Atlanta’s 6LACK is an artist of love letters. He writes them into his music, to his listeners and to his fans. His “Live From the Ledge” performance with YouTube, broadcast from a downtown helipad, was a love letter to Atlanta last night.
“No matter where I go, no matter where I travel, no matter what I do, I’ll always circle back around, to Atlanta, to my hometown. Every show that I’ve ever had here has been family. It’s been friends. It’s been love,” he said onstage.
His performance, which raised nearly $4.7 thousand for the Equal Justice Initiative, featured older hits, like Grammy-nominated “Pretty Little Fears,” and songs from his recent 6pc Hot EP. Between his vocals and the live music, 6LACK captured listeners across the globe.
He closed the show with “Know My Rights,” a 6pc Hot hit with a hook that touches “exactly what’s going on right now,” he said, referring to police brutality and the rising up against it. The song also features Lil Baby, who released “The Bigger Picture” this summer.
“I’ve just been trying to make sure that every single thing that I can do to utilize my platform, utilize my position and make sure I’m thinking critically about the stuff that’s going on, that I do it.”
Like everyone else, 6LACK said, it’s an emotionally challenging time for him. “Being able to extend upon [helping people with my music] and fund certain movements, help with bail funds, help people with supplies,” he said, is “usually where the gratitude and the satisfaction and the happiness and everything else comes from.”
The “Know My Rights” music video includes live footage of 6LACK and his team landing their jet to a police search. However, in his live performance, 6LACK flipped the focus and a search for accountability back at police.
“I know we going through hard times right now, tough times right now. But unity is a key. Sticking together is a key. Talking it out is a key. Fighting is a key. Being consistent is a key,” 6LACK said, prefacing his grand finale onstage.
He then slipped off his jacket, revealing the back of his tank top. In red rhinestones, “REMEMBERING” hovered over a list of names of Black people that have been killed by police or by racial terrorists: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Geroge Floyd and many others who lost their lives far before 2020.
As he performed, “REMEMBERING” continued to sparkle, reminiscent of blood glistening on hands of the most hateful and most unjust. As the song ended, he raised a fist while facing a wall of flashing names of additional Black victims to police brutality, including Jacob Blake.
This was 6LACK’s first performance since the pandemic took reign, and he’s committed to the meaning in every time he’s on stage in the future.
“I always just want to double as a student and as a teacher,” he said. “I’m always gonna be somebody who is trying to teach what I know or what I think I know, and trying to learn the stuff that I don’t know or trying to brush up and get better at the stuff that I don’t know.”
“Last night, I was able to see everything and take notes, mental notes,” 6LACK said. “Doing this, the only thing that I’m thinking about right now is how to do more and how to do it better and how to help people more.”
Watch 6LACK’s “Live From The Ledge” performance here, which was also a directorial debut by Sean Famoso of LVRN, the record label home to 6LACK.