Across Bad Vibes Forever,
the second posthumous release from the troubled South Florida singer
and MC XXXTENTACION since his death in 2018, it can be difficult to
distinguish the star’s fully formed ideas from those amended after his
passing, but the album doesn’t suffer for it. X believed in brevity, so
the fact that the majority of the album’s tracks clock in around two
minutes in length shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Neither should
guest spots from self-professed fans and former collaborators Lil Wayne,
Noah Cyrus, and Joey Bada$$, as well as stunt-casted features from
perpetually animated Houston MC Sauce Walka, modern-day dancehall greats
Mavado and Vybz Kartel, and pop-punk stalwarts blink-182.
What might shock casual listeners, though, is just how far these few remaining snippets of X’s voice can take you. From soft singing with acoustic guitar accompaniment (“Ex Bitch”) and spoken-word with Cyrus (“Ecstasy”) to patois-influenced toasting (“Hot Gyal”) and even placeholder mumbling (“THE ONLY TIME I FEEL ALIVE”), Bad Vibes Forever exhibits a wealth of XXXTENTACION’s creative impulses. The fact that his estate can deliver 25 original-sounding incarnations of them in a second posthumous release only confirms what diehard fans have been proclaiming since his light was extinguished: X was only just getting started.