If you have been keeping up with True Music Reviews, I am sure that you have heard of the aspiring rapper XX/\/\E. His birthday is on July 1st, but he is leaving town tomorrow, so I decided to give him an early birthday present. "The Best of XX/\/\E" contains XX/\/\E's best songs, based on both my personal opinion and his personal opinion. I hope you enjoy it!
For those who do not already know, this is the fourth XX/\/\E mixtape I have reviewed so far this year. His work has slowly been getting better, and this mixtape is no exception. I graded this mixtape a little less harshly due to the fact that it was entirely experimental, and had all freestyle. However, this mixtape is still sheer proof that XX/\/\E is a dope rapper. Let's begin with the first track, shall we?
Track #1: "Practice"
XX/\/\E's first tracks are usually pretty solid, but this one right here is probably an expection. XX did in fact explain what the mixtape about, but it was pretty boring considering the fact that there was no beat in the background. A huge mixtape like this could easily be avoided.
Track #2: "LoveIt"
"LoveIt" was a nice feestyle. XX's trademark flow and good, unique lyrics did shine throughout the course of the song. The production on the other hand started to bore me after a while, and I lost interest very easily. Some more layers should have been added. You don't want this many layers though.
Track #3: "TrippY ShiT"
This was definitely a better track the previous one. Even though the lyrics and flow were about on the same level, I really enjoyed the production. This song could be a little longer though, unlike the last song. Timing is key, as some fictional ninja warrior once said.
Track #4: "Singing Practice"
In all fairness, there really isn't all that much to judge here. As the title suggests, XX just goes off and sings for about 30 seconds. His singing is pretty good, but he could develop his voice further. The potential is definitely there though.
Track #5: "Camp"
I'm really feeling this track. The flow and lyrics are good for a freestyle (as usual), and the beat is pretty darn dope as far as beats of that genre too. XX is simply just getting better and better, just like Lil Wayne's lyrics are.
Track #6: "SHADOWS"
Lyrically, "Shadows" is probably the weakest track out of the first six songs (other then "Singing Practice" for obvious reasons) on the mixtape. XX shouldn't have added the second part of the song, as it is pretty darn unnecessary. Unfortunately, "Shadows" is pretty underwhelming compared to most of the other tracks.
Track #7: "StopNah"
From a lyrical standpoint, "StopNah" is better then "Shadows" even though it is definitely not the most lyrical track on the mixtape. The instrumental was nice though, and I really dug the sampled outro. A fairly good freestyle overall if I do say so myself.
Track #8: "Who Needs School"
Unlike the intro, "Who Needs School" was the perfect way to end the mixtape. I really enjoyed XX's singing and all of the artistry that went into this track. This was definitely one of the highlights of the mixtape.
That is all. Stay tuned for true music reviews!
In honor of Kanye West's 37th birthday, I created a track with the artist Translucent using 2 Chainz's beat to "Birthday Song" (which happened to have Yeezy on the track). It is obviously not lyrical, but I hope you enjoy it anyway!
True Music Reviews does not claim ownership over the "Makin' Bars & Livin' Large, Son" cover art. Full credits go to the Rap Genius user reflectioneternal, whose real identity is not known to us.
"Makin' Bars & Livin' Large, Son" is the debut mixtape of the rapper YEAHTIM. He requested me to write this review for him. Overall, the mixtape was pretty mediocre, and could be improved by a simple changes. YEAHTIM definitely has talent in him though.
Track #1: "The Great Introduction" ft. E-Qlipse
Even though this spoken intro was quirky and completely exaggerated, it was still very entertaining, and was an interesting, but fun way to start this mixtape. YEAHTIM didn't have any role in it, but E-Qlipse's sexy voice set the tone of the mixtape.
Track #2: "The Next Chapter"
"The Next Chapter" was certainly not what I expect, especially after a great intro like the one E-Qlipse provided. YEAHTIM's lyrical abilities are nothing to complain about, and the beat is alright. However, even after multiple listens, I could barely tolerate listening to his weak flow and annoying voice. I hope that it improves in the tracks to come.
Track #3: "Nice Guys Finish Last"
Even though there were quite a few cringe-worthy bars, I will have to say that this track is more lyrically advanced then the previous track. YEAHTIM's flow was nothing to brag about, but is definitely an improvement. I do think the humorous parts such as the very disturbing noise YEAHTIM ommitted in the middle of the song were done on purpose.
