Due to his untimely death Xxxtentacion’s most recent posthumous album Bad Vibes Forever seems both more incomplete and complete than his first posthumous release Skins. Showcasing more of his range over an expansive 25 tracks Bad Vibes Forever is a vast compilation of incomplete sketches. Both posthumous albums cannot be critiqued with any validity as they were never meant to be heard in the form they were released. Over the 25 tracks on this LP most play as demos with the hooks and choruses recorded as most likely references and with barely any finished verses laid down. The first 3 tracks ‘Ex Bitch’, ‘UGLY’ and the title track ‘Bad Vibes Forever’ featuring Pnb Rock and Trippie Redd all display X’s unique versatility with sonic soundscapes very foreign to Trap and Hip-Hop. Acoustic guitar melodies and singing come as easily to Xxxtentacion as his traditional rapping. ‘School Shooters’ boasts his dark aesthetic and Screamo sensibilities. Lil Wayne, like many other big guests on the LP, stops by to pay his respect more than collaborate, perhaps a return of favor for Xxxtentacion’s contributions to his ‘Don’t Cry’ on Tha Carter 5. The incompleteness is felt as X begins his verse screaming only to have it fade out suddenly, a unique glimpse into his creative strategy and recording process. Many tracks apparently were recorded to in segments intended to be revisited later to be fully finished. Xxxtentacion seems as a guest on his own album mostly delivering hooks, the finished aspect of his recording process, only, as the ‘featured’ artists lay down all the complete verses. Rick Ross also stops by to pay his respect and strengthen the Florida connection.
Bad Vibes Forever is a great offering for the fans, a rare glimpse behind the controversial icon’s thought process and constant recording. Having just recently released his album ” ? ” before passing away it is shocking to see how much material he was already working on for his follow up albums. X’s artistic direction was miles beyond his peers, from his eclectic sensibilities and influences to his unorthodox delivery and flows. Xxxtentacion truly is an artist that found his true voice, integrating his surrounding environment -not limited to solely music- and filtering it through his being to produce original art that connected with a diverse and large mass of listeners and fans.
Rating 7.0/10 (rating not true opinion of album as the project is not how the artist intended but instead a version completed for the fans with the best intentions to hold true to his vision.)