True Music Reviews does not claim ownership over the "1912-2014" album cover. Full credits go to XX/\/\E and the real creators of the album cover which are unknown to us.
It is time to give some aspiring rappers the spotlight. XX/\/\E may not be the best aspiring rapper I have ever heard, but he does have a lot of potential. XX/\/\E improved drastically from the beginning of the album to the end, and that is always a good sign. He may go big one day, because he will probably keep getting better. Let's begin with the first track.
Track #1: Service Speech
The vocal effect used in this song reminds me of one of those voice-changing toys that I used to use all of the time when I was a kid. It was very risky, but I think it payed off.
This was more like a speech with an instrument playing in the background than a song. There was a very awkward pause in the middle of the song that was probably not intentional. Despite this, XX did explain us his motives for the album, and creating a sermon for himself was kind of an interesting idea. I wouldn't call it a song though.
Track #2: Grumpy
The extremely boring beat, and XX's off flow killed the song for me. It is obvious that he has talent, but there may have been an error with mixing and mastering. The high point of "Grumpy" was its lyrics, and they are some of the best ones I have heard from an aspiring rapper. Another suggestion I would give to XX is to make the song louder; the beat was too quiet.
Track #3: UFO
At this point, XX has already proven that he has a unique style, and he enjoys playing around with different concepts. The first thirty seconds of the song features an excellent sample and beat. However, the beat does not pick up once XX comes on, and it does get boring after a while.
XX's flow was a little more on-beat for this song, but it still can improve. The lyrics of this song were also good, but the issue of volume appears once more. Another issue that pops up for the first time on the album is song length. XX recorded a verse of him singing that was not really necessary.
Track #4: La La La
"La La La" started off with XX singing which was nice, but it could have been better. Once again, XX did rap more on-beat this time, and the beat was pretty good on this track. I felt I could connect to it more than the other songs.
Surprisingly, the low point of this song was its lyrics, which have been great for the past few tracks. The lyrics for "La La La" just seemed to generic and sloppy for my taste.
Track #5: First Love
Once again, XX surprises me with an interlude. In addition, once again, XX uses his voice-changing toy voice. It was a nice break from listening to the previous songs. It also helped to introduce me to the next songs on the album.
Track #6: First Day.Don't Worry About Me
Once again, XX improves flow-wise. However, the lyrics were once again very generic. XX/\/\E produced this himself, and I commend him for that. One suggestion I would have for him is to not make the transition between the beat phases so abrupt. You need to lure the listener from one phase to another.
Track #7: Woah Woah Woah
XX actually outshined his feature in "Woah Woah Woah", and once again had good lyrics. However, his flow was more offbeat than the last song, and the beat wasn't anything particularly exciting. It still appears as if XX is improving though.
Track #8: Plane
I am not certain if the message of this was supposed to be deep or not. "Plane" was definitely a unique song. The flow was definitely more on-beat this time, but the true weakness of this song was the production. It was good until around 0:10, and then it got really choppy. The tempo change in the middle of the song was quite awkward too.
Track #9: Yeah Yeah Yeah
"Yeah Yeah Yeah" was definitely one of the best tracks on the album production-wise. The lyrics were also pretty deep too, as XX explains in the song. His flow has improved even more, and this is definitely the best track out of the first ten tracks. I am not quite sure how the words "Yeah Yeah Yeah" fit into the song though. He could have used some autotune with the hook too, but he probably doesn't have access to it.
Track #10: Lesson Of Time
The second best song of the first ten, "Lesson of Time" still has good lyrics, but not as good as the previous track. XX's flow reached its height of the first ten songs in "Lesson of Time", and the beat was still pretty dope too. I jam to this. The outro was spectacular.
Track #11: To Be Honest II
Immediately after an excellent outro, the listener is brought into a new and improved version of a classic XX/\/\E song through a great intro. XX's flow was actually pretty dope, and has improved drastically from the first ten tracks of the album. The mixtape is slowly getting better and better.
Track #12: Ethereal
"Ethereal" showcased excellent production, but unfortunately, XX's offbeat flow ruined this song's chances of being in the top spot. The lyrics were not the deepest, but I heard a couple cool plays on words in there.
Track #13: The Story
Once again, we are given another interlude with the cool voice effect. This time, XX explains how he was misunderstood as a young child, and how he has grown from that.
Track #14: Why Am I here Where is My Soul
To be honest, this track bored me. I guess the beats were not that exciting, and XX's flow was off. On the other hand, XX managed to incorporate the voice effect that he has been using during the interludes into the song, and turned a terrible song into a not-so-bad song.
Track #15: 1912
Not the best track on the album, but this final lyric left me wondering:
I know for a fact that I'm the best rapper dead
I am not entirely sure what that is supposed to mean. It is probably a very deep metaphor, that I cannot comprehend. It is a 10/10 final lyric.
Here are my Top 3 songs on the mixtape:
In conclusion, "1912-2014" showed a lot of potential, but still had a lot of error. Despite this, XX has proven that he is getting better, and that he is an excellent lyricist. He could use some better producers, and he still needs to touch up on his flow. Despite this, I firmly believe that he will become a lot more famous one day, because I believe he has the ability to do so.
Before you close this review, I would like to reward you. I was actually orginally planned to be on the album as a producer, but arguments between the two rappers on the song below caused XX/\/\E to remove the song from the mixtape. Listen to "100 Years Ago", the former album intro, below.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more true music reviews!