XXXTentacion – ? Album Review

NOTE – If you don’t like very explicit language, don’t listen to this album, Floor 555 in particular.

XXXTentacion has always been the most interesting person to come out of the Florida Soundcloud rap scene. And to say the album is versatile is an understatement. He has several completely different styles that he juggles all in the space of an album, which does lead to a slight consistency issue but I tend to treat all of X’s projects as mixtapes more than anything so that’s not really a problem for me. He balances the styles of distorted pure rage, trap emotional vocals, lo-fi ballads and autotuned ballads. He never seems to settle on one single style, but that’s fine, because the only style of his that I don’t like is the autotuned one which he uses quite sparsely. Anyway, that’s the introduction to the album as a whole, here’s what I actually think of it:

It’s very good. Most of the tracks I like a lot besides SMASH, $$$ and Hope. From the banger of absolute unhinged darkness of Floor 555 to the emotion of Alone, pt.3, this album displays one thing really well; emotion. X still has a ways to go with his song structure and consistency, The as I said, there is incredible potential, potential that is not wasted but not fully unlocked.

You do see glimpses of it in the amazing Infinity (888) with Joey Badass, which has absolutely AMAZING instrumentals straight off a J Dilla Record and classic delivery by Joey and X. If there’s one song on this album who have to listen to, it’s this one.

X doesn’t deliver his best work, but he shows that 17 wasn’t just a fluke and improves the beats on the song while delivering a set of pretty good songs.

The production and instrumentals are consistently good to great, although sometimes they can take a backseat to the vocals. The vocal delivery is definitely much improved, but the lyrics have stayed at the overall level they were on 17, which is fine.

Anyway, it’s definitely a great project (much better as a whole than A ghetto Christmas Carol) and I can’t wait to see where X goes next.

Rating: 7.5/10

Best tracks: Infinity (888), Sad!, Alone Pt.3, Floor 555, Moonlight, remedy for a broken heart, Pain = Best friend

Worst tracks: Hope, $$$, SMASH!

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