Jake Insinna Staff Writer
On March 16, upcoming and controversial rapper XXXTENTACION released his second full length album titled ?. The album is 18 songs long including an introduction that doubles as instructions for listeners. Even though 18 sounds like a generous amount of songs for a single album, most of the songs do not make it to two minutes. This is nothing new though. In his last album, 17, the songs were just as short. ? features many genres of music including rap, punk, and folk. Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker even has a drum feature on the song “Pain = BESTFRIEND.” For better or for worse, this album is an extension of 17.
The production value for this album is more or less the same for what we’ve seen from X. The entire album has a lo-fi hip-hop vibe to it. A few standout songs on the album are “Moonlight,” “SAD!,” and “the remedy for a broken heart.” All three sound like songs from 17, with the same chilled-out singing and rapping style that was prolific on his last album. Then, there are songs like “Floor 555” that sound more like 90’s rap than anything else. “Pain = BESTFRIEND” and “NUMB” are very pop punk and grunge influenced. Sprinkled throughout the album, are slower, more folk sounding songs, like “ALONE, PART 3.” This album is definitely a lot to digest, however, there is something in it for everyone.
? hit the billboard charts at #1 with the song “SAD!” and now sits at #7. Even though X has seen ample trouble with the law, this is proof he has built a solid fan base that won’t dessert him and that is a rare thing nowadays. With its short songs and seemingly unfinished ideas, ? has some decent sounds and X has shown some versatility and creativity in an otherwise stale genre, making the album most definitely worth a listen.