The modern concert experience needs a lot of work, as I have come to realize at various venues over the last several years. For starters, the new crop of performers don’t really perform so much as turn their microphones to the audience as the DJ kills the sound. This happens every song, and throughout every set. I understand fully the crowd participation factor that has become essential to the show in this ‘me’ generation. There sometimes is benefit to this style though, with and artist like XXX, who never fell back, even if the fans recited every word. When I hear 17 and Revenge, I am transported right back to that time period visiting my Dad and step brothers in Miami. I became so much closer with my step brothers, as they would take me to all the shows that were happening in 2017, with XXXtentacion, Ski Mask the Slump God, Pouya, Robb Bank$, Denzel Curry – damn those were the times. But without that real energy, it is back to lazy rappers hardly finishing their songs.
Released in 2017, 11 tracks, 22 min
XXXtentacion helped me when I was on the brink. For a long while, all I thought about, at least every night lying awake staring at the ceiling, in an insomniac state, was how I would do it. My parents and close friends would try to help me out, recognizing the signs, even though I guess I would try to hide them. I’m more open now, because X spoke his truth, so why can’t I? Knowing that X also struggled with such inner demons brings me closer to this brotherhood and sisterhood out there of people like us. Even though he is gone, he’s already changed lives. I love all his music, but I play 17 like its therapy. I’ve been to therapy, taken the drugs, but honestly, I feel at my best just smoking and listening to this album, because it doesn’t lie.
Have you ever had your life flash before your eyes? That’s what it’s like to get robbed at gunpoint. I was lucky and only lost my wallet and iPhone, because I handed it all over, no questions asked. It was like a simple transaction, the robber was all business, and just left me in the parking lot. I felt really surreal after. Years later, I’m finally discovering XXXtentacion, because my buddy said how alt rock he was, and I’m more of a punk rocker anyways, and his music really ends up surprising me and resonating like nothing I’ve ever heard. Opened my eyes to the whole emo hip hop scene. Then he gets robbed and killed, and it brings me back to that surreal transactional moment. I can’t be callous and just say hand the bag over, but at the same time, there was so much music still to be made.
Good memories come with this one; living on my own for the first time in the smallest studio apartment you could imagine. Girls coming over and saying that the place wasn’t small – it was quaint. I would hear “Jocelyn Flowers” coming from the neighbor next door every night. I am convinced they were prostitutes because there was a few of them and they would talk audibly about that line of work, and maybe twice a week, I heard the same guy who I think was their pimp speaking with a real low voice. Nothing violent happened though. It was just people living their reality. I copped the album for myself, and played it a lot, and still feel it’s chaotic poetry like I’m there, even though I moved out of downtown after another neighbor fell asleep with a cigarette and almost burnt the building down.
XXXtentacion is the greatest soundcloud rapper to have ever come out, and basically birthed all of these other rappers now, or at least will always be more artistic than them. What Frank Ocean did for r&b, Jahseh has done for rap music. His singing and use of guitar are handled the most expertly out of any of the newer artists (JuiceWRLD, YNW Melly) who have bitten off his style in the wake of his murder. Yet now people want to argue with me about these new rappers and how good they are? FOH and stop the childishness. Jahseh was a genius of many styles, but you want to listen to gimmicks. Look at soundcloud now. Lil Nas X is doing Country Rap and number one? Wow, what a coincidence that YNW Melly, before being indicted for the double homicide, said he was open to all music, planning to do a Country song too? Look at the timing - these rappers will do whatever they think will make money. XXXtentacion was one in a million in this generation. He set out to do alternative for pure and creative reasons, not to trend, as he already told us all in his instructions for 17 to open our minds “if you don’t listen to the alternative sound.”
Just when I started to really peep how much rapper XXXtentacion represented the future of the new generation of Hip Hop, the life of this prolific 20 year old artist was cut short in a robbery. He made a huge impact on his fans, and even outsiders looking in such as myself. I had never sat down to listen to a whole album such as 17, but I had heard his singles plenty of times, and noticed the explosive, Punk energy of his particular brand of Trap – and in this South Florida rap scene, one could argue that nobody was more iconic than XXX and Kodak Black – yet in the spirit of true Hip Hop, I love the fact that these two great Artists sound nothing like each other – a rarity in this copycat Soundcloud Rapper industry. X’s personal style is influenced by Punk, R&B, Nu-Metal, and obviously Hip Hop, but actual rapper influences are hard to pin down exactly. In contrast, one could at least say that Kodak Black is influenced by a combination of Lil Wayne and heavy regional vernacular. These two icons did influence lots of other rappers though, possible tens and hundreds of them – though XXXtentacion I feel is the one who had the most diverse voice and beats – and those who followed in his footsteps subsequently adopt his guitar R&B and often cinematic arrangements. On the subject of the clear musical prowess heard in his music, this is due to him being a self taught guitarist and pianist, plus his ability to sing quite competently through a combination of Alternative Rock emotion fused with Soul. But it is not just technique that XXXtentacion is known for – his songs and lyrics are designed to represent his actual being, as he himself invites the audience to enter his mind on intro track “The Explanation”, all but instructing millions of young fans to listen only if they agree to accept him and swear loyalty, creating a ‘Cult of the Depressed’ whose leader talks in a husky yet innocent sounding voice.
Official Music Videos
- Aug 25, 2017
- Bad Vibes Forever
- XXXTentacion (also exec.)
- Dex Duncan
- John Cunningham
- Natra Average
- Nick Mira
- Taz Taylor
- Tobias Jesso Jr.
17 is the debut studio album by American rapper XXXTentacion. It was released on August 25, 2017 by Bad Vibes Forever and Empire Distribution. It features 11 tracks and was supported by the lead single "Revenge". 17 is X's second solo commercial project, succeeding the compilation mixtape Revenge, also released in 2017. It includes a guest appearance from Trippie Redd and production from X himself, Nick Mira, Taz Taylor, Natra Average, and Potsu. The album experiments with a variety of genres, such as emo, indie rock, and lo-fi.Continue reading at Wikipedia...
Contributors / Perfectionists
Contribute To This Page?
- Show Less