On the album Brown raps about the decline of Detroit and the dilemma caused by its abandoned houses and buildings.
XXX was released as a free download by Brooklyn, New York-based record label Fool's Gold Records. Brown cited XXX as his attempt at "experimenting and seeing how far [he] could push listeners" with his music. Brown explains that XXX is an effort at a serious concept album with a storyline, citing track 13 "DNA" as the start of Side B: "The cover looked like a vinyl to me, so I was going with that whole vibe". He explained that "the first side is all having fun" before the album takes a serious turn from "DNA" onward. While recording the album, Brown was listening to a lot of Joy Division. He has also stated he recorded XXX with the intent of having it critically acclaimed: "I made XXX with the aim of getting great reviews."