Grammy-nominated rapper 6lack’s love for hot sauce runs deep.
Growing up in Atlanta, he quickly built up a tolerance to all things hot and would save up his pocket change to go to the local wing spot. Now, with his own hot sauce line, 600 Degrees, he’s making a splash in the world of food entrepreneurship.
“I honestly can’t pinpoint where my love for hot sauce started, but I know it’s been since I was a kid,” 6lack tells Variety. “I’ve always had a thing for spicy foods and by the time I was able to see over the stove, I was figuring out how to make meals that paired with my favorite hot sauces.”
6lack’s passion for hot wings inspired his new EP, titled “6pc Hot,” the cover art of which pictures one of his favorite wing restaurants. So, 6lack and his team figured: why not make an original hot sauce to go with the album’s drop? The rapper says that the marketing process couldn’t have been more intuitive.
“600 Degrees paired perfectly with my EP. The cover art was a hot-wing restaurant, a remixed (Photoshopped) building that I actually get wings from to this day, and it was mainly just something physical that people could have in addition to the music,” 6lack says. “I like to look at the EP as an appetizer, so why not throw in some hot sauce?”
The result was the original flavor of 600 Degrees, emulating the Louisiana-style hot sauce that 6lack grew up on, which launched along with the EP on June 23. “I haven’t seen one bad review,” 6lack says of the sauce. “The overall consensus is ‘It’s the best tasting hot sauce I’ve ever had’ or ‘It reminds me of my favorite hot sauces combined,’ which was the goal.”
The launch of the original flavor included a partnership with Postmates to support Black-owned businesses such as Atlanta restaurant Goodfellas, as well as a special delivery of the sauce to L.A. fans via a self-driving robot.
Now, the sauce is turning into a long-term product line. On Nov. 17, 6lack announced a restock of the original sauce as well as the addition of a mango habanero flavor, both of which are available now. And though they are certainly hot, 6lack was concerned more with the overall flavor, as opposed to destroying tastebuds.
“The sauces are more focused on taste, rather than having the spice level be unbearable,” 6lack says of the sauce-making process. “We went through a few samples to get the recipes right and eventually decided on the formula that everyone is getting when they taste 600 Degrees.”
But more than anything, 6lack is hoping to give back to his community in Atlanta and encourage others to become business owners.
“I think that Black artists should always get into ownership, because we spend too much of our lives eating things and not knowing where they come from, or supporting brands that are thrown in front of us and have no true relevance to our community,” 6lack says. “Doing it yourself is a prideful thing and we should have our own versions of all the things we enjoy so that we can continue to support our own people.”
As for how 600 Degrees might continue to expand, 6lack says a wing restaurant of his own might be in the cards.
“I hope it continues to live as a household type of sauce,” 6lack says. “As far as plans for a wing restaurant, definitely in the near future — I’ll get back into actively planning when this pandemic is over.”