The perfect marriage between rap and rock; a tell all album about life as a felon. The album ’17’ is a year’s journey through the life of an artist grown up too fast, stuck in a world where the color of his skin labeled him an enemy.
Florida born rapper Jahseh Onfroy, better known by his stage name XXXTENTACION, is a 19-year-old rapper dubbed ‘the voice of our generation’. He touches on subjects no one wants to think about in a painful and honest way, instead of the usual talk of drugs and women that was expected for Onfroy’s debut album.
This album discusses depression, suicide, grief and forgiveness in an unrefined fashion, aptly named ’17’ after the age of a close friend, Jocelyn Flores, who passed away recently. Flores lived in Westlake, OH and was flown out by Onfroy for a weekend in Florida. Onfroy had no idea she was on anti-psychotics when they were drinking and partying, which led to Flores’ later suicide in her hotel room. His jail time served for assault, and suicide of close friend Garette led to the calculated single ‘Revenge’ (originally ‘Garette’s Revenge’), a more punk rock turn of events for a Soundcloud rapper.
’17’ surpasses all expectations of what this album should be, giving his audience rough and barely 2 minute long songs. The entire 22 minute tracklist is crucial to listen to through and through for clarity on the mind of Generation Z. Having witnessed 2 suicides since his first hit single ‘Look At Me!’, he sings on ‘Revenge’, “I dug two graves for us my dear…” quoting Confucius on how far he’s willing to go to avenge their deaths.
“I love you Garette, rest in peace Jocelyn. I will have my revenge upon this world.”
Other tracks on ’17’ include ‘Depression and Obsession’, ‘Save Me’ and ‘Orlando’ which are painful ballads and mostly acoustic. Tragedy seems to have given his music purpose and driven him to relay a message to the world: none of us feel safe here.