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6lack August 2017.jpg
6lack performing in August 2017
Background information
Birth name Ricardo Valdez Valentine
Born (1992-06-24) June 24, 1992 (age 26)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • rapper
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2011–present
Website eastatlantaloveletter.com

Ricardo Valdez Valentine (born June 24, 1992), better known by his stage name 6lack (stylized as 6LACK and pronounced black), is an American singer, songwriter, and rapper from Atlanta, Georgia.[1] He is best known for his single "Prblms", which was released in June 2016.[2] He is currently signed to LoveRenaissance and Interscope Records.[3][4][5]

Life and career[edit]

1992–2015: Early life and career beginnings[edit]

Valentine was born on June 24, 1992 in Baltimore, Maryland and moved to Atlanta, Georgia with his parents in 1997.[6] Valentine is the oldest of 3 siblings. Valentine's first recording experience was when he was 4 years of age, at his father's studio.[7] Valentine began rapping in middle school as a battle rapper and was involved in many battles in his youth including against rapper Young Thug.[8]

6lack signed a record deal with Flo Rida's International Music Group/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.[8] 6lack eventually left his label due to issues over artistic license and management.[9]

2016–17: Free 6lack[edit]

6lack in January 2017.

Once he left the label, he signed with LoveRenaissance and Interscope Records.[1] In November 2016, Rolling Stone included 6lack in their list of "10 New Artists You Need to Know".[10] He then went on to release his debut studio album, Free 6lack, which peaked at number 34 on the Billboard 200 chart.[11] The album's single "Prblms" peaked at number 73 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became his first platinum record.[12]

In February 2017, 6lack announced the birth of his daughter, Syx Rose Valentine.[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 Letter[edit]

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] 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."[15]


6lack's music focuses on personal and business relationships frequently, especially the topic of heartbreak.[16] 6lack has said that his songwriting is influenced mainly by his personal experiences and failed relationships.[17] Billboard has described 6lack's music as "moody hip hop" that "spotlights vulnerability and honesty in a way the emoji generation can understand."[9] 6lack has cited Sade, T-Pain, The-Dream and Usher as his influences.[18]


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications

US Rap
Free 6lack[22] 34 11 5 88
East Atlanta Love Letter[24]
  • Released: September 14, 2018
  • Label: LoveRenaissance, Interscope
  • Format: CD, digital download


As lead artist[edit]

List of singles as lead artist, with selected chart positions, showing year released and album name
Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album

"Ex Calling"[29] 2016 [A] [B] Free 6lack
"Prblms"[32] 72 34
  • RIAA: 2× Platinum[23]
"Bless Me"[33] Non-album singles
"First Fuck"[35]
(with Jhené Aiko)
"That Far"[36]
"Grab the Wheel"[37]
(with Timbaland)
"Cutting Ties"[38] 2018 19 [C]
(with Khalid and Ty Dolla Sign)
57 35 30 11 60
"Switch" [D] East Atlanta Love Letter
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artist[edit]

List of singles as featured artist, with showing year released and album name
Title Year Album
(Dreezy featuring 6lack and Kodak Black)
2017 TBA

Guest appearances[edit]

List of non-single guest appearances, with other performing artists, showing year released and album name
Title Year Other artist(s) Album
"Shaolin's Theme / Pray"[43] 2016 Malay The Get Down
"Over"[44] 2017 Syd Fin
"8701"[45] J.I.D The Never Story
"Drown the Lovers" (Remix)[46] R I T U A L No Escape Out of Time
"Belong to You" (Remix)[47] Sabrina Claudio About Time
"I Like You"[48] Childish Major, DRAM Woo$ah

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Awards Category Nominated work Result
2017 Soul Train Music Awards[49] Best New Artist Himself Nominated
2018 Grammy Awards[50] Best Urban Contemporary Album Free 6lack Nominated
Best Rap/Sung Performance "Prblms" Nominated
iHeartRadio Music Awards[51] Best New R&B Artist Himself Nominated


  1. ^ "Ex Calling" did not enter the Billboard Hot 100, but peaked at number 24 on the Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart.[30]
  2. ^ "Ex Calling" did not enter the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, but peaked at number three on the Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart.[31]
  3. ^ "Cutting Ties" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number seven on the NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart.[39]
  4. ^ "Switch" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number eight on the NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart.
    "NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. July 2, 2018. Retrieved June 29, 2018. </ref>


