Once again, the rapper XX/\/\E has requested me to review a mixtape. This time, I reviewed his latest mixtape "1958.1963.2014". Overall, it is a lot better than "1912.2014", even though it was a little long for my taste. There were also some key issues that happened on this album that I will go in depth throughout this review. Let's begin.
Track #1: "2000"
Just by listening to this first track, I can tell that XX has improved a lot since his previous mixtape. The highlight of "2000" is its hauntingly beautiful beat. I loved the theme of this song, but some of the lyrics were corny, which slightly ruined the vibe of the song. XX's flow was nothing special, but it was enjoyable to listen to. At least it isn't as bad as Soulja Boy's flow!
Track #2: "Broken INternet"
As it title suggests, "Broken Internet" was very messy, with weird effects such as XX toning down his voice two octaves to him spontaneously singing. However, I think that XX got his point across through the song, and I still thought it was a good-quality track. The production was not as good as the previous track, but the CriticalHitz beat got the job done.
Track #3: "GhostKidEra"
"GhostKidEra" was not as appealing as the two previous tracks, due to XX experimenting with a strange autotune effect that didn't really work out like he planned. It made him difficult to understand. Once again, the quality of the beat was not as good either. "GhostKidEra" isn't a bad song, but could have used improvement.
Track #4: "Hey"
"Hey" is an improvement lyrically and flow-wise from the previous track. However, I did not really feel the beat, and I didn't really feel like it fit in with the song. In addition, this track is still not as impressive as the first two tracks, but at least it is better than "GhostKidEra". XX, please do not try to be the next T-Pain.
Track #5: "Eyes"
"Eyes" is better than the other short song, "GhostKidEra", and I would say that it is even better than "Hey". It was the superior song, both conceptually and lyrically. I kind of enjoyed the chopped and screwed sample...I thought it fit in well with the song. It still is not as good as the first two tracks though.
Track #6: Parelell
"Parallel" was a very cool track, but it would've been a lot better if it had a heavy kick and baseline. Those two factors are sometimes vital in a beat. Cloud rap production can sometimes work, but this song should've been more trap-like, in my opinion. I did enjoy XX's singing though! Once again, I feel like this track is a step in the right direction.
Track #7: "Prospect Park"
I really enjoyed "Prospect Park", even though I wouldn't say that it is the most lyrical track on the album. It has a heavier kick (unlike the last track), and XX's singing was emotional and sweet. He could even be the next Drake! :) Despite this, if I were XX/\/\E, I would've added a rap verse to this song, instead of singing the whole time.
Track #8: "Insomniac"
"Insomniac" had some very interesting lyrics, such as the last ones:
Yeah I'm rollin', like I'm kamikaze
Despite this, XX's weak flow in this song, bored me after a while. It wasn't a terrible track, but "Insomniac" is far from exciting. Part of the boredom exerting from the song may have come from the poorly made beat.
Track #9: "Park"
Even though the track may not have been lyrically, I enjoyed the nostalgic feel that XX/\/\E managed to generate with his hums at the beginning of this song. Some lyrics made me think a little, but on the surface, most of the lyrics in this song were simple, even though they were not terrible. I did enjoy the production in this song, and I thought XX's flow was good, even though it wasn't great.
Track #10: "Tree House"
Even though I enjoyed listening to this song, I felt like "Tree House" sounded more like a "filler" track than anything else. It wasn't very memorable, and was less than 90 seconds long. The mixtape would not be affected that much if it was removed.
Track #11: "Mispelled"
"Mispelled" is by far the best song I have ever heard from XX/\/\E. First of all, XX's flow was superb, and was superior to any other song on this mixtape. In addition, he finally moved away from cloud rap, and gave us a excellently produced song. He went really hard on this, and had great lyrics. Finally, he brought back the cool robot voice that he used frequently on his previous mixtape, "1912-2014".
All in all, it was a great track, even though he probably should have split both parts into separate songs. It is far better than a lot of the tracks on "Yeezus" for example.
Track #12: "Routine"
Even though the track was nothing special, "Routine" was a nice track produced by ITALIC(F), even though XX's voice was a little too loud compared to the beat. Once again, I felt like it was a filler track, due to its short length.
Track #13: "After"
To be honest, there was something I didn't like about the song "After". It might have been its dull beat, or it could have been XX's boring, monotonous flow. I just didn't think it was that great of a track...it is easily forgettable.
