Atlanta Artist 6lack Soars on his Debut Album: Free 6lack

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Born Ricardo Valentine, the southern singer has been creating for years but just recently began receiving attention with his breakout singles ‘PRBLMS’ and ‘Free’ released in early 2016. 6lack (Pronounced Black) aims to create a withstanding name for himself with murky beats, grimy vocals, and intimate lyrics. These characteristics are heard throughout ‘Free 6lack’ as Valentine contrasts past relationships and personal challenges with his desire for mental freedom.

After years or being locked in a faulty contract, 6lack felt he could finally express creative freedom with his latest release. The self-described monochromatic vocals backed by swampy soundscapes and stripped-down instrumentals reflect the conflicting emotions experienced by the young artist. In an interview with Fader magazine 6lack says, “ You look at it right now, you see monochrome, you see moody, you see for the most part somebody who is still in the process of figuring shit out,” in regard to his musical style.

‘Free 6lack’ opens with a stripped-down, nefarious track titled ‘Never Know’ which sets the overcast mood of the album and gives Valentine room to celebrate his hard-fought success. Other standout songs include intimate ballads like ‘Luving U’ and  ‘Gettin Old’ plus an addictive remix of Future’s Perkys Calling.’ 6lack aims to connect with fans through relatable stories of overcoming personal challenges and difficult relationships. His powerful messages of pushing for freedom pair seamlessly with his haunting beat selection creating a delightfully dangerous album. If you enjoy the murky, monochromatic R&B sound emerging out of cities like Atlanta and Toronto then I highly recommend indulging in this album and watching 6lack’s video for his hit single, ‘PRBLMS,’ below.

‘PRBLMS’ Video

Free 6lack

Find 6lack on: Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud

For fans of: Drake, PartyNextDoor, The Weeknd

Robert B

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Donald Glover, I Want to be You (A Review of Childish Gambino’s New Single)

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If I was superstitious, I’d bet money that Donald Glover
sold his soul to the devil. It’s unfair that one man can have so much talent.
Comedic genius, fire rapper, distinct actor, and now the mastermind behind that
beautiful new TV Show Atlanta. Goddamn, man. You’re making everybody else look
bad. I’m so jealous of you, Donald Glover. Why is everything you do amazing?

I’m here today to talk about Childish Gambino’s new song. His
last album, Because the Internet, was
in my top albums of 2013 list. I still bump it. I own it on vinyl. Yo, I don’t
even own a record player. What even is rationality?

This latest single, wittily titled Me and Your Mama, sounds nothing like the last album. Not the least bit surprising. This new single showcases a totally evolved sound, and is more funk than
hip hop. That said, it’s amazing. The angelic crooning on the intro plays as a
wonderful contrast to Childish’s hoarse, desperate singing throughout. The
production is simultaneously smooth and violent. Guitar riffs. It’s Gambino like you’ve never
heard him before.

His new album Awaken,
My Love
is out December 2nd. I, for one, am hyped beyond hyped.

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Album Review: Raury – All We Need

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Verdict: 7/10

Raury is Atlanta’s latest Hip Hop
weirdo. Because even in a scene dominated by the likes of Gucci Mane, Wacka
Flocka, Migos, and Rich Homie Quan, there’s room for Andre 3000, Father and
Childish Gambino to thrive.

19 year old Raury brings his A-Game
for major label debut, All We Need,
but there are too few pleasant surprises. All
We Need
feels like a mere continuation of his Indigo Child EP, which,
although great, came out an entire year ago.

There are big name features this
time around, however. The RZA makes an emotional appearance on “CPU”, a song
that’s almost great. Southern royalty Big K.R.I.T. shows up to drop a pointed
verse on “Forbidden Knowledge”, an album highlight.

Raury’s eclectic brand of hip hop
blends rap with folk, spitfire verses with acoustic riffs. It’s a fascinating
take, but one that he hasn’t been fully realized yet. Some songs have fire raps,
but are marred by singing that’s just a little off. This is most blatant on
songs like “Revolution” and “CPU”.

“Devil’s Whisper” is the most
fully realized song on the album, a song where Raury does his thing and does it
well. Its soulful, upbeat tempo will have feet stomping and heads nodding.

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“I could be Juicy J,” Raury raps. But
he won’t, because his heart “burns in the fire of the truth.”

Raury wants to make music that has
a positive influence on his generation. He expanded on that in an interview
with Teen Vogue, “With this album I just want to show the kids to find
themselves in love. That’s why I called it All
We Need
because that’s really all we need…to stand up for each other and
the future and just make a better society.”

“I’m not trying to be a preacher,”
Raury says, but that doesn’t stop him from casting a critical eye on the
world’s bullshit. His lyrics, although sometimes overly dystopian, ring with
poignancy: “The insipid motherfucker called ‘humanity’/Raping and damaging
everything in its way” and “We slaughter for profit, our sons know no father/The
ozone the word that is no longer brought up” are just two scathing zingers off
of magnificent title song ‘All We Need,’ where Raury likens our earth to a
burning room.

“Crystal Express” is the album’s
peak, an energetic, ceaselessly cheerful song that celebrates finding peace.  “Life is in the moment/And life is incoherent,”
Raury sings. Indeed.

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Other highlights are “Woodcrest
Manor II”, “Friends”, and “Peace Prevail”. “Friends” especially, because it’s
one of the songs on this album where Raury succeeds in his psychedelic
strivings. Title song “All We Need” succeeds most in the psychedelic regard,
opening with an escalating drone that fades into an extra-terrestrial guitar
riff. The beat switch during K.R.I.T.’s verse on “Forbidden Knowledge” is
another great moment.

All
We Need
is a strong debut album from Raury. He’s got a good deal of
potential and his future looks bright. Check this album out, get familiar with
the man who might be a household name someday soon. He does have a major label
deal after all.

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Pranav Shivanna



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