From the second half of the 2010s until now, 6lack has remained an integral voice in R&B’s alt-soundscape, continually turning heads with every new release. However, since he dropped his 2018 sophomore studio album East Atlanta Love Letter, fans have hardly heard from the uniquely-voiced singer.
It seems as though 6lack has used this time between albums to let smaller EPs tell his artistic headspace. A few months after EALL dropped, he released his Unfair (Full Version) / Been a While two-pack, adding nearly three minutes of runtime to EALL‘s intro on this “Full Version,” also including an original song in “Been a While.”
Next came his June 2020 six-song 6pc Hot EP, including somber, melancholic cuts like “Float” and “Outside,” and a stellar Lil Baby appearance on “Know My Rights.”
Since the start of 2021, 6lack has been radio silent aside from his stunning assist on Lil Tjay‘s February single “Calling My Phone” — as its relentless TikTok presence led to the song reaching No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Just in time for the holidays, 6lack has decided to leave a little something-something under our music library Christmas tree. On Dec. 17, 6lack dropped a two-pack of tracks in Rent Free / By Any Means — the first being a three-and-a-half minute groovy soundscape about persistent love, and the second being a bar-heavy cut where he displays the chip he keeps on his shoulder.
The rhythmic claps and hummed melodies on the instrumental drives the track forward, as 6lack’s composed singing make an ear worm that lives “Rent Free” in the listener’s head.
Cause I’ve been through a lot this year (Through a lot)
You been though a lot this year (Through a lot)
When it come to the fights this year (To the fights)
Who really paid thе price this year?“Rent Free” — 6lack
On “By Any Means,” its stripped-back production allows for 6lack to assert his feelings about his position in hip-hop that he occupies part-time, but does so at the highest level.
Like to be heard but I hate to be seen
Hurt them ’til they leakin’ burgundy bleed
These niggas they mad, I know that they green
My album go platinum, I’m not on the scene“By Any Means” — 6lack
Simply put, it’s refreshing to hear 6lack’s voice again, and hopefully he springboards off this release with more music in the new year.
Check out “Rent Free” and “By Any Means” by 6lack below!