Teamwork makes the dream work and when Atlanta’s very own 6lack teamed up with a variety of artist to add three bonus tracks to celebrate the anniversary of his debut album Free 6lack, he gave us fans a dose of what good collaboration can do to the body. “Glock Six”, “In Between”, and “One Way” are all tales of the ups, ups, and downs of love. When listening to the songs in order it all sounds like a whirlwind which is fitting for a young and budding star who unnaturally is constantly on the road and in a new city. But naturally can’t help fall but victim to the emotions and situations that make us human, makes for tear stained diary entries, and ultimately makes for great music.
Diaries are a contradiction. My therapist says they’re helpful, she even applauded me for finding such a “healthy outlet” for my problems during our last session. Yet diaries are harmful. They’re physical representation of one’s vulnerability. Looking at a photograph of two used to be lovers you can guess what they may be thinking by the brightness of their smiles and how deep the acrylic nails of the woman sink into her lovers coat, pulling him closer. The words she wrote about that day though, the words written with a sparkly pink, gel pen on the back of that polaroid allows you to not have to guess at all what she felt; and once it’s written it can’t be erased. Diaries are a contradiction, because words can be the band aid and the burning alcohol on a healing wound.
Way back when, 20-
He told me I’d get my confirmation today and I did. I slept in the clothes I was going to wear to the airport so I could rush out the house, grab my carry on full of lacy, barely there essentials, and hop right into the Lyft waiting for me outside.
“Take one breath, take two…”
I told myself as I closed my eyes and the airplane took off to lead me into the arms I’ve been waiting to get in. After hours of Facetime, suggestive text, and MOMA worthy nudes being sent I’m telling myself it’s time to put up or shut up…but I’m nervous. Free drinks on first class make it better (thanks bae). The planes gentle rocking, soaring over smoky clouds against God’s masterpiece of an orangish-red sky mixed so well with my merlot induced euphoria. I’m lusty now and his text messages that I’ve memorized like a study guide are playing in my head again:
“We still haven’t fucked on each other’s couch. Maybe that can wait for another time, I’ve never been one to fuck up the vibe, but I will fuck up your life. “
As to which I responded: “Fuck me up then.”
The euphoria turned into a coma that I was rudely jolted out of and instantly sobered when I touched (crashed) down in his city. I let every person off the plane before I even reached for my one carry on. This airport is huge and I usually hate getting lost in airports but oh what a great excuse for stalling. I reluctantly found my way to the carpooling entrance and although there were hundreds of people swarming around, and Christmas songs blasting and fueling the holiday buzz, everything stopped when I locked into a pair a familiar brown eyes. Big, shiny, ones that look so much better in person.
“Take one step, take two…”
And before I knew it there was no more fantasizing, or planning or hoping, The anticipation of wanting someone so bad and now having them in your face makes you have to forcefully behave like a lady.
“The other side of you is on the loose…”
I won’t when he takes us home though. I won’t behave when he takes me.
I can out smoke you, you, you , you, and ya momma, but if he puts another blunt in my face I’’ll scream. I don’t want to be silenced you need to hear me.
“Friends claim that they wanting what we got..”
But they have no idea what it feels like to have to deal with a terrible communicator, “I’ll text you later” but there’s never a later, bags under my eyes from staying up all night praying to my savior that he’ll come home safe…from wherever he’s coming from. They say nothing last forever but I just knew he and I would dead that old saying. Now I feel like it’s laughing at me and squealing “I told you so.”
“Already got me sayin’, baby I got no patience. Give me one conversation, I can be soft, you can behave.”
Can we? Lay with me? I know the fame gets to him and I used to be his relief, I still can be. I know I told him to leave but I can’t believe he actually tried to walk out that door. You know I ain’t mean that shit! Did you? We’re fading and you’re fine with it?
“I think I’ma need a minute. No picking up, it’s time to finish. Think you wanna be replenished, you’re hanging on to every sentence…”
Because with this over, the words of us are all I have to hang on to.
On “In Between” and “One Way” he enlisted the production skills of his go to producer Singawd with the help of Lucianblomkamp, an Australian born artist who’s sounds aren’t exactly new to 6lack fans.
Singawd sampled Lucian’s “Catskill Mountain Resort” to create one of 6lack’s first singles “Bless Me,” and Lucian was sampled again for 6lack’s “Alone/EA6”. Down under producers weren’t the only thing added to this dream team. The beautiful, whisper like, voice dancing around 6lack’s on “In Between” belongs to Jillian Rose Banks or “Banks.” An Orange County singer/songwriter whose easy going voice provides the gentle vibes needed to self heal after your allegedly perfect relationship comes to an end. The Tallahassee king and everyone’s favorite nappy boy , T-Pain is making a quick and much anticipated come back. He hopped on Smino’s “Anita Remix” this past October and has just recently released his 5th studio album “Oblivion.” T-Pain’s no stranger to letting his audience know that women have caught him slipping and had him wide open. So his sultry but raunchy verse (just how we like it ), sounds honest. Like an auto tuned confessional of what we all think when a pretty brown thing is so close to being in our grasps, but time and distance is forcing you to sit on your hands.
“Famous niggas get so lonely
And I know you gon’ come and put it on me
And I can’t wait to put this in your mouth…”
In all, these bonus goodies are the perfect example of what happens when creatives work together to create their own sounds. Technically there are such things as genres, but they don’t define what kind of artist you are. That’s the artists’ job. Music has no bounds, and neither does 6lack.