XXL's Scores

  • Music
For 380 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 68% higher than the average critic
  • 6% same as the average critic
  • 26% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 1 point higher than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Music review score: 74
Highest review score: 100 Good Kid, M.A.A.D City
Lowest review score: 40 BAYTL
Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 0 out of 380
380 music reviews
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Bravely, Boogie has given us something true, something we can feel. Even if it hurts.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The lean guest list of trap all-stars Young Thug, Gunna and Travis Scott delivers solid if unspectacular support down the home stretch. Diehard Future fans, of which there are legion, will be satisfied. But at 20 tracks, The Wizrd runs overlong. Jewels like “F&N” (with its nifty beat switch), “Promise U That” and “Faceshot” run the risk of getting lost in all the streaming.
    • 44 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    The songs are short, not mixed particularly well and--perhaps due to his untimely passing--feel unfinished. Had X been around to see this album all the way through and hash out some of its rushed wrinkles, it has the potential to have been his best project yet. But as it sits right now, Skins renders itself another opportunity for XXXTentacion's cult-like following to continue enjoying new music.
    • 79 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    His voice is a powerful weapon, and he still has some ideas worth mining, but he’d be better served under the direction of a producer who could focus his sound, kill a couple bad hooks and weed out the filler. We’re not expecting Dr. Dre or Bomb Squad-level results anymore, but some outside guidance could help.
    • 86 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Some Rap Songs packs a lot in 25 minutes, making for an unsettling listen that is also one of the most personal, gripping rap records of the year.
    • 77 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    [An] urgent, wise and poignant fourth LP.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    FM!
    FM! is definitely more centrally focused than either of those EPs [2014's Hell Can Wait and 2016's Prima Donna]. And even if this is just an off-hand project Vince recorded quickly, it's a hell of a one-off album that's full of charm and lyrical depth paired with fantastic production. Tune in.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    It may not be quite the full-marks classic he’d hoped, but Oxnard is an intriguing next step for the 2016 XXL Freshman that demands repeat listening and hints that he may have a Blueprint in him yet.
    • 82 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    With all of its paper-and skirt-chasing, The Last Rocket may not be a giant leap for mankind but it’s more than a small step for establishing Takeoff as something other than the Migo left off of “Bad and Boujee.”
    • 52 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Nuthin’ 2 Prove, like it’s 2018 predecessor, Lil Boat 2, largely sees Yachty spinning in place, warring with his past and grasping at a murky future.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    This might is his best effort after a string of uneven post-Paper Trail albums. It's probably not as much of an evolution of T.I.'s style as he claims, but it's a more-than-worthy addition to the rapper's canon.
    • 60 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    A scattershot collection of fresh-yet-familiar thumpers that will nicely keep the Migos brand bubbling through the forthcoming solo sets from kinfolk Offset and Takeoff. This is step one in building anticipation for the inevitable reunion record of three voices that, until proven otherwise, are best experienced playing off one another.
    • 76 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    On songs like “Kyrie” and “Gmail,” he briefly lives up to that raucous potential. Unfortunately, the missteps--the thin singing voice used on “WESPN” and awkward yogurt references of “Danimals”—hamper much of the promise.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    YSIV succeeds when it forgoes pretentious views on what hip-hop should be and instead focuses on what makes the self-proclaimed Young Sinatra unique. The trio of “Everybody Dies,” “The Return,” and “The Glorious Five” feature the Everybody MC at his most fluid and nimble.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    If anything lets Tha Carter V down, it’s the track sequencing and transitions, which can start to make the project feel like it’s dragging about halfway through. However, that should hardly dissuade Wayne’s most diehard fans, as even in its slowest moments, the album never loses its heady sense of rapture. ... The album is indeed memorable, as much for the journey that led to its release as the previously unseen layers that Weezy reveals.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    At 24 tracks and 98 minutes long, the bloated project sounds like two distinct albums. Often we learn more from a story by what isn’t written, rather than by what is. Lupe spends so much time telling the story of everything, he leaves little room for the listener’s reflection on anything.
    • 62 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While some may feel the clap-back approach reeks of bitterness, there's no denying how skillfully Em runs through these six minutes of lyrical acrobatics. He keeps listeners more attentive than he has in quite some time with an abrasive attitude that was missing from Revival.
    • 68 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Endearing, ambitious and a tad overstuffed, Slime Language is a literal and figurative family reunion. However, like any Black family reunion, the project captivates when the young are allowed to flex in front of the father and claw their way from the periphery to the main stage.
    • 70 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Within the framework of Queen--equal parts an album for her fans, a victory lap and a reminder of Minaj’s unflappable meta presence--the enormity of her success and her cultural impact is undeniable. There are genuine moments of the excitement and fun Minaj associates with her beloved New York City.
    • 78 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Swimming merges enlightening, candid rhymes over funky beats, providing a transparent look at how Mac Miller hit a personal rock bottom and his vigorous climb to save himself.
    • 85 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    While Astroworld has some slight flaws, the project is Travis' best, most-progressive and most-well-rounded album to date.
    • 71 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Stay Dangerous doesn't quite feel like the grand statement of Still Brazy or My Krazy Life. It's a slight step back from a rapper who is capable of much greater. While the brief glimpses of his personal life aren't quite enough to elevate the project, it's worthwhile to hear him breezing over Mustard beats once again.
    • 56 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Rolling Papers 2 may not eclipse Wiz's most acclaimed work, but it is an admirable effort that shows growth in a creative evolution that gives hope that his best could still be ahead of him.
    • 67 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album is a hulking catalog of Drake in his comfort zone, a space in which his ability to create memorable music that sits perfectly in the cradle of the cultural zeitgeist is unmatched. Still, the excessive 25-song tracklist is a misstep.
    • 58 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The two music minds came up with a project that wavers between brilliant synergy and occasionally uninspired filler.
    • 81 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    Redemption might be Jay Rock's most consistent yet. At 44 minutes, the album breezes by without many frills. Rock raps, makes his point, and gets out quickly after, allowing the TDE vet to chalk up his biggest win yet.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    He and Cudi pull equal weight on Kids See Ghosts, but the album’s brightest points--the beautiful madness they seek--come from the moments when Kanye plays the background and Cudi seizes the forefront. It’s a testament to their chemistry and quite the turn from 2008.
    • 84 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    The album does start to feel the weight of having 21 tracks at times, but little overstays its welcome. Even 20 years into his career, Royce maintains his reputation as one of hip-hop's premier rappers by releasing his most affecting work yet.
    • 64 Metascore
    • 60 Critic Score
    Ye
    Ye feels lyrically scatterbrained, as if its creator was unable to focus on anything for long enough to deliver a cohesive message.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 80 Critic Score
    KOD
    While there are moments where Cole comes off more as a condescending high school principal than earnest older brother, KOD is an overall strong effort that connects of emotional trauma, mental health stigma in the Black community and the real problem of drug glorification.