XXXTENTACION — “17”
Fresh off a XXL Freshmen placement, XXXTENTACION proceeds to defy every expectation
This is something really special. Ever since his breakout “Look At Me,” X has hit us in the face with young, brutally honest accounts of teen life. His various features and collaboration projects are jam-packed with raw emotion and it is precisely this that has allowed he and his fellow mates to propel this new “punk-rap” genre we are witnessing. But instead of the overdriven bass and all out screams that X is known for, “17” reinvents the already new rapper by substituting for reverberating guitars and melodic lyrics. We have seen similar attempts, such as Kid Cudi and Lil’ Wayne, into the rock genre. Some have been more successful than others, but this latest effort from X comes off so genuine. And from someone who prides himself on integrity, it really is no surprise. The sonics of the project are so drastically different from his previous releases that some might become puzzled. If it weren’t for X’s emotional transparency, this would largely be the case. However, the advantage that these new artists have from being an open book allow them to investigate new paths and express themselves whichever way they may be feeling at the time. There are probably more XXXTENTACION haters than fans, but this may no longer be the case after “17.” This is an impressive display of artistic potential, and will only create more anticipation for his career to unfold.