XXXTENTACION
17


3.0
good

Review

by 3piecesoftoast USER (6 Reviews)
September 11th, 2017 | 22 replies


Release Date: 2017 | Tracklist

Review Summary: XXXtentacion's latest project, punctuated with moments of stripped down emotion, is tinged with violent and troubling overtones.

XXXtentacion begins his new album with a lo-fi personal message:
“By listening to this album you are literally - I can not stress this enough - I mean literally entering my mind.” He ends the 55-second monologue with this: “I put my all into this in hopes that it will help cure or at least numb your depression.”

On his latest project the Broward County, Florida rapper stays true to this heavy-handed opening message and delivers a 22-minute emotional letter to his fans. The album is genre-bending and beautifully experimental at its best. At its low moments it is overwrought emotional writhing. X is having his moment in the sun thanks to his fervent fans who have pulled him from the teeming pits of Soundcloud rappers into the national hip-hop discussion. His first Soundcloud track was released in 2014 and since then he has amassed over 400 million listens. His most popular track, “Look at Me,” features a Migos-inspired triplet flow and blown-out, over-produced bass, but X is a far more versatile artist than this track lets on. On 17 he shows this versatility and employs an emo-rap style that relies heavily on backing vocals and naked, minimal guitar.

An inescapable element of 17 is Onfroy’s looming and persistent legal troubles. As he discusses in an extensive 2016 No Jumper interview he was raised in a single-parent home outside of Fort Lauderdale, Florida and was constantly in trouble with teachers, administrators, and eventually the police. X has spent time in jail for home invasion and aggravated assault and is currently under investigation for domestic battery of his pregnant ex-girlfriend. Onfroy is pleading not guilty to the charges and is awaiting a trial. The story is an unsavory one to say the least and has cast a shadow of violence over his latest release. There is a longer discussion to be had about whether it is OK to like the art that is produced by morally questionable artists. To make a deep rabbit hole shallower, I do not come to an album looking for moral guidance and can evaluate 17 as a piece of music before I consider the morality of its creator. The territory is sticky, however, because every stream on Spotify is pushing his name higher on the charts and giving him a larger platform. These ideas competed in my mind throughout the project and remain unresolved.

As a piece of music, 17 peaks early and then limps to an uninspiring end. The Trippie Redd feature on “*** Love,” the eighth track, is horrendous. Trippie Redd’s whiny voice makes the hook nearly unlistenable. Luckily “*** Love” comes after three extremely strong tracks at the top of the album. “Jocelyn Flores,” “Depression & Obsession,” and “Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares” are all excellent tracks. Shiloh Dynasty, an anonymous Instagram vocalist, is sampled heavily in all three and blends perfectly with X’s flow. Dynasty’s voice is elegant and creates a gentle background that meshes with the darkly emotional verses from X.

It’s true that the allegations from X’s ex-girlfriend are still exactly that, allegations, but when X addresses the situation directly on “Revenge,” “Save Me,” and “Carry On” I have trouble with his lyrics and overall message. The amount of anger and calls for violence against his girlfriend in these three songs are not something I can nod my head to. His singing on “Save Me” is a serious weakness and could have been much stronger if he sampled Shiloh Dynasty again for this track. On “Carry On” Shiloh’s vocals are perfect and ethereal, but X’s victim narrative has worn thin by this point in the project. On “Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares” he is rapping more aggressively and impressively, but on “Carry On” he is lagging in both energy and pathos with the listener.

The 22-minute album raises more questions than answers moving forward. The hip-hop community will continue to be polarized over X’s checkered legal past, but it will also continue to discuss his releases and new music. On 17 he gives us a taste of how easily he can defy the label of Soundcloud rapper and evolve beyond the generic xanax-fueled bars of many of 2017’s momentary stars.



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user ratings (424)
2
poor
other reviews of this album
Winesburgohio STAFF (3)
on the couch; on the fence...

