About a decade ago, a certain young man named Ricardo Valdez Valentine surfaced in the music industry under the stage name 6LACK (pronounced “Black”). It was in 2009 when he began to dish out his unique and then unpopular sound.
Ricardo Valdez Valentine grew up in Atlanta where talent was too common to make anyone a star. This circumstance made him develop a selling point that transcends his musical talent and skills, in order to gain relevance. He began to relate with his audience on a personal level so that they do not only care about his music, but about him. As time passed, 6LACK mastered this art and has thrived on it for years.
6LACK has also managed to hone the rare and priceless skill of relating with the fans and listeners of his music through his lyrics. He tells stories about himself that most of his fans have either experienced too, or can relate with because it is quite regular and also emotional. He put all the struggles of growing up, hustling and all kinds of hardship into his lyrics to appeal to his audience. Although his songs might sometimes be very groovy and hippy, they are still songs that one can sit to listen to, relate with and be emotional about. He has learnt to entertain by stimulating emotions.
He recorded many singles and had a lot of collaborations from the time he entered the industry in 2009, till 2016 when he eventually dropped his first album. The album which he had titled, “FREE 6LACK” was dropped in November, 2016. He revealed that he wanted the album to be ‘relatable’, so he wrote every song in it with that word in mind. He did not want people to just listen to his songs but to listen and relate with the songs. He wanted people to share their similar stories after listening to the songs in the album. He did not just want to make music, but he wanted to make music that would speak the minds of the people.
While 6LACK might not be able to compete or compare with bigger names and faces in the music industry, he can also be said to have attained stardom in his own proportion. He has a wide fan base, and many of these fans are people who actually relate with him, and are loyal to him. Many of the music stars in the industry have also noticed 6LACK, acknowledged his work and have offered to work with him. He also performed as the opening act at The Weeknd’s North America Tour.
He has also made it to the Billboard a couple of times since he started his career. When he released the album “FREE 6LACK”, which is the only album he has ever dropped, it went up on the Billboard 200 chart and stayed at number 34 for a while. His single “Prblms” also ranked number 73 on the Billboard Hot 100.
He retains the hip-hop culture, but modifies it in a way that the current generation can appreciate and understand it properly.