Skins
Xxxtentacion

Skins

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A gift to fans, Skins exists primarily for loyal XXXTentacion devotees. Clocking in at less than 20 minutes, this posthumous collection offers ideas, fleeting emotions, and stream-of-conscious freestyles centered around the swirling darkness within the late rapper. There is a handful of worthwhile nuggets on which to focus, including the woozy "Guardian Angel" and the disturbing "Train Food." "Whoa (Mind in Awe)" comes close to being a fully-realized song -- the lightest and most pop-friendly production on Skins -- but a pair of ragers featuring Travis Barker steal the show. "Staring at the Sky" starts slow with contemplative emo-acoustic guitar strums before exploding into a metallic burst backed by Barker's pounding drums. Like every other song on Skins, it's all-too-brief, but works to great effect. On "One Minute," Kanye West returns to Yeezus territory, utilizing the track to showcase himself atop jagged guitar and Barker's crashing cymbals before XXX joins at the end, almost as an afterthought, with some bloody, hardcore punk-indebted screaming. These unconventional genre hybrids point to an unexplored direction that XXX might have veered toward if he hadn't been killed, but unfortunately this is as far as they go. Skins takes that unrealized potential and cobbles together these tracks -- basically B-sides and outtakes -- strictly for fans who needed just ten more reasons to hear his voice. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

  • Genre: Pop
  • Format: Vinyl
  • Released: 03/29/2019