Album Review | XXXTENTACION – 17

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Alright, this is gonna be rough… This album was released on August 25th. I’m gonna be honest; before he was released from jail, I actually thought I was gonna be a fan of XXXTENTACION. I liked a decent amount of the singles he had out at the time, even tho most of ’em felt like half baked demos. The blueprint he laid out for himself was really appealing to me. I honestly love songs like #ImSippinTeaInYoHood & Teeth. I haven’t heard any of his new shit yet, but I’ve seen the reception for his post-prison release output, and it has not been pretty. You don’t have to tell me he fell off for me to see that something isn’t right about this dude tho. I mean… I haven’t really mentioned it here, but that XXL cypher verse… Bruh… Basically it was this year’s equivalent of Desiigner’s XXL Freestyle. I guess it’s different because X actually seems to have put some thought into it. Desiigner clearly had no idea what the fuck he was doing. But… I mean… Just look at this…

grrrr

You know how a lot of people on the internet dismiss Eminem’s material as “school shooter music?” THIS is about to be a school shooter ass album. I know that’s a really fucked up thing to say, but seriously… The dude tries so hard to be edgy and it makes me cringe so hard that I go into cardiac arrest. Also, I know this is a dumb thing to have a problem with, but why the FUCK did he think XXXTENTACION was a good idea for a stage name? Seriously nobody even wants to say his name out loud in real life because they don’t know how to fucking pronounce it. Even when you pronounce it properly it sounds awkward. It doesn’t roll off the tongue at all. I used to think it was supposed to sound like “extension.” Like “Ex-tenna-shin.” But no. It’s literally “Ex-ex-ex-ten-toss-yon.” SIX FUCKING SYLLABLES? Smh… Anyway, I know he suffers from depression, and I respect him for trying to express that through his music, but you can do that without seeming like an edgy dork. This album is dedicated to listeners who struggle with depression. He made this album for people like me. I find it hard to believe that anyone over the age of 13 will be into this tho. This is not gonna be a good album. It CAN’T be a good album. There’s no fucking way. The longest track on here is two minutes & 43 seconds. If I end up liking this album, I will twerk. On camera. That’s not gonna happen tho because there’s no fucking way this is a well made project…

Track 1: The Explanation

I don’t have production credits for all the tracks yet, so I’ll just update this review when I find them. Alright, this track is starting now. Uh… God. This dude’s voice is so fucking annoying to me. It’s not usually a problem for me when he’s rapping, but he’s just talking right now, and it just sounds so faint and whiny. I know it’s supposed to sound like that, but it’s fucking cringe inducing.

By listening to this album, you are literally—And I cannot stress this enough; LITERALLY—entering my mind.

That’s… That’s just not true. God. I know it’s super lame for me to get mad about something like this, but it pisses me off when people use the word literally improperly. It happens all the time now. I don’t know if it’s always been like that and I just never noticed it, but it really gets on my nerves. Bruh… This motherfucker doesn’t even have a goddamn pop filter for the microphone he’s using right now. Lmao. That’s actually hilarious. I’m assuming that’s not the case for the actual songs tho.

I put my all into this in the hopes that it will help cure, or at least numb your depression. I love you. Thank you for listening. Enjoy.

Awww. I feel kinda bad for shitting on him now. Again, I definitely respect his intentions. He means well. It’s just a shame that he couldn’t express himself in a less cringe-inducing way. I hope I like this album. I mean, I kinda don’t because I don’t wanna twerk on camera, but I respect what X is trying to do. Anyway, this obviously isn’t a song, so I won’t judge it as one.

Track 2: Jocelyn Flores (Prod. Potsu)

Oh fucking shit… Um… Okay, I’m gonna stop joking around so much and try to take this project seriously. Obviously I’m not gonna go easy on it if it’s actually terrible, but, as someone who has survived multiple suicide attempts, I can’t make fun of shit like this in good conscience. Jocelyn Flores is apparently the name of one of X’s friends who killed herself while visiting him in Florida. Regardless of you how feel about him, it’s clear that X came from a real place when putting this project together. At least it appears that way. There’s not really any reason to be skeptical of that. Anyway, the song’s starting now. I like this beat, but that extremely lo-fi sound that X is known for doesn’t really work well here… This sounds terrible honestly. If it was mixed properly this would’ve sounded good. The first verse was actually pretty good. I don’t really think there’s anything wrong with it other than the sound quality. It’s damn near unlistenable honestly. I don’t know if he literally didn’t have the resources to record it properly or if this was an intentional decision, but either way it’s not a good thing. Oh. I forgot this song’s only 2 minutes long. There’s only one verse. It ended already. At least I know this review isn’t gonna take long. Hmm… I just got a sudden craving for pancakes. I think I’m gonna have to settle for waffles instead. I usually prefer waffles, but for some reason I want pancakes right now. I might go to a diner later today if I still feel like it. It’s 6AM right now tho, and I don’t like driving this early. I’m not even dressed yet anyway. Shit, I don’t even know if the diner I like is open yet. Um… So, anyway, this isn’t a good song, but it’s not really that bad. I honestly think I would’ve liked it if the sound quality was decent. It’s literal SoundCloud rap tho. It’s an okay song. I guess.

