XXXTENTACION’s posthumous album, Skins, flops

Eli Thomas, Co-Entertainment Editor

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Infamous Floridan rapper XXXTENTACION’s first posthumous album was released Dec. 7, titled Skins. This was the first release from the rapper after his sudden death this past June. Many fans were curious what sound this album would have, considering the fact that it was unfinished at his time of death and that some of the music on this album was done by people who work for his record label instead of X himself.

The album starts off with a relatively tolerable introduction, especially in comparison with his last two which are possibly some of the most terrible album openers of all time. This one does not ooze pretentiousness and delusion, which can’t be said about the other two.

The rest of this album unfolds into a huge mess. It is barely long enough to qualify as an album. Most of these songs barely break the two minute barrier, which does not automatically make them bad. There have been many fantastic albums with short songs (Abbey Road, Madvillainy, etc). The problem with these songs is that they sound like extremely underwritten demos that are a work in progress.

A great example of this is the song “whoa (mind in awe).” Most of the song is just X singing melodies that only consists of “whoas” and “ohs” over a lifeless beat that gets progressively annoying the more it repeats. This song is followed by “BAD!” which might be the most appropriately named song of all time. If anything, it is just a “BAD” attempt by X to make some sort of Pop radio hit, with its redundant lyricism and bland instrumental that adds nothing to the song. “STARING AT THE SKY” is also amongst the worst moments on this album and it finds X going full emo. The guitar in this track is impressive (especially since a lot of rappers do not play any instruments), but that does not make this song any less thrown together and underwritten than the others. Plus, it only has 5 lines. And that’s only if you include the atrocious screamo-vocals on the back end of this track.

The sole feature on this album is none other than Mr. Kanye West himself. He appears for the majority of “One Minute” to deliver a sub-par verse (for his standards). The guitar riff on this song that sounds like the intro for some WWE wrestler, and when paired with Kanye’s cringe worthy lyrics about the legal system along with the screamo vocals towards the end, it makes for the worst song on the album by far.

“what are you so afraid of” and “difference (interlude)” are two acoustic guitar songs that are found towards the end of the album. The songs show some potential but unfortunately they are still extremely lacking lyrically and conceptually. The guitar playing on both songs is impressive but does not make up for the fact that the songs have six lines between them. “Difference” should not even be considered an interlude because it is not much shorter than the other songs on this album.

Also, an album that is only 20 minutes should not need an interlude at all.

The only real silver lining here is the song “Train Food” which is probably one of his best songs he has ever done. The lyrics are incredibly dark and contain this metaphor about death creeping up on you and striking when you least expect it. It’s chilling to say the least especially considering the violent circumstances of X’s own death. The instrumental is still pretty boring due to the redundant piano chords.

Overall, this album sounds extremely unfinished and thrown together. One song is literally an older X song played backwards. It is not necessarily X’s fault, but rather the people who decided to release this and call it an album. For these reasons, Skins gets a 1/5.

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