It’s new Music Friday, everyone. Rejoice.
Among a slough of other great releases like Mozzy’s Spiritual Conversations (and I’ll be writing about Mozzy in the near future) and Tory Lanez’ Memories Don’t Die, Florida artist xxxtentacion dropped two new singles completely out of the usual style he drops singles in. With a few hours’ notice using nothing but Instagram promotion, he released SAD! and changes, both with the same cover leading most to believe this is for a new 2018 project called “XXX”. As a longtime supporter of xxx’s music — literally dating back to when he used to mass follow people to promote Vice City — I consume almost any material he releases. These songs, though — they’re different.
LET’S TALK ABOUT CHANGES, FIRST
Changes is way off the beaten path in terms of production. It’s more cinematic — a repeating piano note with growing string sections behind it all led by xxx singing the same lines over and over.
Mmm, baby, I don’t understand this
You’re changing, I can’t stand it
My heart can’t take this damage
And the way I feel, can’t stand it
The thing is, there’s a bridge here sung by PnB Rock himself, which is a weird step forward. We’ve known for a while xxx wants to do more than just rap music — he’s branched into other genres multiple times — and setting up with PnB Rock legitimizes the track a lot more as more than just an artistic passion venture. The bridge is what pulls the song together, as it’s relatively simple and just relies on two verses and a bridge. I figure in context, this song will be a lot easier to understand, but for now it’s relatively simple and easy listening. Same as 17.
NOW FOR THE OBVIOUS WINNER HERE, LET’S TALK SAD! A LITTLE BIT
Man, I really fucking like this song.
The production’s already really dope. I don’t know how to put these thoughts into words, but I’ve got a lot of echoed sentiments with changes here. It’s repetitive — there’s one unique verse and a hook — but as to where it was a detriment to changes, I feel as if it makes SAD! better. It’s easy, catchy and yet meaningful.
Who am I? Someone that’s afraid to let go, uh
You decide if you’re ever gonna let me know (yeah)
Suicide if you ever try to let go, uh
I’m sad and low, yeah, I’m sad and low, yeah
xxx’s strength has always been in creating music that evokes emotion of some sort from the listener. Songs like Look At Me! were always good at getting people to let out some aggression. Things like Fuck Love brought out a more emotional side from the listener. SAD! is danceable and fun to listen to and while that isn’t to say this isn’t super new to longtime listeners, it’s to say that this is genuinely a new direction that might change a lot of people’s minds on him. The only thing he needs to work on in the context of this project (“XXX” or Question Mark) is the repetition. Right now, these songs are great to me but giving them a little longer might stale me on them.
But who knows, you know? All I can hope for is a dope project.