Atlanta’s alt-R’n’B prodigy 6lack has finally announced the UK leg of his FREE 6LACK tour, having only visited these shores previously as a support act, opening up for The Weeknd on his recent UK jaunt. His debut, FREE 6LACK, was a masterful realistaion of a genre once seen as nothing but a concept: slow-jam inspired R’n’B with hip-hop beats, sporadic spits, and lyrics a little too personal for public ears. We’ve put together five of the songs we want him to play the most, and why they need to be played. So get reading, get listening, and hopefully the wait for the dates will go real quick.

Never Know

Never Know pitches itself fast and furiously as a sure-fire safe-bet opener for the tour, especially as it doubles up as the no fucks given opener to 6lack’s debut ‘FREE 6LACK’, which you know, is also the name of the tour. 6lack’s flow is fiery, feisty, and furious on this track, a mission statement to the masses about taking on the world. “Ran through these streets, ran through these beats, ran through these thoughts, ran through these hearts.” It’s one of 6lack’s darker tracks, loaded with a tight flow that powers through, trading out his slow jam stylings for an RnB-rap attack. Simply put: this needs to open his sets.

Bless Me

Bless Me was the first post-Free 6lack single to drop in our ears back in 2016, and again continues the formula he messed with on the album – minimalistic beats, haunting vocals, and lyrics that rip open the heart and feed on the lows of loving someone. For a song with lyrics you want to sing along to, it’s got a few, including one of his finest lines of all time: “And I’ve been on the road, met a lot of girls, but I met the wrong kind/ Went looking for a muse, think I found that shit in you, it’s been a long time.” It builds and bubbles, and you can feel the pain in his voice. Imagine the room lit in darkness, white lights flashing sporadically with the beats as he navigates through this haunting anti-RnB number.

PRBLMS 

Arguably 6lack’s breakthrough hit, PRBLMS is by far one of his finest flows and the track where his vision feels as accomplished as it possibly can be on a debut record. Blurring the lines between hip-hop, slow jams, and straight-up RnB, 6lack finds himself flowing through PRBLMS swapping spitting and singing line after line as he battles his inner thoughts on where he’s at with a particular girl, it’s his way of navigating through the lies he’s weaved and the love he’s fallen into. So many lines in this song would sound absolutely killer: “I wanted a bitch who was down to earth, but she want the goddamn sky” or “she text me/ I hate you, I hate you/ I hate you, I hate you/ but how the fuck can you hate me?” or “So I found me a new thing, I’m not as lost as you think/ Got plenty of queens in my hometown, all they need is drink and that dank.” They’re all platinum. We’ll have PRBLMS if it doesn’t get played.

Luving U

By far one of his most explorative tracks, Luving U is a bleak slow jam-cum-ballad with an uncomfortable beat bubbling in the background, allowing 6lack to showcase his vocal talents and his lyrical wit through an exploration of compromising who you are when in a relationship. This song would be fantastic in the middle of a set, especially when 6lack hits his flow mid-song: “Who’s this bitch, girl that’s my mum/ who’s this woman, girl that’s my aunt.” You know it’ll be rooms full of people singing “I don’t wanna lose myself loving you, loving you” and it’ll be all the more special for it. It’s haunting, it’s stripped back, and it’s one of 6lack’s finest tracks.

Love Child

Okay, so this one isn’t actually a 6lack song, and instead a heavyweight Atlanta-themed guest-filled collaboration with collective Spillage Village, but it’s a bonafide banger, and 6lack’s verse is a hard-hitting, fire-spitting flow where he swaps out his slow-jam vibes for the rapper resting inside of him. The song as a whole is one hell of a jam, with a funk-driven groovy beat behind it, and some solid performances throughout. Love Child is the kinda jam he could throw out towards the end to pick up from his slower paced jams and get the crowd going again.

You can catch 6lack in the U.K. on the following dates:

12.01.18 – Birmingham – 02 Institute

13.01.18 – Manchester – Ritz

18.01.18 – London – Electric Brixton

 

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