AJ Wolken staff writer
XXXTentacion is one of the most unique, intriguing voices in music right now. What he proved with his latest album ?, is his undeniable versatility. The project, which can be streamed on Apple Music or Spotify, presents the many different abilities of X, consisting of genres ranging from R&B to alternative rock to hip-hop to old school rap.
The album debuted atop Apple Music’s top charts and earned the number one spot on Billboard’s 200 albums chart. Nearly two weeks after the album’s release, it still holds five spots on Apple Music’s top 25 songs. The album consists of 18 songs, seven of which especially display X’s talent and carry the entire project to excellence. ? also features big names such as Joey Bada$$ and PnB Rock, but the outstanding songs on the project are clearly his solo tracks.
While most of X’s songs use vulgar and harsh language, he still manages to communicate a deeper meaning in each of his songs. The highlight of the album is “Moonlight,” which combines unique, video-game type production with X’s R&B voice to make for a timeless hit. “The remedy for a broken heart” and “SAD” are also memorable tracks as X confronts his struggles with love and suicide in an emotional mumble rapping tone that resembles the sound of his last album. “NUMB” is another hit on the album where X exhibits his ability to sing and produce alternative rock. Unlike X’s first album, there seems to be no theme to ?, but this allows him to effectively showcases his musical talents through a variety of sounds.
X grabbed the attention of the hip-hop community at the beginning of 2017 with his hard rap rock song “Look at Me,” but since his first hit, X has struggled with run-ins with the law and mental difficulties as showcased in his emotional debut album 17. While there is much controversy over his character, XXXTentacion is undeniably talented and has proven that, at the age of 20, he is a multi talented musician who isn’t going away any time soon–unless he struggles with the law again. With versatility and creativity, X’s ? is definitely in the discussion for the best album of 2018 thus far. The project’s hit song “Moonlight” is one of the top songs of the year, and because the album is so versatile, it is worth a listen for any fans of rap, R&B, or even alternative rock.