XXL's Scores

  • Music
For 240 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 67% higher than the average critic
  • 5% same as the average critic
  • 28% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.8 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 72
Highest review score: 100 Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
Lowest review score: 40 Hotel California
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 240
240 music reviews
    • 94 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    The end result is a body of work that pushes hip-hop in a bold new direction and puts Mr,. West back at the forefront of the culture once again.
    • XXL
    • 91 Metascore
    • 100 Critic Score
    Every record is both complexly arranged and sonically fitting, foregrounding Kendrick's vivid lyricism and amazing control of cadence. There's not a single loophole.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Undeniably, Charity Starts At Home reminds why the rapper has been a darling of the underground for years.
    • 89 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If their first album acted as the duo’s thesis statement, the two MCs laying out the blueprint to what they wanted to accomplish, then this second is a laser-focused execution of that idea, of never letting up and never sugar-coating their sound to fit into any particular lane. There won’t be another album that comes out this year that sounds anything like this one.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    A concept album with an equally heavy focus on musicianship and rhymes, undun fantastically transports into the tragic narrative.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Even without much mainstream appeal, K.R.I.T.’S relatability keeps it accessible, and ultimately, Cadillactica proves to be something the game barely knew it needed. Consider the gauntlet thrown.
    • 88 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The genius of Flying Lotus, which has been invariably present throughout his preceding releases, but most especially on You’re Dead!, is that he has an incredible ability to both illustrate and extract exceptional amounts of emotion, without saying much at all.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Wonder Years will be remembered with great fondness.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    For all its dabbling in the black arts, Surf does have a few missteps, but they are ephemeral at best.
    • 87 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It is, simply, one of the best rap debuts of the year.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ultimately, Acid Rap’s biggest victory is living up to it’s own hype and Chance’s careful packaging of his artistry.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Skyzoo got himself a winner with this album.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While the self-assured MC is certainly gifted on the microphone, his boasts get a boost from the beatsmith’s production on songs like “Nobody,” as he guns for rap’s No. 1 spot. Likewise, Juxx’s spirited effort on the uplifting “You Can’t Stop Me” complements Polo’s uptempo production perfectly. It’s that balance that ultimately helps The eXXecution go off without a hitch.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Whether Tech wants the bigger fame or not is unclear, but it’s safe to say the growth he displays here is one step nearer. He’s strange, he’s provocative, but the lesser shock value on this album marks it as his true debut to a larger audience.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The compilation is short--12 tracks--but if fans are looking for relentless lyrics in their R.A.P. Music, this ATL MC remains a Killer on the mic.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    PRhyme is the perfect alternative for listeners who are tired of juvenile lyriscim, mud sippers and unintelligible hooks.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With Yeezus clocking in at a short 40 minutes, Kanye achieves his goal of creating a stripped-down, minimalist project; there’s nothing extra or out of place here. More importantly, Kanye makes it abundantly clear that he’s still got a lot to say, and a lot of new ways to say it.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With the exception of a few fillers, Legends Never Die is a truly compelling entry in the two-decade discography of R.A. the Rugged Man.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    What makes this album so great is Statik’s ability to coagulate the old with the new.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fashawn’s lyrical assaults are just as potent as his moving commentary and his core fans would like to hear more.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Old
    Brown displays real bravery in his willingness to merge the sacred with the profane, the independent with the arena-ready, the old with the new.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    In his most recent solo endeavor, Control System, Soul craftily proves that he is indeed a potent weapon on a team full of heavy artillery.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While HSC2 is a solid and enjoyable album, we hope that our favorite scientists will tinker with a slightly different, more exciting formula moving forward.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Truly, a thrilling upgrade of signature East Coast delivery in the new age and one of the best albums of the year to date.
    • 83 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Although the music is undeniably the most exciting part of the tape, A$AP does little to get in the way, oftentimes, enhancing the beats with his Bone Thugs-N-Harmony inspired flows.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Despite a few redundant tracks and a lack of cohesion, Honkey Kong paints a good picture of the impressive output Apathy is capable of in 2011.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s not always focused, and it’s not always perfect, but that’s what real freedom feels like.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    No song strays too far from the narrative or the occupied soundspace, and with each passing breath, Isaiah Rashad becomes a viable threat to leave an indelible mark similar to the one’s left by the southern rap Gods he follows so devoutly.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Madlib and Freddie Gibbs are both total pros who knew exactly what they wanted out of Piñata, went out, and did it.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    DS2
    A coherent, consistent album--both thematically and sonically--that captures where hip-hop’s resident astronaut is residing these days.