18 Songs, 37 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded while on house arrest and released just months before its 20-year-old maker was shot dead in South Florida, ? captures one of the bleakest visions in contemporary rap. As with 2017’s 17, ? is an upsetting—if strangely cathartic—listen, toggling between tender (“ALONE, PART 3,” “before I close my eyes”) and violent (“going down!,” “Floor 555”), hollowed-out trap and bedroom folk, turning suicidal thoughts into the material of singalong choruses (“SAD!”). A deeply controversial figure (he had been awaiting trial for aggravated battery of a pregnant woman at the time of his death), XXXTENTACION collapsed the distance between art and life, with tragic consequences.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Recorded while on house arrest and released just months before its 20-year-old maker was shot dead in South Florida, ? captures one of the bleakest visions in contemporary rap. As with 2017’s 17, ? is an upsetting—if strangely cathartic—listen, toggling between tender (“ALONE, PART 3,” “before I close my eyes”) and violent (“going down!,” “Floor 555”), hollowed-out trap and bedroom folk, turning suicidal thoughts into the material of singalong choruses (“SAD!”). A deeply controversial figure (he had been awaiting trial for aggravated battery of a pregnant woman at the time of his death), XXXTENTACION collapsed the distance between art and life, with tragic consequences.

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