6lack is an artist that has been on the brink of R&B Trap superstardom for several years. He has been very popular in more of an underground setting and is a person that other Hip Hop musicians have lauded for a while, but he hasn’t had a record yet that truly propels him to mainstream superstardom in the Hip Hop world. After trying to unsuccessfully break into the music industry for several years after signing a failed record deal, 6lack joined Spillage Village(which is a collection of Atlanta artists that includes Earthgang and JID) in 2014. After appearing on several tracks from Spillage Village’s 2015 EP Bears Like This Too, 6lack released his first studio record Free 6lack at the end of 2016. This record spawned the single ‘Prblms,’ which went viral and cemented 6lack as an artist to watch. He followed this record with his second studio album East Atlanta Love Letter, which came out in 2018 to critical acclaim. In 2020, he released a brief EP named 6pc Hot and appeared in Spillage Village’s EP Spilligion. Throughout all of these projects, 6lack has shown awesome diversity in his artistry and has proven he can perform on multiple kinds of instrumentals. 6lack has now returned in 2023 with a new album called Since I Have A Lover. Unfortunately, I feel similarly about this project as I did about Don Toliver’s recent album(which is another one I was very excited about and sort of let down by). AT 19 songs, this album just feels very bloated. In my opinion, it has a ton of filler tracks, and the album starts to feel mundane at some points. If the album were trimmed down to its best 10-12 tracks, it would be a lot more exciting to listen to overall. Since I Have A Lover does have a lot of quality on it though, and there are quite a few tracks I do enjoy a lot. Below is a list of my favorite songs from 6lack’s Since I Have A Lover. Let me know in the comments below what your favorite songs are from Since I Have A Lover, and also comment on what you thought of the album as a whole.
Inwood Hill Park
When I first heard ‘Inwood Hill Park,’ it got me very excited about Since I Have A Lover. It has a style of instrumental that one would not expect to hear from 6lack, and it made me think maybe this record was full of sounds that are out of the ordinary for 6lack. Unfortunately, apart from a couple of tracks, 6lack does not take many more chances that are comparable to this one. That honestly makes ‘Inwood Hills Park’ stick out to me even more. ‘Inwood Hills Park’ has a sort of upbeat R&B instrumental that reminds me of the early 2000s. When i hear this instrumental, it reminds me of artists like Mario. 6lack’s vocals on this track give it a modern feel. He uses the sing/rap kind of flow, and it sounds very cool in this kind of instrumental. ‘Inwood Hills Park’ is a great example of the cool things that 6lack can do when he thinks outside the box. I hope we get to hear more music like this from him in the near future.
One thing that 6lack has always been known for is dark and cloudy melodies in his instrumentals. Typically, when one would think of music from 6lack, that person would think of moody and somber-sounding music. ‘Spirited Away’ is a departure from 6lack’s usual gloomy melodies, as it instead has a light and pleasant one. The melody is made up of a delightful acoustic guitar riff that is complimented by various synths and sound effects that add to the ambiance. The finger plucking in this guitar riff is so lovely and it gives the song such a warm feeling. This switch-up from what 6lack is surprising and I welcome it quite a bit; it shows off a side to 6lack that we usually do not get to see. 6lack’s dainty vocal delivery really adds to the sound of this song. His vocals are just as warm as the instrumental, and they give the song an all-encompassing feeling. I would love to hear 6lack on these kinds of sweet instrumentals more, as it shows a bit of range from him that we do not see often.
Tit For Tat
‘Tit for Tat’ is an example of 6lack doing what he knows he does best. ‘Tit for Tat’ shows that 6lack knows what he is definitely good at and that he knows what most of his fans want to hear from him. To be honest, there is nothing quirky or distinct about this song; it has a pretty typical modern moody R&B Trap feeling to it. The instrumental is driven by cloudy and atmospheric synths and carries a pretty standard Trap beat. Because the song does have a somewhat stereotypical instrumental, it forces the listener to focus on the performance from 6lack. 6lack’s performance on ‘Tit for Tat’ is probably my favorite of his on the whole record. There are elements of his delivery on this track that remind me of older Drake music. When I hear it, I get taken back to songs like ‘How Bout Now,’ ‘Hotline Bling,’ or even ‘Best I Ever Had.’ ‘Tit for Tat’ is just an excellent example of a modern dark R&B Trap by someone that at times can do it as well as anyone in the industry.
Out of all the singles released before this album came out, ‘Talkback’ was by far my favorite. This is the one that appealed to me out of those three tracks. ‘Talkback’ is an example of 6lack in his element. He has always excelled at making downtrodden R&B Trap tracks with acoustic melodies, and this song falls squarely into that category. ‘Talkback’ samples the classic song ‘Shape Of My Heart’ by Sting. This song has a soothing yet melancholy melody, and it sounds so nice on this easy-going Trap instrumental. Vocally, 6lack does not do anything super special on this track, but he does ride the instrumental nicely. He uses a sort of rap/singing flow, and this delivery works on this instrumental. ‘Talkback’ is a song for fans of the music 6lack got popular for, as it fits that mold well.
wunna dem with QUIN
I always appreciate when an artist takes a risk and does something that is not what would be expected of them. I especially love it when they execute that risk admirably. At 1:51, ‘wunna dem,’ which features QUIN, is the shortest track on the record; it does make a big impact, though, because of how much it stands out. Similar to ‘Spirited Away,’ of the biggest things about this ‘wunna dem’ that distinguishes it among most 6lack music is how bright and sweet the melody of the song is. The melody, which is made up of an acoustic guitar riff, some synths, and backing vocals, has a Heavenly feeling that makes me feel calm when i hear it. The instrumental has no beat, which makes the melody more impactful. The vocal chemistry of 6lack and QUIN on this song is so palpable. The harsher nature of 6lack’s voice pairs splendidly with QUIN’s dainty vocals. ‘wunna dem’ is a great example of some of the unique and interesting things 6lack can do when he decides to take big risks.
Similar to the song that precedes it on this list, ‘Decatur’ has a sound that I would never have expected to hear from 6lack and that I think he sounds great on. I have always thought 6lack has a vocal style that is immensely adaptable and that he can sound great on many different kinds of music. ‘Decatur’ has a Latin Pop song that has a Calypso feeling to it. This is the kind of track one would expect to hear on a beach while partying the night away on some beach in the Caribbean. ‘Decatur’ is so pleasant to listen to, as it has the kind of melody and beat that can put a smile on anyone’s face when they hear it. 6lack’s vocal performance on ‘Decatur’ is perfect as well; his vocals paired with this instrumental give this song a very bright and sunny feeling that I absolutely love. I have to say, ‘Decatur’ is probably my overall favorite song on the record. ‘Decatur’ once again shows that 6lack can excel at so many different kinds of music and that he is seemingly at his best when he decides to take risks like this.
Temporary feat. Don Toliver
Don Toliver and 6lack is a duo I need to hear more of. When I think of the best collaborators possible for each of these artists, the other one always comes to mind. This is because the calm and gruff tone that 6lack is known for singing with has always seemed like it would pair so well with the higher-pitched and more intense way of singing that Don Toliver is known for. ‘Temporary’ is a song that proves these two are indeed great at collaborating with each other. ‘Temporary’ has a modern-sounding Neo-R&B Trap sound that sounds so psychedelic and trippy. There is also something about the song that is so sexy; this sultry melody paired with the vocals of 6lack and Don Toliver sets the mood. As I expected, the lower and softer of 6lack’s voice contrasts amazingly with Don Toliver’s voice. These two do bounce off of each other super well. ‘Temporary’ is a great track that proves these two need to make more music together in the future.
As always – great article!
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