The instrumental is once again nothing special, but I do like how it fits in with the theme of the song. I guess it is just too repetitive, and could use more layers.
Here is the disturbing noise played on repeat for over three minutes in a row.
Track #4: "Mitch Hedberg"
YEAHTIM's flow is still improving, and if you remove the corny penis references, so are his lyrics. The beat still isn't great, but to say that it is bad is an understatement. This song does have quite a few clever punchlines that I got a kick out of (all pun intended).
Track #5: "Flexin" ft. Maboo
"Flexin" is by far the best track that I have heard from the mixtape so far. For once, I loved the production, and I really enjoyed YEAHTIM's lyrics and flow. The Rap Genius founder Maboo even has a hook! Definitely worth checking out.
After namedropping Future, YEAHTIM is giving him a run for his money. You better watch out!
Track #6: "Half A Dollar"
The most enjoyable aspect of "Half a Dollar" was its heavy trap beat. The lyrics weren't too bad either, but YEAHTIM's slow flow really
Track #7: "King YEAHTIM"
I didn't really like this song at first, but after multiple listens, I really enjoyed "King YEAHTIM". Once again, the corny penis references are a big no-no, but the lyrics were pretty much on point. I liked the beat due to its heavy kicks and unique lead. YEAHTIM's flow was pretty good. Overall, "KING YEAHTIM" is a song fit for royalty, and deserved its regal title.
Track #8: "Screentime"
"Screentime" is probably more lyrically complex then the entire first half of the mixtape. However, YEAHTIM's voice, beat, and flow sound pretty lazy and not well-thought out. The song had potential in its rhyme schemes and wordplay, but fell short due to other important aspects of the song. It does show YEATIM's potential though.
track #9: "Music of Death"
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when listening to a song called "Music of Death". For all I knew, it could sound like this.
What I got didn't sound nearly as menacing, but still pretty creepy. As usual, YEAHTIM made a corny dick reference, but it was pretty easy to ignore. The beat overall wasn't great, but got the job done as it fit the theme of the song. The most enjoyable aspect of this song (as usual) is its lyrics.
Track #10: "Walking on A Dream" ft. E-Qlipse
Even though this song felt a little dull at times, I really enjoyed the happy vibe that this song produced. Neither of the verses were particularly lyrical, they were inspirational and enjoyable to listen to. I also quite enjoyed the hook and the beat. Overall, this was a success for YEAHTIM.
Track #11: "Save It"
"Save It" screams the annoying as fuck voice that represents the beat. Overall, the production wasn't terrible, but it started to get on my nerves after multiple listens.
YEAHTIM's flow and lyrics weren't anything great either. There was some clever wordplay, but a lack of complex rhyme schemes and weak structuring dragged down the quality of the song just a little bit. I wouldn't say this song was bad, but there is certainly room for improvement.
Track #12: "Deep Mindset"
I loved the dark production for this track, along with YEAHTIM's lyrics, which are arguably some of the best on the entire mixtape. There are no corny dick references! The only complaint I might have about this song is that YEAHTIM could've used a faster flow.
Track #13: "Excuse My Foreign"
"Excuse My Foreign" is probably one of the better ends of the mixtape, due to YEAHTIM's lyrics and flow. The production felt a little all over the place, but it did get the job done. YEAHTIM even addresses his distinct accent!
Track #14: "It's Just A Ride"
Possibly the most inspirational song on the mixtape, "It's Just A Ride" was a perfect way to close "Makin' Bars & Livin' Large, Son" due to its good lyrics and good flow. The production was a bit lame and corny compared to the subject matter, but it still got the job done.
Overall, I enjoyed listening to this mixtape. Here are my suggestions for YEAHTIM in all categories:
Lyrics: Wordplay is definitely your strength when it comes to rapping. Your lyrics could instantly be a lot better though if you removed all of the corny dick references and added more complex, multi-syllabic, and internal rhyme schemes.
Flow: Most of the time, it sounds like you don't practice rapping before recording and don't really know how you want it to sound. Plan out your flow a little bit more, because it can be pretty darn good at times.
Production: Your beats were pretty mediocre overall, and were probably the weakest part of the mixtape. Use different producers, but definitely keep experimenting with different styles.
