XXXTENTACION opens his latest project up with a warning for his listeners about how different and alternative a lot of what they’re going to hear is. And aside from the the eye-roll inducing melodramatic hyperbolic nature of what he’s actually saying is (something artists love to do), it’s a pretty accurate assessment of what to expect from ?. It’s a warning that was lost on me because of outside of a few songs, I’ve never had any real desire to check out a full project from him (his antics outside of music being a major deterrent), so I had no expectations going into this. But even with no expectations I was surprised by just how varied everything was. He’s clearly part of this new generation of genre-less artists who are only ‘hip-hop’ in the vaguest sense of the word. You’ll find everything on here from R&B to hip-hop to folk to screamo to latin and then some. He said his goal was to show his versatility and although a lot of the stuff here is watered down representations of said genres, his talent is undeniable and his renditions turned out better than I ever would have expected. “I don’t even speak spanish lol” for example is a legit smash, while “infinity (888)” is hip-hop in it’s truest form with an unexpected NY vibe to it. Now most of the stuff here feels like teasers/unfinished versions with only two tracks going over 3 minutes, but sonically there’s more than enough here to keep me coming back. ? is as enigmatic a project as XXXTENTACION is as an artist but there’s an undeniable draw to it and to him that continues to surprise.
Little Dark Age is full of MGMT's clear reverence for '80s pop and rock - with all of the vintage synths, dub effects, and just overall aesthetic feel, but with their own decidedly psychedelic twists thrown in for good measure. They create an interesting dichotomy of warm, buzzing production and darker, more cynical lyrics and the result is a largely pleasing listen from start to finish that contains some of their most infectious work in years.
MEMORIES DON'T DIE feels like it fell to the problem most artists face going into their sophomore albums. What do you talk about after you've put your entire life's experiences into your debut? It's a difficult problem and one that Tory Lanez was unable to solve, resulting in a largely unmemorable album, despite the immense amount of musical talent he possesses.
I was more than ready to write off Jaden Smith but he utterly surprised me with a highly enjoyable project full of incredible production, surprising flow, and impressive versatility. It's often hard to take him seriously, but his music needs to be.
“Who am I? Someone that’s afraid to let go, uh You decide if you’re ever gonna let me know (yeah) Suicide if you ever try to let go, uh I’m sad, I know, yeah, I’m sad, I know, yeah”
Have you heard ?? What’d you think about it? What’d you think about XXXTENTACION’s takes on other genres? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions to the album.
xxxtentacion – ? Reaction
XXXTENTACION said his goal was to show his versatility on this project and although a lot of the stuff here is watered down representations of said genres, his talent is undeniable and his renditions turned out better than I ever would have expected. Now most of it feels like teasers/unfinished versions with only two tracks going over 3 minutes, but sonically there's more than enough here to keep me coming back. ? is as enigmatic a project as XXXTENTACION is as an artist but there's an undeniable draw to it and to him that continues to surprise.