words by Eve Zaidan
Real Rap, Raw
His mind is not an oasis, it’s a prison. But what results from his fatalistic abyss is an undivided force to feel; a true, raw gift to an industry yearning for something ‘real’. Though enter at your own risk, as the 19-year-old rapper, singer-songwriter XXXTentacion declares that by listening to his debut album ”17“, you are “literally” infiltrating his mind.
A Dark Soul
Riding the dark wave of alternative Rnb, “17″ exudes an original soul-baring reflection and a rigid transparency, which finely merges passion and pain to alluringly unalloy with the masses. XXXTentacion ’s limbo-like, lived ‘collection of nightmares, thoughts and real life situations’ evocatively exploit the inner workings of a melancholy mastermind. The unexpected melodies of ‘Jocelyn Flores’, ‘Depression & Obsession’ and ‘Dead Inside’, confoundingly juxtapose with the grunge rock and RnB of ‘Save Me’ and ‘Fuck Love’, while ‘Ayala’ is the immaculate send-off for an album most indelible. Do note, this album is not for validation - it’s for empathy, where XXXTentacion stresses “if you are not willing to accept my emotion and hear my words fully, do not listen”. ‘17’ is a deliberate exposé of suicidal thoughts, depression and isolation in a dark vibe so enthralling, that even rap royalty Kendrick Lamar prompts fans to listen “if you feel anything”.
— Kendrick Lamar (@kendricklamar) August 26, 2017
XXXTentacion made his first break with ‘Look At Me!’, where it became apparent, that Lamar wasn’t the only major player to recognize his potential in the rap game. While XXXTentacion was facing life in jail, Drake allegedly stole his ‘Look At Me’ flow to compose the More Life album track ‘KMT’. When you listen to this mashup, you’ll hear the truth! Nevertheless, following an incredibly successful album debut with his unwelcoming self-awareness making an impassioned imprint, it’s clear there’s only one XXXTentacion. We sense a Grammy on the way. Listen now below!