XXXTENTACION – Jocelyn Flores
XXXTENTACION comes into his own on “Jocelyn Flores.”
Controversial antics and erratic persona be damned. This post will be concerned with X’s music and nothing more. While many seemed to enjoy the latest album from X, 17 did draw a few early criticisms for its brief run-time. Yet short songs are an increasing staple of the Soundcloud generation, so it’s really no surprise that X operated within his familiar lane. On the album’s introductory cut, X describes the project’s content as a “collection of nightmares, thoughts, and real life situations [he’s] lived.” With that in mind, the album’s brevity does hold some semblance of thematic relevance; after all, nightmares end.
Ultimately, it’s hard to break this project down on a per song basis, as the moments of musical brilliance or often enhanced by their context within the album’s narrative. Yet there is something about the opening track “Jocelyn Flores” that encapsulates X’s mindset on this one. For a bit of perspective, the song’s inspiration stems from a dark place – X’s friend Jocelyn committed suicide while visiting the rapper in Florida. Clearly, this loss had a profound effect on the rapper, and he decided to put his feelings on wax. The end result was a sweet, acoustic guitar driven ballad, which finds X showcasing a keen ear for melody and flow, somewhat channeling Eminem at his most depressed.
Ultimately, the song concludes before X can really go in, which is admittedly a bit of a disappointment. He seems to have a lot to say on the topic, and his flow looked to be reaching an apex. Still, in a genre that so often deals with tired and true themes of turning up, mindless sex, and sipping lean, it’s refreshing to hear a new voice taking his music in a different direction. Say what you will about X, but he clearly put a lot of his emotion into this project.