that speculation, I was like:’ This better be worth it bro .'” It was- scene legends J Cole and Future appear on second book East Atlanta Love Letter, “whos just” secreted, while he earned two Grammy nominations for his 2016 entry album Free 6lack and single Prblms.