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Ricardo Valdez Valentine (born June 24, 1992), better known by his stage name 6lack (stylized as 6LACK; pronounced "black"), is an American singer, rapper and songwriter from Atlanta, Georgia.

6lack 2018.png
Valentine in 2018
Background information
Birth nameRicardo Valdez Valentine
Born (1992-06-24) June 24, 1992 (age 27)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
OriginAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
  • Singer
  • rapper
  • songwriter
Years active2011–present
Associated acts

He initially gained notable recognition following the release of his single, "Prblms", taken from his debut album, Free 6lack, which was released in November 2016.[1] He released his second album, East Atlanta Love Letter in September 2018, which peaked at number three on the Billboard 200 chart. 6lack is currently signed to LoveRenaissance and Interscope Records.[2][3][4] He is also a member of the Atlanta-Baltimore music collective Spillage Village, founded by EarthGang and J.I.D.

Early lifeEdit

Valentine was born on June 24, 1992 in Baltimore, Maryland and moved to Atlanta, Georgia with his parents in 1997.[5] He is the oldest of 3 siblings. Valentine's first recording experience was when he was 4 years of age, at his father's studio.[6] He began rapping in middle school as a battle rapper and was involved in many battles in his youth including against rapper Young Thug.[7]


2011–2017: Beginnings and Free 6lackEdit

6lack in January 2017.

6lack signed a record deal with Flo Rida's International Music Group and Strong Arm Records in July 2011. He left Valdosta State University once he signed, and spent the next few years learning about the industry. 6lack spent five years with the label, putting music out on his SoundCloud account. 6lack had little financial security and spent most of his time sleeping in the studio or outside on the street after moving to Miami to work on music with the record label.[7] 6lack eventually left his label due to issues over artistic license and management.[8] In 2015, 6lack announced that he had joined the musical collective Spillage Village after living with the members of EarthGang, and appeared on four tracks of Spillage Village EP called Bears Like This Too in 2015.[9]

6lack performing in August 2017.

Once he left the label, he signed with a label LoveRenaissance and Interscope Records.[10] In November 2016, Rolling Stone included 6lack in their list of "10 New Artists You Need to Know".[11] He then went on to release his debut studio album, Free 6lack, which peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200 chart.[12] The album's single "Prblms" peaked at number 73 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became his first platinum record.[13] In April 2017, he joined Canadian singer The Weeknd as opening act for his Legend of the Fall tour in North America.

2018–present: East Atlanta Love LetterEdit

In April 2018, he released the single "OTW" with Khalid and Ty Dolla Sign, which has reached at number 57 on the Billboard Hot 100.[14] "OTW" became 6lack's highest peaking song on the Hot 100.[14] The first single for his sophomore album, "Switch", was released on June 22, 2018 with a music video released on July 16.[15] "Nonchalant" was released as the album's second single on August 17, with its accompanying music video.[16][17] On September 14, 2018, 6lack released his second studio album, East Atlanta Love Letter, featuring guest appearances from Future, J. Cole, Offset and Khalid. The album's release was preceded by the singles "Switch" and "Nonchalant."[18] In October 2018, 6lack started a tour for the promotion of the album, with opening acts THEY., Tierra Whack, Boogie, Deante' Hitchcock, Summer Walker, and Ari Lennox.[19][20] 6lack later featured on several other songs, such as "Waves" by Normani.[21]


6lack's music focuses or is based on personal and business relationships frequently, especially the topic of heartbreak.[22] 6lack has said that his songwriting is influenced mainly by his personal experiences and failed relationships.[23] Billboard magazine has described 6lack's music as "moody hip hop" that "spotlights vulnerability and honesty in a way the emoji generation can understand."[8] 6lack has cited Sade, T-Pain, The-Dream and Usher as his influences.[24]

Personal lifeEdit

In February 2017, 6lack announced the birth of his daughter.[25]




  • From East Atlanta With Love Tour (2018)


Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Awards Category Nominated work Result
2017 Soul Train Music Awards[26] Best New Artist Himself Nominated
2018 Grammy Awards[27] Best Urban Contemporary Album Free 6lack Nominated
Best Rap/Sung Performance "Prblms" Nominated
iHeartRadio Music Awards[28] Best New R&B Artist Himself Nominated
Soul Train Music Awards[29] Best Collaboration "OTW" (with Khalid and Ty Dolla Sign) Nominated
2019 Grammy Awards[30] Best Rap/Sung Performance "Pretty Little Fears" (with J. Cole) Nominated
MTV Video Music Award[31] Best R&B Video Waves” (with Normani) Won


  1. ^ "Daily Discovery: 6LACK". Pigeons and Planes. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  2. ^ "Meet 6LACK". Fader. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  3. ^ "LoveRenaissance's New R&B Star In The Making". DJ Booth. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  4. ^ "6LACK - Biography". Billboard. Retrieved November 27, 2016.
  5. ^ "6lack Talks Industry Growing Pains, Love Songs & Moody Debut Album 'Free 6lack'". Billboard. Retrieved November 18, 2016.
  6. ^ "Everything You Need To Know About 6LACK".
  7. ^ a b Schmelling, Clay Skipper,Michael (2017-03-30). "How 6lack Went From Sleeping in a Recording Studio to Touring with The Weeknd". GQ. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  8. ^ a b "6lack Talks Industry Growing Pains, Love Songs & Moody Debut Album 'Free 6lack'". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  9. ^ Kramer, Kyle. "This New Spillage Village EP Is About to Trigger a Worldwide Weed Shortage". Noisey Vice.
  10. ^ "Meet Rising Atlanta Artist: 6LACK". Genius. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  11. ^ "10 New Artists You Need to Know: November 2016". Rolling Stone. November 17, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2017.
  12. ^ "6LACK Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved September 22, 2018.
  13. ^ K. Q., Q. (July 8, 2017). "6lack Sells 1 Million Records For "Prblms"". Urbanlinx Media. Retrieved 17 July 2017.
  14. ^ a b "6LACK Chart History: Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
  15. ^ Hussein, Wandera. "6LACK crashes and burns in the "Switch" music video". The FADER. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  16. ^ Montes, Patrick. "6LACK Drops New 'East Atlanta Love Letter' Single "Nonchalant"". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  17. ^ Ch, Devin. "6LACK's "Nonchalant" Video Is A Peaceful Refrain". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 14 September 2018.
  18. ^ "6lack 'East Atlanta Love Letter' Cover Art and Release Date". XXL. August 29, 2018. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  19. ^ "6LACK Announces World Tour Featuring Tierra Whack, Boogie & More". HotNewHipHop. 14 August 2018. Retrieved September 3, 2018.
  20. ^ "6LACK Presents From East Atlanta with Love Tour With Guest Deante Hitchcock". Eventbrite.
  21. ^ NormaniVEVO (2019-02-12), Normani - Waves (feat. 6LACK) (Official Music Video), retrieved 2019-03-07
  22. ^ "Atlanta's 6LACK Wants to Talk About Real Life". Noisey. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  23. ^ "6lack Illustrated: The Brooding Newcomer Finally Lives in Color". Highsnobiety. 2017-09-18. Retrieved 2017-09-18.
  24. ^ "How 6LACK Went From Atlanta Battle Rapper To Budding Superstar". Complex. January 24, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2018.
  25. ^ "6LACK Announces Birth Of His Daughter". Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  26. ^ "Solange, Bruno Mars Lead 2017 Soul Train Awards Nominations". Billboard. October 17, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  27. ^ "60th GRAMMY Awards: Full Nominees List". The Recording Academy. November 28, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017.
  28. ^ "Rihanna, Ed Sheeran & Bruno Mars Lead iHeartRadio Music Awards 2018 Nominees". Billboard. January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018.
  29. ^ "2018 Soul Train Awards Exclusive: H.E.R., Bruno Mars & Cardi B Top Nominees". Billboard. October 25, 2018. Retrieved November 10, 2018.
  30. ^ "Grammy Nominations 2019: See The Full List Here". Pitchfork. December 7, 2018. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  31. ^ "MTV VMAs 2019: See The Full List of Winners Here". Pitchfork. Retrieved 2019-08-27.

External linksEdit