Friday, September 21st, 2018

6LACK – Nonchalant

6lack! 6ack on the Juke6ox!

Crystal Leww: 6LACK has been around since 2014 and released his album in 2016, but got a big industry push, via what feels like mostly streaming platform playlists, in 2017. His career choices since then are like perfectly curated by ~the industry~ from collaborators (e.g., Khalid, Future) to tours (e.g., he opened for The Weeknd) to songwriters. For example, Stwo produced “Nonchalant” — the same Stwo who produced Drake’s “Weston Road Flows” and who is signed to 40’s publishing company. The music is like aggressively fine. If I imagined what ~the industry~ produced R&B music aimed at the market of trap R&B sounded like, it would sound exactly like “Nonchalant,” and indeed, most of the rest of East Atlanta Love Letter. None of this is bad, but it’s also devoid of any identifying features as well.

Julian Axelrod: 6LACK has quietly become one of the most infuriating beneficiaries of the post-Drake fuckboy boom, and “Nonchalant” is his bargain bin “Marvin’s Room”: a faux-introspective bloodletting that’s twice as petty as its predecessor with half the hooks. “Somehow I still find the time to care a little more about my rhymes,” he drawls, before rattling off fifteen clunkers to disprove his point. The only line that rings true comes mere seconds before: “I’m so fucking tired.” Same.

Juana Giaimo: I generally dislike rappers bragging about how they are the best in the scene. However, 6LACK uses this topic to change it; rather than being aggressive and loud, he is the opposite. The slow beat and the atmospheric sounds fit his calm and deep voice. He has the ability to not be monotonous; instead, he looks for subtle changes — as those lines where a second voice in higher register appears when he says “I knew that I would grow to be the boy/The boy then grew to be the man,” making the melody more delicate and nostalgic.

Jessica Doyle: “Nonchalant” isn’t quite right; which is part of the charm. “Somewhere between humble and hell no”: much better. I’m less impressed by 6LACK’s spending seemingly half the song talking about how hard he works: at some point that starts to look like a shortcut. But the combination of the ominous backing and his refusal to do more than hint at a loss of control is worth a few listens.

Ryo Miyauchi: The contemplative beat, the tumbling flow that resembles a stream of consciousness, the lyrical unpacking of a shady environment: “Nonchalant” has the makings of an alluring #based freestyle in more proper hands. While it gets downplayed by 6LACK’s self-indulgence of his elementary punchlines, his wordplay sometimes bears the feel of an on-the-spot association game that further takes cues from the work of Lil B.

Jacob Sujin Kuppermann: I’ll avoid the obvious reference to the title here because that’s what 6LACK’s looking for here — not just coolness but too-coolness, of tossing off free-associated rhymes carelessly. Yet the intricacy of his rhymes here belies that point — he’s revealed his hand as an eminently skilled technician, and a charming one at that, but one that is very much invested in his own song construction. But at this point, we have enough careless rappers on the charts, and “Nonchalant” is welcome even if it isn’t that.

Stephen Eisermann: 6LACK’s flow and wordplay is impressive as his lyrics fall from his lips in a stream of consciousness style, still managing to feel thematically relevant even as he jumps from reference to reference. The beat serves as nothing more than a canvas for 6LACK to fill up with different images and call-outs, but that really is what the track calls for as 6LACK nonchalantly continues along, unbothered by what others in his field are doing.

Joshua Minsoo Kim: 6LACK’s East Atlanta Love Letter is an album that benefits greatly from purposeful sequencing and a tightly curated cast of producers. These aspects are so crucial to the album that they successfully obfuscate how little 6LACK has to offer on his own front. If anything, his greatest asset has always been an occasional ability to work in lockstep with a producer’s intended goals, stretching the emotional landscape of the instrumentation out to widescreen. “Nonchalant” is one of the album’s better standalone tracks because it finds him justifying his presence, one beyond an exchangeable placeholder that accompanies the exquisite production. Stwo, a producer who once made a mixtape inspired by Drake’s Nothing Was The Same, provides a beat that invites nocturnal introspection. Assisting him is Melbourne-based Lucian Blomkamp, an artist who was surely responsible for the clattering percussion and subtle electronic accouterments here. 6LACK utilizes the song’s expansive yet lonely atmosphere to brag as if he’s in a similar position: “I give a piece of me to everybody I meet/Not because they want it, it’s because it’s prolly a need.” Much is gained from small shifts in his delivery — the disaffected cool of singing “add a little reverb, yeah“; the cooling off of “crack a beer when I’m feeling pissed“; the slight aggression to “squeezing until they crack a windpipe” — and it all rolls off his tongue to justify the song’s title.

Will Rivitz: What The Weeknd wishes he sounded like.

Reader average: [1.33] (3 votes)

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7 Responses to “6LACK – Nonchalant”

  1. it’s pronounced Six Lack and no one can convince me otherwise

  2. I………… didn’t know there was a way to pronounce it that isn’t Six Lack

  3. It’s S-Lack. also, would have given this a [4]. Raury was always better than him should have never have been dropped for him. He will always be S-Lack to me. Also, Stwo’s beat is getting kinda good. He should’ve held out for Drake or the Weekend, not this personality-less robot.

  4. Slack, bruh, slack.

  5. His Twitter bio says “pronounced black”. I kind of like ess-lack though, someone else should use that.

    Yes, I used to call Five/5ive “Fiveive”, what of it?

  6. More like 5.78lack am I right

  7. six lack six ack in the juke six ox