Overall: Get a better mic...that would also probably improve the quality of your tracks.
Here are my three favorite songs on the mixtape.
#3: "It's Just A Ride"
The inspirational final track of the album managed to claim third place due to its lyrics and overall subject matter. It would probably be my favorite track if it had better production though.
#2: "Deep Mindset"
To be honest, I just loved the overall vibe of this song. The wordplay in this song was extremely dope, and the production was terrific. YEAHTIM's slow flow got the job done, but the song might've been better if YEAHTIM used a faster flow.
If a track has the founder of Rap Genius on it, it simply must be good. YEAHTIM's flow and lyrics were on point, even though they were better in some other songs. I guess that "Flexin"'s extremely dope beat made it stand out as the best song on the mixtape...at least for me.
That is all. Stay tuned for more True Music Reviews!
You wouldn't believe the number of people who aspire to be famous rappers one day. Most have what it takes, but are unknown to most of the world. Today, I am giving a spotlight two of these rappers: J Trauma and XX/\/\E. I asked them a few questions about their career.
Q1) who are your influences?
J Trauma: Lil B, Bones, Yung Lean, Lil Ugly Mane, Xavier Wulf, Raider Klan, and the Flatbush Zombies
XX/\/\E: Danny Brown, Ab-Soul, Earl Sweatshirt, and the Flatbush Zombies
Q2) If you could compare yourself to an already established artist, who would it be and why?
J Trauma: No one, I don’t really like comparing myself to other artists. What I create is my own craft and what they create is theirs. I’m just doing my own thing, staying in my own lane, fucking with people who I think are good and have potential.
XX/\/\E: Earl Sweatshirt, because are both young and hyperactive.
Q3) Who is your hero and why?
J Trauma: Lil B is generally one of the only people I look up to because all he does is spread love and positivity. You can’t hate on a guy who wishes the best for even the most miserable people. That’s real.
XX/\/\E: Eazy E his music got into rap (Rest in Peace).
Q4) What do you think listeners will get out of your music?
J Trauma: I’m just making music for myself and my homies. If anyone else enjoys it and I gain a few fans here and there, then cool. I don’t really expect people to gain much from my music. It’s nothing special, really.
XX/\/\E: Just some cool weird shit about a kid who is pretty weird and creative mixed with some satire a little bit.
Q5) How did you get into rapping?
J Trauma: I was always a huge rap fan ever since I was around 8 or 9. I used to listen to Eminem, Nas, and Dr. Dre a lot when I was younger. That’s kinda how I got into it, I guess. I wrote my first song when I was 11. I just began writing and recording frequently under a year ago.:
XX/\/\E: Until I was 9 I never really listened to rap but I got this Eazy E record Str8 Off tha Streetz Of Muthaphukkin Compton and it blew my mind.
Q6) What is the most difficult thing you've had to endure in your life?
J Trauma: I broke my ankle a year ago really bad after I got hit by a car, so I guess that. It gave me a concussion, too.
XX/\/\E: Growing up with really bad ADHD and not being able to focus at all.
Q7) WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT THING YOU'VE HAD TO ENDURE IN the music industry?
J Trauma: Shit, I’m underground as hell, I’m not involved in the industy, but I get a lot of shit in school from rapping. I’m just gonna be a junior in high school in September. People would annoy the hell out of me for rapping.
XX/\/\E: Not knowing how to promote and distribute music I kinda know it but not really. Also getting over the whole “Gangsta” phase was kinda hard.
Q8) How does it feel to be finally getting your break?
J Trauma: I don’t really know lol.
XX/\/\E: Im not even known then I’m a little bit known over the internet but I hope to reach a little more popularity.
Q9) What do you hope to do with your music?
J Trauma: Enjoy what I’m doing, which I am, and make some money one day. My parents need help with rent and groceries and all that.
XX/\/\E: Get better at singing and make a debut album soon.
q10) Are there any questions that your were expecting that I didn’t ask and want to answer?
J Trauma: I was expecting to be asked about any upcoming projects. I have a mixtape coming out in July, I don’t know what the title is yet but look out for it.
XX/\/\E: More personal questions would have been cool but this was still dope.
There you go! If you haven't already, check out my reviews for these artists. If you are an underground rapper like them, I wish you look for the future. Thanks for reading this review! Stay tuned for more true music reviews!