Joeman82 (2.5)
A collection of soothing, yet unfinished, surface level songs....

Alabaster Jones (3.5)
Please don't throw your love away....

Drbebop (3.5)
Under the assumption love is dead...


Comments:Add a Comment 
VaxXi
September 11th 2017


4418 Comments


"Checkered legal past" is a nice way of putting it

Devastator
September 11th 2017


4036 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

Garbage human being.

TheCharmingMan
September 11th 2017


555 Comments


Poorly timed review, I must say.

Toad
September 11th 2017


2032 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

why even write about this guy anymore

let him fade

StallionMang
September 11th 2017


9003 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

mhm giving this subhuman stain's music anymore attention is kinda borderline tasteless at this point, no matter what you think of it

IcelandRevel
September 12th 2017


943 Comments


Poorly timed review [2]
It's not exactly a poor review itself, but still. It's best we ignore seXXXEducation all together.

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2017


25478 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah I feel bad cuz this review is p well written but oh so poorly timed. idk tho I can still listen to this and not despise it despite how much of a demon XXX is

Digging: Childish Gambino - 03.15.20

VaxXi
September 12th 2017


4418 Comments


Album Rating: 3.0

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2017


25478 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah deal with it idk. in my opinion it's up to the listener to decide when to separate art from the artist.

Toad
September 12th 2017


2032 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

i used to have it at a 3.0 too. i mean it's not altogether unpleasant. and it's not as if a sputnikmusic rating on the album has any impact...

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2017


25478 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

1 this to make sure XXX is locked up for life!!!

Spacesh1p
September 12th 2017


7717 Comments


Nah 1 it because it's a terrible album.

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2017


18055 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Still kinda wanna check this for some reason...

VaxXi
September 12th 2017


4418 Comments


' in my opinion it's up to the listener to decide when to separate art from the artist. '

pretty interesting position from someone who needed to retract their rating from the fail better, heal faster album because lou did something horrible on a far smaller scale than the allegations against x.

FullOfSounds
September 12th 2017


15772 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

i visibly cringed listening to this

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2017


25478 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

no need for the aggression Clov. if you really want me to clarify my opinion for you I will, however:



with fail better, heal faster as a project it is solely reliant on Lou apologizing for their actions (although the extent of the actions were still currently unknown), so when new information came to light it clearly nullified the entire project's honesty and goals, hence the rating removal. this is also why I'll still jam JANK, way easier to separate that project from the artist imo. same as the case of XXX because his music is pretty ignorant emo rap whatever and this project is no different as the "theme" is him talking about depression which is completely unrelated to recent allegations.



all in all it's not about what crime is worse (p silly argument imo) but rather if the listener can separate art from the artist. tldr: listen to/rate what you want

Toad
September 12th 2017


2032 Comments

Album Rating: 1.0

I agree with con here. Sounds like fail better is kinda a PWR BTTM content&crime match situation if I'm reading correctly, whereas x is more of a shit person but this album doesn't try to lie about that. Sorta indirectly addresses reasons for it without excusing it in a way. Not great and he's still a shit person, but it's one way to view it

Conmaniac
Contributing Reviewer
September 12th 2017


25478 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

yeah PWR BTTM was the voice for a lot of transgender ppl and spearheaded a lot of the anti sexual abuse/equality movements within the scene so when info came out about them it literally was hypocritical and so so disappointing

Tunaboy45
September 12th 2017


16992 Comments


i visibly cringed listening to this[2]

reads like something a 13 yo would write when he gets rejected by the popular girl


Gardevoir
September 25th 2017


20 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I actually find the album decent. And I'm gonna choose to separate the artist from the art in this case, at least until we actually know of he's guilty or not. Whatever we may think, it's best to withhold judgement before, you know, an actual judge can get at his ass.



Besides, Jocelyn Flores, and Nightmares are a jam and a half.



Also, based on a recent video he's posted, he seems like a smart enough person. Seems reasonable.



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