Track #14: "FatherofTheChildren" ft. J Trauma
I was a little skeptical when I first heard that jazz-influenced production. However, I did enjoy this smooth track, and I liked the lyrical content. XX threw in some oxymorons in the song such as this:
I aint good at rapping, yet I'm the best rapper ever
I thought J Trauma also had a nice verse, even though I think he desperately needs a better microphone. Overall, this was a nice and relaxing track, even though it is not the best one on the mixtape.
Track #15: "Interstellar Combat" ft. Mak Nikova
Compared to the previous collaboration, "Interstellar Combat" was by far the better track. Both XX and Mak Nikova went hard on their respective verses, and the use of sampling was definitely a highlight of this song.
My only complaint about the song is that XX's verses were too loud, and the beat was too quiet; this was an issue that occured a lot on his previous mixtape. That's honestly the last thing we need.
Track #16: "Talking About Me (Teacher)"
"Talking About Me" was one of the most conceptually clever songs on the entire album. I enjoyed the production quite a lot, and it is one of the best beats I have heard from XX/\/\E so far. He nailed his verses, and had decent flow. Overall, it was an above average song.
Track #17: "Pdf"
"PDF" was a good track, but I am not sure how the title is incorporated into the song. It was good, but not one of my favorite tracks on the album. It was just too forgettable. Oh my!
Track #18: "Babylonian Soldiers"
"Babylonian Soldiers" had unique production, and I enjoyed how it fit in with the theme of the song. XX's flow was a little below average, but his lyrics were pretty good here. It was not one of the best songs on the album, but it definitely was not one of the worst.
Track #19: "XX/\/\E"
For a track titled "XX/\/\E", I was not very impressed. The subject matter and the lyrics are way too similar to "Talking About Me", and there may be some lyrics that were repeated. I do still like the concept, but this was kind of overkill.
Track #20: "The Last Honestly"
The beat was a little boring, but I liked XX's slower flow. I also enjoyed the vocal effects that he used when he was singing, and it harmonized well. It was a nice break from a long string of songs with all rapping in it.
Track #21: "Hey"
Even though I think it is strange that XX/\/\E put two tracks on the album with the same title, I enjoyed both of them, even though this "Hey" was a lot better. I enjoy it when XX raps faster, and the production got the job done. I also think this track was more lyrical than the other "Hey".
Track #22: "I Woke UP"
"I Woke Up" had some of the best rhyme schemes on the entire mixtape, but got boring after a while. XX hits us up with his usual "I'm different" lyrics, and the song's outro lasts too long. I wouldn't go so far to say that I dislike the track, but there was room for improvement.
Track #23: "Kid"
"Kid" was a nice way to conclude this mixtape, but its length was a little too long for me. I thought the phone call at the beginning of the song was cool, and XX had some great lyrics on the song. I dug the beat too.
In conclusion, "1958.1963.2014" is a major improvement from XX's previous mixtape. The biggest issue that I had with it is that the subject matters on the tracks were too similiar, and that XX should rap about different things. Despite this, he shouldn't put himself down so much, because he has a lot of potential, and is improving at a rapid rate. I expect more from his next mixtape.
#5: "Broken INternet"
The abruptive transitions between sections of the song such as XX toning down his voice two octaves to him spontaneously singing were strange, but it worked. I think XX achieved what he wanted to in this song. The production was unique, but still very enjoyable.
#4: "Interstellar Combat"
As the superior of the two collaborations, "Interstellar Combat" made excellent use of sampling. Both XX and Mak Nikova had terrific verses, and there was not much wrong with the song despite issues with volume, similar to those on "1912-2014".
"2000"'s eery beat and good theme made it well deserving of its position as title track. XX's flow was not extremely complex like Eminem's, but it was still a lot better than French Montana's flow!
#2: "Talking About Me (teacher)"
"Talking About Me" was one of the most conceptually clever songs on the entire album. I enjoyed the production quite a lot, and it is one of the best beats I have heard from XX/\/\E so far. He nailed his verses, and had decent flow. It was definitely a highlight on the album.
As I explained above, "Mispelled" is by far the best song I have ever heard from XX/\/\E. Every aspect of the song was good, and it even brought back of the cool robot vocal effect. All in all, it was a great track, even though he probably should have split both parts into separate songs. It is far better than a lot of the tracks on "Yeezus" for example.
That is all. Stay tuned for more true music reviews!