Track 3: Depression & Obsession (Prod. XXXTENTACION)

Jesus fucking Christ. Why is the mixing so atrocious? This sounds fucking awful. It’s like he recorded a regular album, and then edited it to be in one of those “ear-rape” meme videos. This isn’t actually a Hip Hop song. He’s singing over an acoustic guitar. I’m assuming that’s him playing. His singing is decent, and I like the lyrics. I like this song. Except I don’t like it. You know why? The FUCKING mixing is unbearable. This seriously would’ve been a fantastic song if it didn’t sound like it was recorded in a fucking microwave. He actually did what he was trying to do with this song tho. I can relate to this a LOT.

I think I’m just obsessed with you; depression and obsession doesn’t mix well.

I mean, some of the background vocals sound really fucking cheesy, but this really could’ve been an okay song. I want to like this, but I just can’t enjoy it. The sound quality fucking butchered this track. It’s wack af as it is, but it could’ve been decent. Smh…

Track 4: Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares (Prod. Potsu)

Bruuuh… This whole album is really about to sound like this… Smh… Jesus fucking Christ. I like this beat. X’s flow is cool on the hook. You already know what the problem is tho. What the fuck was this dude thinking? God… This is a frustrating album. His flow on the first verse was really nice. It’s only nine fucking bars tho. He didn’t even round it off to 8. He just awkwardly stops rapping. The first verse ends after about thirty seconds, and then the final minute of the track is spent repeating the chorus. This is kind of insulting. Lmao. On the intro to this album he said, “I put my all into this.” So why the hell does each song sound like it was made in 20 minutes? This song seriously spoils everything it has to offer in the first 30 seconds. When he said he put everything he had into this album, I’m sure he was referring to the emotional effort it took to put these thoughts together. It didn’t translate to the actual music tho. Honestly, he should’ve waited to put this album out. He should’ve spent more time on it. I’m sure his fans would’ve pressured him into releasing it, but if he just fed them a few bullshit singles from the cutting room floor I’m sure they would’ve been understanding, especially if he explained the content of the album to them. This is so unfortunate. Smh… This shit is wack af.

Track 5: Revenge (Prod. XXXTENTACION)

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Oh snap… Alright, here we fucking go. The mixing is still pretty terrible, but it sounds slightly better on this song than it was on the previous tracks. This track is similar to track 3. It’s just an acoustic guitar over some simplistic percussion. It’s not really the kinda thing I’d listen to personally, but I don’t think it’s bad. The shitty mixing still kinda ruins it, but it’s definitely the most tolerable song so far. His vocals aren’t really impressive, but they’re sufficient. He’s basically just singing about a relationship that went sour. This isn’t good. It’s the best song on the album so far tho. I’m never listening to this ever again, but it’s decent.

Track 6: Save Me

Oh fucking shit… Alright, HERE we go. This is actually really good. I love the production, and the mixing is actually decent. This album is really more Alternative than it is Hip Hop. The lyrics are borderline inaudible, but I don’t really give a shit about that to be honest. It sounds great, and he pulled off that dark, emotional sound without it sounding corny. Oh. The lyrics are actually pretty clear. It was only the first few lines that sounded muffled. This is pretty fucking lame lyrically to be honest…

I won’t fit in here; everything must end / Hello, from the dark side end / Does anybody here wanna be my friend?

That’s pretty fuckin’ bad… I actually like this song a lot tho. It’s enjoyable enough sonically for me to be able to look past the edgy lyrics. This is dope af to me.

Track 7: Dead Inside (Interlude)

I just listened to this whole track. I honestly like it. I feel like it’s not a good song, but I still enjoy it anyway. It sounds like some guy recorded X with his phone fucking around on a piano while crying about how his girl cheated on him. Lmao. X is literally a cuck. Hahaha. Sorry. I just think it’s hilarious how “cuck” has become the trendy insult these days. Every other song on this album has felt like an interlude honestly, so this one just sounds like a normal song when you compare it to the other tracks. Hmm… I think this is a tolerable song, but I really wouldn’t ever listen to it again. It’s fine tho.

Track 8: Fuck Love Feat. Trippie Redd

I’m not familiar with this Trippie Redd guy. I was excited at first when I saw his name on this album, but that’s only because I got him mixed up with Fly Young Red. Lol. Anyway, I really like the production on this track. I’m not crazy about this hook from Trippie Redd tho. It’s kinda catchy, but at the same time it sounds like a Lil Uzi Vert love song. X’s verse sounded pretty good. His vocals were way better than Trippie Redd’s. He probably should’ve just done the entire song himself. I feel like this song would be pretty successful with a mainstream audience if it was longer. There’s only one verse from X & it’s only 8 lines. Trippie Redd just does the hook. I kinda like this to be honest, but it’s definitely not my favorite… It’s kinda good tho. Kinda. I mean… It kinda sucks, but I like it.

