“Down to give you my last breath” —6LACK, “Seasons”
Picture this: It’s the height of summer in the dead of night. Cicadas and lightning bugs mingle and dance in your ear. The window’s open; strips of moonlight streak the bedroom. You’re laying tip-to-toe with the person you think you’ll be spending the rest of your life. Both sheened in sweat; there’s a bowl of cherries balancing on your stomach. You’ve never known a love like this: A love so steady and nourishing you feel as if you could walk on water. The room smells of a birch candle. The room smells like her, too. You’re unsure where her hair stops, and yours begins. You envelop each other until you become one body, and the cool ceramic bowl of cherries.
It’s the summertime sweetness you always read about. Summer is for lovers, and you’ve found yours. Such is the story of a hundred loves, and the warmth that radiates when you consider that love is the story of 6LACK’s music video for East Atlanta Love Letter deep cut, “Seasons.” The song, which features RCA superstar-in-the-making Khalid, is a beautiful ode to romantic surrender. Every second of the love on “Seasons” is about reciprocity and giving. There’s a beauty to every last motion of love. When 6LACK relinquishes his last breath to his lover, you feel the air leaving your lungs. You feel a sense of longing and resolve bigger than your whole being. You believe him. Summer is calling.
The video for “Seasons” feeds off the breathtaking quality of 6LACK’s writing, personifying the tumbling, adoring, spiraling love of the track into a series of moving vignettes. From braiding a daughter’s hair to play-fighting in bed, “Seasons” captures how fulfilling love can be in the height of summer when the block is hot, and soul is searing. We open on 6LACK and his love on the beach, the splash of waves overtaking any potential speech. The pair share a moment of heavy silence as the music comes in. There’s an intimacy to their quiet, and once 6LACK’s vocals enter, we have no questions about the life-giving nature of love.
Immediately following the couple, a mother nurses her child in a flowing white dress. There’s a purity and intensity to the scene. The silence, like the silence of the beach scene, is refreshing. We hear the unspoken passion—a passion for flesh and life. We realize that immense love is what brings us up in this world. We understand that without love, we are nothing; we are starving. As the mother sways in time with the music, we melt.
Now, think back to the bedroom; the scene where you’re both laying atop the comforter because it’s too hot to sleep under the covers. 6LACK takes us there with a shot of him holding his love amidst a series of light purple and pink flowers. There is no telling where she begins and Bear ends. There is no telling whose limbs are whose. Melding into each other, the line of her eyebrows stops where the angles of 6LACK’s face begin. The visual rhetoric is as striking as the longshot of the mother nursing. 6LACK’s singing breaks their previous silence. They almost kiss. That is a new silence: The yearning of flesh being staved off by the desire to touch.
We’re back at the beach now, and the silence of the kiss carried on to a couple that cannot get enough of each other’s skin. As Khalid sings of the strife of love, we cut to a cookout, to aged couples that are wiser than to let simple quarrels come between them. It’s generations of love that color this video.
Think back to how she touched you when the AC wasn’t working, and you could barely breathe in your room. Think back to how she touched your cheek and stroked down your back. Think back to how your legs intertwined and how flesh calls out to flesh. Think back on how the heaviness of summer humidity felt nothing short of weightless when you kissed and stuck together. Think back on how the sweat rolling down your back meant nothing for another second spent embraced. Or don’t think at all. 6LACK takes us there.
“Seasons” spends so much time musing on the flesh and the body. Scenes focus on the bare skin and how it tenses and relaxes under the touch of a loved one. Look at the way he grabs her thigh. And think back. Your hands should tingle, and your head should get hot. Oh, how we imprint ourselves onto the bodies of the people we love for all time. “You're lucky the greatest thing I can do is marry you / 'Cause if I could, I'd spill my blood,” 6LACK sings in one of the few solo shots. The severity of this admittance strikes us; his eyes spear us with purpose.
As the couples tussle and frolic in a field of bedsheets and wildflowers, we’re back in the bedroom, and now the sun is coming up. You see her, a mess of sweat and hair covering her eyes. Yesterday’s make-up speckles her eyelids. You fall in love with her again, for each dot of eyeliner and for the way she grumbles when you move to observe her. It’s August, and you’re in love again, maybe for the last time. Oh, summer is calling. A beautiful summer is calling.