By Jack Barnes
After months of waiting, XXXTentacion unleashes his very first album, 17 [Bad Vibes Forever/EMPIRE]. It’s available HERE. Upon going live, the platinum-certified critically acclaimed South Florida alternative trailblazer and XXL “Freshman” Cover star vaulted into the Top 5 of iTunes Top Rap/Hip-Hop Albums Chart and the Top 5 of the Overall Top Albums Chart. Enjoy this audio stream below after the jump.
Awash in moody piano, strained guitars, and hypnotic minimalist production, 17asserts him as a young, vulnerable, and vital voice for his era by reinterpreting “alternative” as we know it. The post-millennial Generation Z’s answer to Kurt Cobain, XXXTentacion holds nothing back and cuts deep. You’ll feel each verse from the confessional spoken word of “The Explanation” where he says, “17. A collection of nightmares, thoughts, and real life situations I’ve lived. 17 is the number tattooed on the right side of my head, my own personal number. So to be explained in future interviews or instances, by listening to this album you are literally, and I cannot stress this enough, literally entering my mind. And if you are not willing to accept my emotion and hear my words fully, do not listen. I do not value your money. I value your acceptance and loyalty. Here is my pain and thoughts put into words. I put my all into this in hopes that it will help cure or at least numb your depression. I love you, thank you for listening. Enjoy.”
Not only does he handle vocals, he also executive produced and plays instruments on 17.
Among many standouts, resounding acoustic guitar and grainy musical mysticism on “Jocelyn Flores” build into a stark, yet beautiful refrain, while “Depression & Obsession” redefines folk poetry for the Snapchat era. He also hits the mic hard on “Fuck Love” [feat. Trippie Redd]—already touted by XXLand Complex.
Check out the full tracklisting below!
In this case, you actually can judge a book by its cover. With unnerving Polaroid photos and handwritten lyrics, the artwork speaks to youthful depression, despair, and loneliness directly. From visuals to music, XXXTentacion’s raw delivery resonates immediately.
It’s been a wild year for the artist. His breakout “Look At Me!” earned an RIAA Platinum certification and carved out a spot on the Billboard Hot 100 at #34. He delivered a now legendary performance at Rolling Loud and sold out every date of his Revenge headline tour.
Collaborative projects such as Members Only Vol. 1 and Members Only Vol. 2 with Ski Mask “The Slump God” in 2015 and last year’s Willy Wonka Was a Child Murderer EP instigated rabid fan chatter online about XXXTentacion. In the aftermath, he’s engendered the passion of a massive cult following spanning an audience of 2.8 million on Instagram, 1.2 million on Soundcloud and received the endorsement of everyone from Lil Yachty and Erykah Badu to Lil Uzi Vert and A$AP Rocky who proclaimed him, “The hardest in Florida” on social media. Showcasing various styles from a screech to a croon over lo-fi beats, the 19-year-old cooks up a hybrid of rap, R&B, punk rock, and metal. It’s a singular sound that’s already garnered the attention of Pitchfork, XXL, Complex, and more. It’s simply XXXTentacion, and alternative music might never be the same.
1. “Jocelyn Flores”
2. “Depression & Obsession”
3. “Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares”
5. “Save Me”
6. “Dead Inside (Interlude)”
7. “Fuck Love” Feat. Trippie Redd
8. “Carry On”
10. “Ayala (Outro)”
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