Track 9: Carry On (Prod. Potsu)

This beat is nice. Alright, the second half of this album is mixed properly. So what the fuck happened with the first half? Smh… This is another decent song. X is actually rapping on this track, and the way the bars are staggered is kinda cool, but I think that’s due to a lack of anything to say rather than an intentional artistic decision. This is a really laid back track. I like it. Just like with every other track, it feels unfinished, but aside from that I don’t really have any problems with it. It’s not gonna blow anyone away, but I enjoyed it personally. This is dope to me.

Track 10: Orlando

This is a dramatic piano ballad. Wow. Just the idea of a piano ballad from XXXTENTACION sounds fucking horrific. This isn’t really that bad tho. His vocals sound pretty good. The lyrics are super dramatic, but I don’t think they’re too bad. The production is super simplistic; there’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s not really good. It just serves as a sufficient backdrop for X’s vocals. Lyrically, this song is basically just X saying “I want to die.” I actually like this. The melody gets kinda repetitive after a while. It’s kind of ironic that this song feels a little long winded. It’s less than 3 minutes, but it’s still the longest song on the album. Anyway, I actually kinda enjoyed this. This is dope to me.

Track 11: Ayala (Outro)

This sounds really similar to a lot of the other tracks on this album. It really sounds like it could’ve been part of Save Me. I don’t have anything to say about it honestly. The production sounds a little more fleshed out on this track than on the other ones, but aside from that there’s not really anything different about it. I don’t know how he managed to make a 22 minute album sound repetitive, but he pulled it off somehow. I kinda enjoyed this song, but it’s not really… I mean… It just feels like another unfinished demo. I’m not gonna listen to this again.

Final Thoughts:

This album is severely mediocre. It’s actually far better than I was expecting it to be, which isn’t really saying much, but still. I thankfully don’t have to release a twerk vid. I would’ve had to end my career after something like that. Anyway, there are two very blatant, glaring issues with this album. First of all, the mixing on pretty much the entire first half is unacceptable. The fact that some people might actually spend money to buy this album is honestly tragic. The shitty quality is intentional, and I don’t really know why. I don’t see how making it sound like it was recorded over a long distance phone call would be enjoyable for anyone. The second obvious flaw is the length. I think 10 tracks would’ve been perfect. 10 tracks that are finished tho. Literally every single song sounds like it was made in less than an hour. Also, the idea that this album is gonna be super resonant for people with depression is kinda bullshit. I mean, I definitely think people who suffer from the mental illness will appreciate it on some level, but this is a very personal project. I feel like it’s gonna help X himself more than any of his actual listeners. There are far more hard hitting albums about depression. The idea that he had for this album is like if I said “man, I’m really depressed” and someone else who’s depressed was like “oh my God, thank you so much. That really means a lot to me. That helped me get through some serious shit.” I mean, obviously this’ll be the soundtrack to a certain demographic’s emotional recovery, but I doubt it’ll be the catalyst. So yeah. That’s pretty much all I’ve got to say. This album isn’t good. I don’t think it’s nearly as bad as everyone is making it out to be, but you don’t need to listen to this. It’s only 22 minutes, so it wouldn’t hurt to skim through it, but don’t spend your money on it.

Favorite Song: Save Me

Least Favorite Song: Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares

Verdict:

C-

50-59

Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album

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3 comments

  1. I liked this tape, but I don’t know what to rate it. Going into X, I noticed he had an insane amount of potential. A modern trap artists who’s not afraid to express his emotions, even if they come off as corny. “Never” is his best song in my opinion. I liked a lot of the tracks on this thing. Jocelyn Flores, Depression & Obsession, Save Me, and Orlando are my personal favorites. I don’t really see what you mean when you said the mixing on D&O was horrible. It sounded very natural to me. I feel like my main problem with this tape is that it was just too samey. I prefer albums that offer a variety of emotions. Nick Cave’s “Skeleton Tree”, a concept album about the death of his son, is what I believe is the perfect example of how a depressing album should go. The emotions on that thing range from horror, denial, anger, hopelessness, nihilism, and finally, acceptance. 17 really doesn’t tie up any loose ends or anything, it just sort of comes and goes. My other problem with this thing is that it was just too short. I mean, don’t get me wrong. BONES is my second favorite rapper of all time, so I’m used to short projects, but this thing felt like it could have been so much longer. Anyways, I liked the overall message of this tape, but it could have been better. Maybe his rap mixtape which comes later this year will be better.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Tedious listen from a mediocre artist. Anybody who honestly likes this album. Has little comprehension on how music should sound with a proper Mix-Master. And whoever engineered this album should go back to school, because that shit was brutal holmes.

    I understand where he’s coming from, I do, but musically it’s not there at all. I tried to listen to his music before and felt uncomfortable. This project here is just another reason as to why XXX will never be viewed as a legitimate artist by most older heads.

    I’ll give this project 5.5/10.

    Liked by 1 person

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