6lack performing at Revention Center on December 14, 2018 / Odiwams

Written by: DeVaughn Douglas

There are two points that come to mind while standing in line on Smith Street with the crowd
waiting to enter Revention Music Center.

First and foremost, it’s cold. Really cold. Cold, cold.

The running joke is that Houston only has three days of winter, and if that is true, 6lack, the
Atlanta singer/rapper’s tour hit the city on one of those days. It’s windy and the wind manages to slap hard enough to make one feel like the temperature what New Yorkers would refer to as “brick”.

Which brings attention to the second, probably stronger point: 6lack has brought out a huge crowd, a sold-out one at that. The line wrapped around the block creeped slowly toward the box office before finally funneling inside the venue. Families, high school students, college kids, couples young and old huddled together. Damn, R&B crowds have brought it in 2018. And they even brought adults who know better to glance at teens and just escaping that first semester of college adults to ask, “Where the hell are your clothes?”

6lack performing at Revention Center on December 14, 2018 / Odiwams

The lineup played so much to the headliners strengths. You had high-class rapping from the likes of Atlanta secret weapon Deante’ Hitchcock and the smooth crooning of Dreamville signee Ari Lennox. Once 6lack touched the stage, you realized how much he had already captivated fans with both of his albums, FREE 6LACK and East Atlanta Love Letter.  He’s as much of a singer as he is a rapper and leaned into it with an acapella falsetto serenade. Any questions about his abilities as a vocalist quickly disappeared as he finished his last note.

If you’ve seen 6lack on this current tour, you know Atlanta is behind him damn near at all times. “Loaded Gun” runs into “Ex-Calling” and he often flips between singing and rapping.  His brooding, dark melodies sound like the soundtrack for the end of a relationship, and the crowd bathed in smoky red lights sing along with every word.

Behind him in supporting roles were Lennox and Hitchcock. Lennox, the D.C. native signed to Dreamville has family in Houston, which makes this performance even more special to her.

“I’m so happy to be here!” she exclaimed as stagehands escorted Houston singer Jaelyn (TW: @BaddieJaelyn to the stage. Lennox welcomed her and points to the crowd, “I’m not from here but I have family here!”

Ari Lennox performing at Revention Center on December 14, 2018 / Odiwams

People have asked constantly, “why hasn’t Ari Lennox broke through?” She skillfully moved through her set, dropping singles from her EP Pho like “Backseat” and “Cold Outside”. And when you got a record like “Backseat,” why not drench the room in lavender with smoke rising from the audience? Fans get treated to a little taste of new Ari with “Grampa,” a record Lennox says is “not a song about my Grandfather or nothing. This is about a dude that acts like a grampa. Stop being old. Let a girl come see you. Let a girl come fuck.”

Hitchcock represents the other side of Atlanta, the one where OutKast meets J.I.D. Witty lyricism and world building. By the time he gets to his single “Thinking ‘Bout You”,
which has samples the melodic hook from Hi-Five’s “Never Should Have Let You Go” the
audience began to relax. Bright white lights flashed as he flew across the stage and
effortlessly led the audience in call and response. Sooner than later, everybody is going to be paying attention to him, much like all three artists on the tour.

Rapper Deante’ Hitchcock performing at Revention Center on December 14, 2018 / Odiwams

PHOTOS: Odiwams