xhulooo – “NVRLST” review

This is the full-length debut from Atlanta up-&-comer xhulooo. Breaking through SoundCloud at the very beginning of 2019, he’s gone on to drop a total of 9 EPs since with the last one being the 3-track offering Xhuday this past summer. But as his popularity has only continued to grow especially after the Ronny J-produced single “Hunnaround”, all of the loosies & EPs that xhu has given us within the last 3 years have all been leading up to the commercial debut NVRLST.

“Father” is a cloudy yet bassy trap opener expressing his confusion by a bitch who keeps calling him papa whereas “freezTag” has a more cloudier vibe to it talking about being in that lane. “time2getAhM” works in a plugg instrumental to chase $1M prior to Lunchbox tagging along for the delicately-produced “Peel Off” talking about not giving any fucks towards how anyone else feels & looking back on when people used to do them dirty when they were down bad.

Meanwhile on “kantHang”, we have xhulooo airing out those who want to roll with him over some hi-hats as well as piano chords & synths leading into just before “yungRichFella” returns to a cloudier sound boasting his wealth. “Hold Us / Need You” starts off a spacious beat with a fast-tempo switch-up talking about them being unable to contain them expressing his love for this woman, but then sgpwes comes into the picture for the airy “Flat” admitting they don’t even know whey they are & having too many racks on them

“Was Hannin’?” jumps on top of a hazy instrumental asking what the deal is while “Trix” comes through with a piano/trap hybrid denying that he’s playing anyone. “Mind Ur Business” with Highway finds the 2 over a heavenly trap beat encouraging everyone to not stick their noses where it don’t belong while the song “S.O.t.W. (Smoking Out the Window)” with Lil Keel hooks up a intriguing vocal sample as the pair talking about blowing gas & linking up with women they can’t give their love to. The penultimate track “1forTheBooks” ensuring how how they got this over a roomy trap instrumental & “opp pack” is a minimal closer dropping braggadocio.

If you were coming into this album expecting some rage inducing pop rap, then you might be disappointed. However, I personally admire that xhu decided to take the artistic risk of departing from the sound that blew him up to begin with because it’s a solid debut. The production is more plugg/trap-based, the feature list is brief yet consistent & the kid himself proves that he’s a force to be reckoned with down the line.

Score: 3.5/5

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