XXXTENTATION’s posthumous album disappoints

XXXTENTATION’S “SKINS” album cover is pictured above. The album was released following his passing on June 18, 2018.

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XXXTENTATION’S “SKINS” album cover is pictured above. The album was released following his passing on June 18, 2018.

Rowan Trowbridge-Wheeler, Staff Writer

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XXXTENTACION, or Jahseh Onfroy, was nothing if not a man with an interesting career. His path to the spotlight was baked in controversy, with his meteoric rise to fame in 2016 off tracks like ”LOOK AT ME!” From domestic abuse allegations to bubbling rap beef, XXXTENTACION’s fan base continued to grow.

Fans were shocked in June when X was shot and killed in his home state of Florida.

Despite his death, a new, posthumous XXXTENTACION album was promised, and finally has arrived.

SKINS, at ten tracks and 19 minutes, should be nothing but back-to-back quality, and little to no filler. This hope, unfortunately, could not be further from the reality of the album.

SKINS barely feels like a coherent music project. The instrumentals are generally empty, untextured, and repetitive, lacking structure. Most cuts sound more like a demo or a transition than a completed song.

The album opens with a spoken word introduction that tells us that SKINS is a look into Jahseh’s mind. Its rhetoric is cringe worthy, and the message it conveys could be shortened to a few words, just like the introductions to X’s previous projects.

The tracks on SKINS have little coherence, flowing from one track to the next with little thought of mood or transition. Most of the tracks are almost entirely forgettable, reusing drum patterns and looping simple melodies. X’s lyrics are unfocused and mostly unmemorable, excluding a few moments.

The song “Train food” actually introduces an interesting narrative concept with a moody beat that X does a great job delivering over. This is by far the highest point of the album; however, the good things about that song do not carry over into the other tracks.

The track “One Minute,” featuring Kanye West, takes a style that was extremely entertaining in songs such as Travis Scott’s “Piss On Your Grave” and makes it repetitive, simplistic, and boring. Kanye’s absurd lyricism on his verse only makes the track harder to listen to. X’s screaming on the tail end does not help either. This track was at least memorable, compared to cuts such as “STARING AT THE SKY” or “whoa (mind in awe)” that include nothing more than bare bones ideas for songs that will leave your brain just about as fast as it takes to listen to them.

Unfortunately, SKINS does not live up to the hype surrounding XXXTENTACION. Without regard to X’s character, this studio album, whether the fault of himself or his label, has not allowed me to take him seriously as an artist.

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