  1. ^ a b "Meet Rising Atlanta Artist: 6LACK". Genius. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Daily Discovery: 6LACK". Pigeons and Planes. Retrieved November 17, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Meet 6LACK". Fader. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  4. ^ "LoveRenaissance's New R&B Star In The Making". DJ Booth. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  5. ^ "6LACK - Biography". Billboard. Retrieved November 27, 2016. 
  6. ^ "6lack Talks Industry Growing Pains, Love Songs & Moody Debut Album 'Free 6lack'". Billboard. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  7. ^ "Everything You Need To Know About 6LACK". 
  8. ^ 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. 
  9. ^ a b "6lack Talks Industry Growing Pains, Love Songs & Moody Debut Album 'Free 6lack'". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-09-18. 
  10. ^ "10 New Artists You Need to Know: November 2016". Rolling Stone. November 17, 2016. Retrieved November 14, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "6LACK – Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 21, 2017. 
  12. ^ K. Q., Q. (July 8, 2017). "6lack Sells 1 Million Records For "Prblms"". Urbanlinx Media. Retrieved 17 July 2017. 
  13. ^ "6LACK Announces Birth Of His Daughter". Retrieved 22 February 2017. 
  14. ^ a b "6LACK Chart History: Billboard Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  15. ^ "6lack 'East Atlanta Love Letter' Cover Art and Release Date". XXL. August 29, 2018. Retrieved September 3, 2018. 
  16. ^ "Atlanta's 6LACK Wants to Talk About Real Life". Noisey. Retrieved 2017-09-18. 
  17. ^ "6lack Illustrated: The Brooding Newcomer Finally Lives in Color". Highsnobiety. 2017-09-18. Retrieved 2017-09-18. 
  18. ^ "How 6LACK Went From Atlanta Battle Rapper To Budding Superstar". Complex. January 24, 2017. Retrieved June 23, 2018. 
  19. ^ "6LACK – Chart History: Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  20. ^ "6LACK – Chart History: Top Rap Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  21. ^ "6LACK – Chart History: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  22. ^ "FREE 6LACK by 6LACK on Apple Music". itunes.apple.com. Retrieved March 14, 2017. 
  23. ^ a b c "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved February 28, 2018. 
  24. ^ Saponara, Michael (August 30, 2018). "6LACK Shares 'East Atlanta Love Letter' Album Release Date & Cover Art". Billboard. Retrieved September 11, 2018. 
  25. ^ "6LACK Chart History: Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs". Billboard. Retrieved May 1, 2018. 
  26. ^ "6LACK – Chart History: Canadian Hot 100". Billboard. Retrieved August 24, 2018. 
  27. ^ "Discography 6LACK". charts.org.nz – Hung Medien. Retrieved August 24, 2018. 
  28. ^ "6LACK | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved August 24, 2018. 
  29. ^ "Ex Calling - Single - FREE 6LACK". Retrieved January 29, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Chart Search for 6LACK (Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles)". Billboard. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  31. ^ "Chart Search for 6LACK (Bubbling Under R&B/Hip-Hop Singles)". Billboard. Retrieved August 25, 2017. 
  32. ^ "PRBLMS – Single by 6LACK on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  33. ^ "Bless Me – Single by 6LACK on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved November 18, 2016. 
  34. ^ "Loyal – Single By 6LACK on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  35. ^ "First Fuck – Single by 6LACK & Jhené Aiko on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved February 24, 2017. 
  36. ^ "That Far – Single by 6LACK on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2017-06-15. 
  37. ^ Saponara, Michael (15 December 2018). "Timbaland Connects With 6LACK on Grab the Wheel". Billboard. Retrieved 11 September 2018. 
  38. ^ "Cutting Ties – Single by 6LACK on Apple Music". iTunes. Retrieved 2018-02-16. 
  39. ^ "NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart". Recorded Music NZ. February 26, 2018. Retrieved February 23, 2018. 
  40. ^ "ARIA Australian Top 50 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. July 9, 2018. Retrieved July 7, 2018. 
  41. ^ "New Zealand single certifications – Khalid, Ty Dolla Sign & 6LACK – OTW". Recorded Music NZ. Retrieved June 29, 2018. 
  42. ^ "New Music: Dreezy feat. 6LACK & Kodak Black – 'Spar'". Rap-Up. October 16, 2017. Retrieved November 21, 2017. 
  43. ^ "The Get Down (Original Soundtrack from the Netflix Original Series) [Deluxe Version] by Various Artists on Apple Music - iTunes". August 12, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2017. 
  44. ^ "Fin by Syd on Apple Music - iTunes". Retrieved February 28, 2017. 
  45. ^ "The Never Story by J.I.D". iTunes. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  46. ^ "No Escape Out of Time by R I T U A L". iTunes. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  47. ^ "Listen to Sabrina Claudio's remix of "Belong To You" featuring 6lack". The Fader. October 4, 2017. Retrieved November 30, 2017. 
  48. ^ "Woo$Ah by Childish Major". iTunes. Retrieved December 17, 2017. 
  49. ^ "Solange, Bruno Mars Lead 2017 Soul Train Awards Nominations". Billboard. October 17, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017. 
  50. ^ "60th GRAMMY Awards: Full Nominees List". The Recording Academy. November 28, 2017. Retrieved November 29, 2017. 
  51. ^ "Rihanna, Ed Sheeran & Bruno Mars Lead iHeartRadio Music Awards 2018 Nominees". Billboard. January 10, 2018. Retrieved January 12, 2018. 

External links[edit]