Hip Hop

XXXTENTACION – Skins (Album Review)

XXXTentacion_–_Skins

I’m not going to lie, I am still shocked and appalled that XXXTENTACION is no longer with us. I felt at the time of his passing that he was just entering into his prime, figuring out a bunch of different sounds he could f**k around and be successful in. With “Skins,” we get a chance to see one of the last directions the Florida rapper aimed to go with his music, perhaps wowing us from deep up in the sky.


STREAM


TOP 5

 

 

5. ONE MINUTE

“One Minute” is actually three minutes of authentic heavy metal vibes! It features a lengthy verse by Kanye West, and some screaming from XXXTENTACION that is sure to leave your ears ringing. It’s not necessarily my cup of tea, but I can definitely see it serving as the perfect alarm clock buzzer if I ever have to wake up extra early for work one of these days.

 

 

 

4. BAD!

“Bad!” is definitely one of those peculiar bangers.

In “Bad!” XXXTENTACION gifts us with a short banger that his him mumble-singing throughout (He came up with a new sound from heaven) about falling in love with everything his current girl has to offer. I like how the beat attached to the song rattles speakers and promotes organized mayhem, prompting X to bring out his most daring vocals.

 

 

3. I DON’T LET GO

I would’ve loved if the people that put this album together combined “I Don’t Let Go” with “Bad.”

“I Don’t Let Go” is another peculiar banger on this LP that has club potential. It features yet another trunk-rattling instrumental, but more importantly, an intoxicating melodic performance by X. The “SAD!” rapper also showcases his ability to drop bars on it, but in all honesty, I completely ignored anything he was saying on his raps. Really, the song is all about its vibes.

 

 

2. WHOA (MIND IN AWE)

“Whoa (Mind In Awe)” is special on its own, but when you consider what it follows, you’ll appreciate it even more. In “Train Food,” the previous song, X talks about death lurking, sending chills down your spine. In “Whoa (Mind In Awe),” you get something that’s a little more light-hearted, as production-wise, it features this colorful instrumental, while vocally, our fallen hero gets a chance to sorta be free. Personally, I think the song symbolizes sunshine after a rainy day, and how positivity can overpower negative thoughts whenever it wants to. Deep, right?

 

 

1. GUARDIAN ANGELS

“Guardian Angels” is powerful. The song features this bizarre instrumental that almost sounds like it was made backwards. Over it, XXXTENTACION does his share of harmonizing, while on his verses, he raps tough, talking about everything from his rebellious mental to apologizing to a girl he once tried to repair. I think the track is fitting for how the album starts, mainly because it gives listeners a chance to see how strong of a personality X had.

Is this Jocelyn Flores part 2?


SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN

1. INTRODUCTION (N/A)

2. GUARDIAN ANGEL (4.5/5)

3. TRAIN FOOD (4/5)

4. WHOA (MIND IN AWE) (4.5/5)

5. BAD! (4.5/5)

6. STARING AT THE SKY (3/5)

7. ONE MINUTE (3.5/5)

8. DIFFERENCE (INTERLUDE) (4/5)

9. I DON’T LET GO (4/5)

10. WHAT ARE YOU SO AFRAID OF (4/5)


OVERALL RATING

(C+)

 

Skins will probably make you cry, angry, frustrated, confused and inspired. It follows a path similar to X’s previous two albums, as it features a myriad of sounds ranging from sad to electrifying. Thankfully, the guy that is leading the charge for this LP is gallant, showing no fear in leading your heart and soul through one of hip hop’s most emotional-filled roller-coaster rides.

I like how versatile the production was on this album. There were some beats that were made to f**k up housing foundations if they were played on some loud speakers, while there were others that did its best to make you cry either from giving off depressing vibes or making you nod your head violently. What I love about X is that he tends to get lost in whatever beat you give him, even losing interest in saying actual words at times. Don’t you like that about his approach to music?

You don’t get many words from X on Skins, however, when he does speak, he put chills down your spine, discussing powerful topics like finding true love and the idea of death lurking around the corner. It’s clear that he was troubled for quite some time before making the songs you heard, but I am astonished at how he was able to switch between positive and negative sounding throughout (Seamlessly, too). It’s almost like we played his psycharisist from start to finish, imploring him to show his many emotions in no particular order. Trust me, this aspect of the album makes it very riveting.

My main beef with this album is that the songs sound way too incomplete. Of course, this is not the artists’ fault, but in the end of the day, I have to grade what I heard, and a lot of the music sounded like rough drafts. I know X’s albums tended to sound like that, but this time around, it was a bit dissatisfying.

I truly thought XXXTENTACION was one of the most talented artists I’ve heard in a while, so imagine how bummed out I was when I found out about his death. Not only did I feel like he had a huge impact on a bunch of artists in the game, but I also believed he never got a chance to reach his peak. Nonetheless, I hope his true friends and family can find closure in perhaps this last act from him, and I pray that every time you hear his music, you smile, because you know at that time he was making whatever song you were listening to, he was in his happy-place (Despite his eery content).

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