Headphones: XXXTENTACION Unplugged

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Artists have been taking sharp turns in 2017, swimming with feet in two different genres, and actively curating what becomes their identity as an artist. One rising rapper in particular, XXXTENTACION, has released his most deep and profound work yet, named a number dear to him; listen to 17. Gucci Mane released “I Get the Bag,” a hit track featuring the popping trio, Migos. Watch the intriguing story unfold in Electric Guest’s single, “Oh Devil.” Kip Moore explains what he seeks in life, and it plays out in picture throughout his music video “More Girls Like You.”  

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Album of the Week: 17 – XXXTENTACION : XXXTENTACION is better known for his hard, trappy and intense rapping that you either simply love or hate. The talented 19-year-old released his new album 17, and really uses his mental disorder and depression to guide his creativity and emotion conveyed throughout the album in his lyric and acoustic, unplugged instruments.

XXXTENTACTION fully lets us into his mind; he discloses exactly what this record means to him and what the fame and music mean to him, in the opening, conveniently titled track “The Explanation.” The talented young rapper takes a completely different turn with this record, letting us into his softer, yet darker side; emotionally singing and rapping his conscience. “Depression and Obsession” is led by a natural acoustic guitar melody and gives you that chilling feeling in your heart that is inexplicably pure.

The young Florida-native incorporates R&B, soul and rock in exceptional symmetry. One of the more soulful performances of such comes with “Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares.” A slowed hip-hop beat flows between background symphonic vocals and X’s calm, sonic verses. The only feature on the album plays out in the hip-hop charged “F**k Love” featuring Trippie Redd. Redd will surely get his props for his catchy appearance on the trappy, very well produced hip-hop banger.

Dissimilarly, an emotional piano tune opens before a booming rhythmic drum beat in X’s “Save Me,” touched by depressing lyrics presumably sung as a call for help. This ironically leads to the “Dead Inside Interlude,” where he has the voice of an alternative rock god, basically sobbing into the microphone. “Orlando,” takes us (with another piano ballad), on a passionate journey exposing the depth of his heart.

With this record, we really discover how beautiful X’s voice is and how musically inclined this kid is. Soft and scratchy best describe the track “Carry On,” where a soprano vocal gracefully coats the background, with X’s patient, lasting raps about the “pain inside of his chest.” The record is closed out with a similar, symphonic melody about regrets and past love – titled “Alaya (Outro).”

XXXTENTACION should be extremely proud of 17. Hip-hop, R&B, alternative-rock, punk-rock and soul are all mastered and in near perfect harmony with each of the 11 tracks.

Single of the Week: “I Get the Bag”— Gucci Mane featuring Mr. Davis: The Mane released a single off his upcoming EP Mr. Davis, named “I Get the Bag.” The track consists of hard-hitting beats fused with Gucci’s catchy, precise flow, sprinkled with Migos’ individualistic flare. The pre-release of this banger is a perfect hook to the upcoming album release fans are so readily waiting for.

 Music Videos

 Alternative: "Oh Devil" – Electric Guest: A community pool turns into a pool party, with the perfect sexual tension to encapsulate this vibey pop-EDM jam. The song is interrupted by a "mystery girl" drowning in the pool, getting CPR from a guy acting as a lifeguard, which ultimately ends in a makeout sesh. The music video is incredibly interesting, showing what the pool looks like through the course of a day.

Country: More Girls Like You – Kip Moore: A scenic, visual story unfolds on a beautiful island where Kip Moore explores the culture taking advantage of his loneness, yet explicitly keeping his eyes peeled for "the one." Kip says in the intro of the music video, the song is about “… person that you find so amazing, that you hope that when you have a kid they turn out as amazing as her.”

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