Once broke and hungry, the rising star has now been nominated for two Grammys. He discusses making rock bottom, narrowly shunning death and becoming a father
6lack, pronounced “black”, is perhaps having a Wireless festival comedown. When we convene in July, the 26 -year-old is amicable but tired, introspective and stone-faced, the rapture of crooning his heart-bleeding blend of trap and soul to thousands in Finsbury Park having petered out.” I’m missing out on lineage duration, I’m put my person through extremes ,” he says.” When the things that you fantasise about become a reality, you realise this is still a job .”
For the rapper-cum-singer otherwise known as Ricardo Valdez Valentine, that job is to obligate confessionals: deep dives into embittered relationships and his journey to find a better life through music. It’s the American Dream made a mid-2 0s actuality, wrapped in sombre production then sent into the world with low-toned vocals.
He was raised in Zone 6, the eastern district of Atlanta, a breeding grounds for ostentatious rappers such as Gucci Mane. But Ricardo was a quiet child, scared straight-from-the-shoulder by witnessing a few cases things he says he shouldn’t have: friends sitting in prison or lying in graveyards. Instead he dove into Sade, The-Dream, Erykah Badu and Michael Jackson. Then, in his late teenages, with little fund and no target to stay, he moved to Miami with some friends to hunt down a record deal.
” We went signed with no handling , no advocates ,” he says.” There’s Ferraris outside, there’s Bugattis, the studio is beautiful- we were just like:’ Why not ?’ You learn later .” The name necessitated smacked records with pop formats but 6lack craved artistic freedom. So they was sitting in stalemate.” It ran from a situation that seemed like the global 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 thirsty. I recollect being by a trash can and seeing someone throw food away. I thought about going over there, opening it up and dining it. When I had that conceived, I was like:’ This better be worth it bro .'” It was- vistum legends J Cole and Future appear on second album East Atlanta Love Letter, which has just been liberated, while he payed two Grammy nominations for his 2016 debut book Free 6lack and single Prblms.