XXL's Scores

  • Music
For 337 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 1.2 points higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 73
Highest review score: 100 Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
Lowest review score: 40 BAYTL
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 337
337 music reviews
    • 85 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    At times, he comes across as brilliantly unorthodox with flows, genre-crossing beats and meticulously honest lyrics but those unfamiliar with his outré style may be pushed even further away from the album’s peculiarity.
    • 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.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The industry veterans offer a release that's thoughtful and well-crafted.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The times when it succeeds are when Tinashe doesn’t overdo things.
    • 80 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Big Baby D.R.A.M. does have moments where tracks like “Sweet VA Breeze” and “WiFi” easily blend into each other, sounding a bit too similar. But those middling songs don’t really hinder the overall replay value of the album.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Finding the balance between sex, love, and ratchet, Testimony is truly a testament to a new era in R&B that shifts safe lyrics to smooth street tales.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Though it runs a little long, Cats & Dogs is a banging, consistent platter that ought to satisfy backpackers and hard-rocks alike.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The LP is fun and a return to what hip-hop started out as in the parks--a way to rock the crowd and have a good time.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Black Milk’s versatility shines on Hell Below, even if at times some parts felt disjointed. This is a small complaint for an overall album that culminates in the talented musician effectively communicating a consistent concept through the LP.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Simply put, this is a step forward for the Rhymesayers veteran.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Overall, Slime Season 3 stacks up well against Thug’s colorful catalog and is undoubtedly the most listenable mixtape in the series thus far.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The majority of the raps are unfortunately provided by ALC and Dr. No: two artists more known for getting busy behind the boards than on the mic.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Staying in the conversation by releasing a steady stream of new material can be good, but it works best when there’s more cohesion and less filler.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    He treats this debut album like a retail mixtape, and the result is a project that picks off from where The Luca Brasi Story left off. Unfortunately, these high points aren’t enough for him here to progress further.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Without a doubt, 2 Chainz has the formula to make great music--but now we just need a little more substance, and we’re not talking about freebase cocaine.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    SremmLife 2 is by no means a sophomore slump but just doesn’t quite fill the same space as the first installment did last year.
    • 75 Metascore
    • 40 Critic Score
    He puts out so much that there's no filter, and even bright flashes are clouded by curious moments.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Like Soul Food, Age Against The Machine tries to succeed in being different and innovative. At times, the results are disastrous, but the album always remains interesting.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    There’s just too much ambition and not enough energy to support Event II fully. Planet Deltron used to be more fun.
    • 74 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    GMB
    Pac Div was hoping to achieve a harder sound with GMB, and when it comes to the tongue-in-cheek "Bank," "Sneakerboxes," which features Chip Gnarly & Big Silk, and "Debo," they certainly get there. But it is when they take a more casual approach to their sound, as on "Slow," which sounds like a club anthem lost at a children's party, or the aimlessly catchy "Can't Help It," that they reach heights only attained by Superman.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It works just fine and follows the blueprint of most major label projects today. The thing is that, in doing so, Curren$y loses some of the magic that makes him a true original.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The album never reaches jaw-dropping levels because the envelope’s never pushed, but that’s not the point. Albert Einstein is about two artists doing what they do best, and for one of them, it’s a return to form.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The album does not compare to Below The Heavens as the excess number of tracks and the lack of coherence, despite how long Blu and Bombay collaborated to assemble this LP, result in a middle-of-the-road project, regardless if the road is in the West or East.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    It is simply an album that lacks a clear perspective on the many heavy topics it tackles. A first time listener may walk away feeling very familiar with Freddie Gibbs’ sound, but still unsure of who exactly he is.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    With No Hard Feelings, Dreezy attempts to find a happy medium between street rapper and silky songstress. Fans of her harder bars and grittier raps will be championing for the former while those looking for versatility will appreciate what she has to offer here when it comes to her sing-song flow.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Lil B die-hards may accuse I'm Gay of pandering to hip-hop purists; in reality, though, the project's production is high quality and inventive.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    13
    Despite using a familiar formula, Havoc’s beats never sound too dated here; new techniques in his repertoire, such as using more melodic synths and complicated drum arrangements, keep things sounding fresh. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for his lyrics.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Theophilus London’s musical ability is evident throughout Vibes, a mesh-mash of genres that come together to form one of the better listenings of 2014.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    While God of the Serengeti doesn't blaze any new ground, it is a release that will hold up to the Paz's legacy on the underground scene and will surely satisfy long-time fans.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The problem with Ferg’s swag raps, though, is that like any party (or after-party) that goes on for too long, it ends up just feeling overwrought and repetitive.