6LACK is back with a new single and a visual to support it. Hours after the release of the heart-felt “ATL Freestyle” paying homage to his city, the East Atlanta native quickly follows-up with the moody track’s accompanying visual on Friday afternoon (May 29).
The JMP-directed clip captures 6LACK’s trip back home, which finds him taking a private jet from starry Los Angeles back to his roots of East Atlanta in style. After being surrounded by Gucci luggages, designer watches, and bands of money, he finally makes it home where he is comfortably and humbly in his element and spending quality time alongside family and his daughter.
“I used to walk around that corner, right in Kirkwood Ann’s Snack Bar where the food real good/ I was livin’ like a fool, breakin’ all the rules/ Best of both worlds, ’cause a n—a went to school/ I was rappin’ like a b—h, singin’ to your girl,” he croons.
“ATL Freestyle” is set to a pensive tone, as 6lack reflects on what family and his origins mean to him. The intimate video offers a peek into his life, and serves as a juxtaposition to where he once was to where he is today. He also addressed that this is a weird time for him to be releasing music, with the outrage of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd’s deaths fresh in the minds of many.
“With the amount of pain and anger I feel in my heart, releasing a new song at this very moment doesn’t feel like a great priority,” he wrote in his note to fans. “Nothing ever prepares you for how to feel when you’re constantly faced with the last dying breaths of black people, my people, on your television or phone screens every single day. To be black in America is to be aware that I’m valued less by some of the people in this country.”
While music is important to him, he stressed to his fans that “the respect of my people comes first.” He revealed that he had planned the release of “ATL Freestyle” for a while, and with it ready to go he wanted to make sure he used his platform to raise awareness to what is happening in this country. “George Floyd. Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor, and the many other names to be silenced, due to abuse of power and racism, have not died in vain,” he continued.
“I can’t listen to anyone telling the people in pain, how to cope. We are fed-up and rightfully so,” he wrote. “We’ve marched, kneeled, and petitioned. We’re sick of the hashtags. I know a great amount of us feel helpless and confused about what to do, but all we can do is lend help to others in need right now. Show up for each other.”
Watch the “ATL Freestyle” video below.