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 BAYTL
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 240
240 music reviews
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Jake One helms all 14 tracks, and the Seattle native's distinguished soul production provides the necessary thump throughout, proving that one-producer-one-MC formula works superbly for this juncture.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He's not always as nuanced as he's shown the ability to be, and can indeed come off preachy, so those with already established ideologies may find aspects of this album off-putting.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The two feed off each other well, resulting in good music with a message, more often than not.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [It's the] astute observations on the human condition and keen self-awareness that set this effort apart.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Though he may no longer be quite the underdog he once was, rapping like it--at least for no--still works
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    By using his seasoned ear and stuffed phonebook, Dram has fed his base with what is indeed Quality Street Music.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Dreams and Nightmares doesn't break new grounds in hip-hop, however it does serve as a respectable release from the rapper who's on the verge of universal acceptance-a road similarly traveled by his cohorts Rick Ross and Wale.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    These verses could've fit on any of his past records or mixtapes. But the production on Mic Tyson ties them together nicely.
    • 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.
    • 69 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Saigon's second LP offers a sizable amount of diversity over fitting instrumentals, exhibiting how much he has evolved as a rapper by personifying his bars to reflect his music and his life.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Skyzoo got himself a winner with this album.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The Solution finds Buckshot doing a better job than in his past two at-bats to keep up with the super producer, and he does so by using his relaxed spitting as an anchor.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Like a fine wine and all that jazz, they have grown into a formidable group, and MHz Legacy proves that.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With his latest effort, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, the 37-year-old Dungeon Family elite again tackles fresh sonic landscapes while remaining nimble with verbal wizardry.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It's packed with the right ingredients for yet another solid appraisal from both fans and critics.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The project is one of his best thus far by virtue of him composing an album in which listeners can empathize with how he views religion ("Hallelujah"), the club ("Ball"), women ("Guns and Roses," "Can You Learn," and "Crusin'") and so forth.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Long.Live.A$AP has its moments as a cohesive album with top producers (Hit-Boy, Danger Mouse, Noah "40" Shebib) and frequent collaborators (Clams Casino) that offer choice beats.
    • 57 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album probably has more features than any other Budden project, but it’s not overbearing. Also, Joe does not move away aimlessly from what he is good at and what he enjoys.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Throughout, 7L can only be described as a “Rock Beast,” as he brings a consistency and ferociousness to the Czarface sound that comes off best in the track of the same name.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Ultimately, 12 Reasons to Die is a pitch-perfect pairing of Adrian Younge’s soulful production and Ghostface’s invigorated rhymes.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Mac Miller’s sophomore effort is a surprising and focused album from an artist fed up with his public perception. He does enough here to prove his point.
    • 65 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Matching his lyrical abilities with polished production and radio-ready hooks, The Gifted sees Wale inching towards hip-hop’s upper echelon, while still exhibiting the hunger of a young MC on the rise.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He may be coming to grips with the fact that there are limits to what you can do at the top, as his clash with Billboard regarding his Samsung deal showed, but that doesn’t stop him--lyrically, promotionally, or otherwise--from trying to push the boundaries out a little further.
    • 66 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Summer Knights is for the hip-hip heads and less for the kids that are Joey’s usual teenaged fanbase.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Fraud’s production matches his laconic delivery in a way that other producers’ work just hasn’t. This makes Saaab Stories a much more cohesive mixtape than it would have been otherwise.
    • 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.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It’s not always focused, and it’s not always perfect, but that’s what real freedom feels like.