6LACK continues to make a name for himself with his second album, East Atlanta Love Letter. And the world is taking notice with the recent GRAMMY nomination for his song “Pretty Little Fears” featuring J. Cole. It's not shocking, then, that he brought “Pretty Little Fears” to Jimmy Kimmel Live! But, more than just performing his single, 6LACK used his platform to not only share a love letter to the girl on his shoulder but to also give a powerful message to young black men all over the world.
During the performance, 6LACK is kicking it with a girl not quite from around his way ("Girl, I'm from the Eastside, mmm hmmm / Girl, you on my best side, mmm / Say she from the Westside, mmm), serenading her as they wait for the bus at a makeshift bus stop. Meanwhile, his female co-star flirts and cuddles with the rapper/singer. But the real beauty of the performance comes in the third verse. With his collaborator J. Cole missing in action, 6LACK uses the absence as an opportunity to encourage black men to express their feelings more. “Ever since I was a boy / The world told me I should never ever cry / And if I was to ever shed a tear out of fears / Show emotions / I could kiss my credibility goodbye,” he shares. He then offers a PSA to young black men that it's safe to open up and fight the conditioning they face that says that they shouldn't let their emotions show, even noting how women suffer because men being strong means bottling up your feelings.
Watch 6LACK deliver a much-needed artistic statement to young black men below.