XXXTENTACION - SKINS


For the better part of this year it has seemed like Emo-rap has never really left the charts. With rappers like Trippie Redd, and Lil Peep engineering and molding the definition of rap as a genre and emo-rap as a sub genre into their own stylistic visions, this genres not only potential but it’s popularity has continued to rise. Emo-rap has had few influences or artists in its mainstream existence so far that have been as huge of a name as XXXTENTACION. With two studio albums and a few other official releases under his belt, including “?” which debuted at number one on the Us Billboard top 200, X has had massive success this far with the emo-rap sub genre. Unfortunately, XXXTENTACION was shot and killed in Deerfield Florida on June 18, 2018. His label as well as his mother have been pushing out the remains of what X was working on and had planned before he was brutally murdered. SKINS was released by X’s label earlier this month on December 3rd. SKINS is most likely the last piece to X’s discography we will receive unless his label (Bad Vibes Forever) decides to continue tarnishing his musical and artistic legacy by releasing more unfinished pieces of his music for revenue boosts. Furthermore, that’s exactly what this album is, nowhere. near. finished. I would have a hard time even calling this a complete mixtape in today’s musical landscape where people can call a ten minute project a full length album. There is only one track on this album that reaches three minutes in length and it’s the only track that feels complete on this entire project. For the most part I found the beginning of this record to be beautifully sinister in a way. I found the first half of this album quite pleasant actually, but the problem is there is a complete lack of content. The chronological order of the track list on the first half of this project is very well put together. It establishes a build of momentum very effectively. The problem is the momentum falls short and doesn’t build up to anything simply because the album isn’t even twenty minutes long. The bottom line is it isn’t a finished project and the fact that his label would release this as “a full length album” is disrespectful to X to say the least. The intro track is similar to the introduction that was used on both of X’s previous projects 17 and ?. As a stand alone intro I didn’t really like either of the intros on either of those projects but, if this was a trend that X was planning to run with and put in all his projects I think that gives it a little more depth and meaning and I think I could of liked it a little bit more and saw the message that was trying to be conveyed in these intro tracks. The second track on the record “guardian angel”, is sort of a remix of the instrumental of Jocelyn Flores. I’ve heard lots of negatives about this track but personally I thought it was a high point. I think the re-work of the previously used instrumentals gives the track sort of a sentimental appeal due to the fact that it’s something we have seen before and unfortunately we know we will see for the last time. It does feature the same flow that X uses on almost every single track in his whole discography where he actually raps for a full verse, but the bars are *mostly* enjoyable despite that. Another high point for me on the album was the next track “Train Food”. This song is about a character X portrays being murdered on his way home from the train station. It’s a dark and sinister story that almost reminds me of “Ross Capicchioni” by Joyner Lucas or a character that Eminem would portray. So many tracks on this album simply lack enough substance or time to flourish into anything amazing. “Woah (in my mind),” “STARING AT THE SKY”, “I don’t let go”, and “What are you so afraid of” are all completely lacking of any real substance and sound. This isn’t a finished project and the fact that it was released in this stage tarnishes not only this album but X’s legacy as a whole.

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