XXXTentacion is different from the current crop of rappers that have invested in the genre’s current incarnation.
Trouble has followed him and whether justified or not, he’s been a magnet for bad attention.
On his Revenge mixtape, he wields a mighty vocal hammer. His subject matter may not separate him from his peers but his delivery sure as hell does.
The Lauderhill, Florida product means everything that he says. When the flow and the thoughts make contact in such a real space, you get the very best of what this generation has to offer.
XXXTentacion goes off on pop, metal, alternative, rap, trap, electronic and soul backdrops in an attempt to match his feelings with audio that sounds like his heart.
To think that the pure bubblegum snack “Looking For A Star” could transition so well into the distorted bliss of “Valentine” is inspiring.
The risks that this kid is taking may not even be known to him. He is just looking for something that allows him to rip his guts out and show them to the world.
This is not cohesive work yet it is cohesive work. My Bloody Valentine’s Kevin Shields, Ministry’s Al Jorgensen, and Top 40 princess Rihanna would all fit in as guest stars here.
The quasi-acoustic “King” wastes no time sliding from a gentle tale into a brutal slice of pummeling anger. At it’s harshest moment, it feels uncomfortable to witness. This was most likely the point.
Success may be the worst thing to happen to XXXTentacion. Left untamed and without expectations, this is someone that could evoke Miles Davis’ weirdo genius.
Pushed by the mainstream, the fear is that the temptation to stunt and cash in will manipulate his artistry into the ultimate mindfuck of pushing a square peg into a platinum hole.