Recorded while on house arrest and released just months before its 20-year-old maker was shot dead in South Florida, ? captures one of the bleakest visions in contemporary rap. As with 2017’s 17, ? is an upsetting—if strangely cathartic—listen, toggling between tender (“ALONE, PART 3,” “before I close my eyes”) and violent (“going down!,” “Floor 555”), hollowed-out trap and bedroom folk, turning suicidal thoughts into the material of singalong choruses (“SAD!”). A deeply controversial figure (he had been awaiting trial for aggravated battery of a pregnant woman at the time of his death), XXXTENTACION collapsed the distance between art and life, with tragic consequences.
ALONE, PART 3
the remedy for a broken heart (why am I so in love)