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Review: 6Lack’s ‘East Atlanta Love Letter’ Tackles Love, Loss and Loyalty

The rapper’s second album is a musical form of healing.

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6lack 

East Atlanta Love Letter

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6Lack’s sophomore release, “East Atlanta Love Letter,” is an introspective and mellow hip-hop album that touches on the themes of love, loss, struggle and loyalty.

Fused with elements of R&B, 6Lack incorporates the use of autotune and live instruments into the album, giving it a modern, but warm, acoustic feel. The album is honest, raw, confessional, and paints a vivid picture of his experiences.

On the album’s intro track, “Unfair,” you quickly get the impression that he’s feuding with his girlfriend. He raps, “hope my mistakes don’t make me less of a man.” As the song progresses, it becomes evident that he doesn’t want to lose her love.

The album then takes an unexpected and aggressive turn as it fades into “Loaded Gun.”

The title track, featuring  Future, is an honest and unapologetic piece that expresses his desire to loved ones to see the world beyond Atlanta. In “Let Her Go,” 6Lack questions the possibility of letting go of his relationship. He raps “yeah if I let her go/ will I regret it?/ Will I forget it?/ Well, it’s somethin’ I don’t know.”

The album is a deep and melodic hip-hop escape fused with a series of intricate beats, with lyrics that border on self-analysis. He holds nothing back while sharing various trials and tribulations. On the apologetic “Sorry,” he raps about holding himself accountable for his wrongdoing and using writing as a form of healing. “Can find me somewhere writing when I’m wrong.” He raps, “girl, I’m just tryna see if I belong/mistakes feel like a fracture in my bones.”

“East Atlanta Love Letter” rich with diverse instrumentation, exemplified by “Pretty Little Fears” featuring J. Cole. The track opens with an airy electric guitar, then tells the story of lost love. “Disconnect” is backed by a tranquil piano melody intertwined with a series of mellow beats.

On “Switch,” 6Lack raps about realizing faults by seeing things from another perspective. The album’s only interlude, “Thugger’s Interlude,” discusses his current mental state and the music he’s been listening to. The interlude then fades into “Balenciaga Challenge” featuring Offset.

Loyalty, fatherhood and his relationship with God dominate “Scripture.” The song then gives way to the relaxed and calm “Nonchalant,” which fades into “Seasons” featuring Khalid. The closer “Stan”, 6Lack expresses being content in his relationship as long as he is loved — just like his diehard fans love him.

It’s clear 6Lack created “East Atlanta Love Letter” as a musical form of healing. The album is altogether human, straightforward and complex.

In the liner notes, 6Lack says, “I wrote this album for those with difficulty expressing themselves or their love. Communication is key and over time it’s proven to be my biggest obstacle. I want you to know that just because it’s hard doesn’t mean it’s impossible.”

If you obsess over singers and bands, and are one of those people who make a playlist for every occasion, join CMN’s Music Journalism Course and get real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to music industry insiders, and a great place to display build your portfolio. Get all the details on the Music Journalism Course here.

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