Album - 17Artist - XXXTentacionRecord Label - Bad Vibes Forever (2017)Duration: 22 minutes

XXXTentacion continues to divide people along the lines of morality and art. A disturbed man, the rapper has risen fast in the past 12 months, from his collection of projects on Soundcloud, to a powerful mainstream buzz.

But off the mic he is a problem. In 2016, XXXTentacion, real name born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy was charged with armed home invasion robbery and aggravated battery with a firearm from an alleged incident that occurred in November 2015 in Broward County, Florida, for which he pleaded no contest this past March and is serving six years of probation.

In addition, Onfory is still awaiting a trial hearing in Miami Dade County, where, according to court documents, he is being charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness-tampering.

To promote the release of “17”, X caused a stir online when he posted a video to his Instagram that appeared to show him hanging himself. The next day, he cleared up the confusion, claiming it was a scene from an upcoming video that had to do with slavery, not suicide. “If you thought I would ‘pretend’ to kill myself for a publicity stunt you’re fucking stupid,” he said.

It is this darkness, depression and pursuit of self, that has driven the content of his music. And he has built a strong following of young impressionable people, seeking validation and dealing with behavioural problems.

“You are literally entering my mind. And if you are not willing to accept my emotion and hear my words fully, do not listen," he starts off the project with his personal rules.

Listening to this album takes you through the rebellious mind of a teenager who is documenting all his demons via music. You could see it in his eyes, and feel it in his lyrics. “Hello from the dark side, does anybody want to be my friend?” He calls out on ‘Save me’. It captures it all, detailing his bouts of depression on ‘Depression and obsession’, while ‘Revenge’ carries the weight of his vendetta on an alternative beat. But in between the darkness and angst, there’s some sonical light on ‘F**K love’.

XXXTentacion knows how to make music, and although he rarely ever dabbles close to mainstream stuff, the emotional appeal and whelming sadness can find its fans, who overdose on sorrow, and see the world in grayscale.

Rating: 3.5/5


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Get "17" here.