XXXTENTACION – “17” review

If you’ve been living under a rock all year, XXXTENTACION is a reasonably polarizing Floridian rapper & this is his debut studio album. He’s been having a huge 2017 from his 2015 debut single “Look at Me!” receiving a newfound popularity to being apart of this year’s XXL Freshman Class. The album opens up with “The Explanation”, which is just a nearly 1-minute spoken word piece where X is telling us that we’re about to enter his mind & thanking us for listening. The first song “Jocelyn Flores” is a tribute to a friend that X’s with the same name who committed suicide a few months back & you can just hear how hurt he was about it over this cloudy instrumental. The next track “Depression & Obsession” sees X singing while playing an acoustic guitar & while I do like the vibe of it, the vocals & the lyrics don’t really captivate me at all. The song “Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares” has an druggy instrumental & the delivery is actually pretty nice, but the songwriting doesn’t really progress all that much. The track “Revenge” is another dedication to Jocelyn Flores except with a folky tone to it & while he does sound emotionless on here, I do like the track quite a bit. The song “Save Me” has an eerie instrumental, but the lyrics are just angsty. Also as the song goes on, his vocals go from being badly mixed to the point of inaudibility to being absolutely cringey. The next track “Dead Inside” has a decent piano throughout, but X’s singing is yet again buried in the mix & it sounds underwritten. The song “Fuck Love” is a message to X’s pregnant ex-girlfriend Geneva Ayala over a trap beat & for some reason, the hook from Trippie Redd painfully reminds me of Lil Uzi Vert. The next song “Carry On” is self-explanatory, as X speaks about moving on despite all the bullshit he’s been through while mentioning Geneva yet again over a decent boom bap instrumental. The penultimate track “Orlando” yet again features X singing over a piano, but the songwriting is so hilariously corny. The album then closes out with “Ayala”, where X sings about making a list of regrets & Geneva (which is obvious given her last name is used as the song title) being the first on it over a dreary guitar. Although I do think there is SOME potential in XXXTENTACION, this “album” doesn’t showcase it all that well. The production is decent, but the tracks mostly feel unfinished & rushed from the songwriting to it’s 22 minute runtime. And on top of that, the depressed content just comes off as angsty rather than deep

Score: 1.5/5

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