? (XXXTentacion album)

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?
XXXTENTACION-Sad-Changes-Single-Cover.jpg
Studio album by
ReleasedMarch 16, 2018
Genre
Length37:36
Label
Producer
XXXTentacion chronology
A Ghetto Christmas Carol
(2017)
?
(2018)
Skins
(2018)
Singles from ?
  1. "Sad!"
    Released: March 2, 2018
  2. "Changes"
    Released: March 2, 2018
  3. "Moonlight"
    Released: August 14, 2018

? is the second studio album by American rapper XXXTentacion and the last to be released during his lifetime. It was released on March 16, 2018, by Bad Vibes Forever, Caroline Distribution, and Capitol Music Group.[3][4] It succeeds the release of his debut studio album 17 and the extended play A Ghetto Christmas Carol (both 2017). The album was primarily produced by frequent collaborator John Cunningham, and includes guest appearances from PnB Rock, Travis Barker, and Joey Badass, among others.

? debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 131,000 album-equivalent units.[5] On August 7, 2018, the album was certified Platinum by the RIAA. It was supported by three singles: "Sad!", "Changes" and "Moonlight". Following XXXTentacion's death on June 18, 2018,[6] "Sad!" became a number one hit on several charts, including the Billboard Hot 100.

Background[edit]

XXXTentacion released his debut studio album, 17 in August 2017[7] to commercial success.[8] Following the release of the album, he announced he was quitting music due to negativity and backlash,[9] though he eventually signed a $6 million one-album deal with Caroline Distribution[10] and released A Ghetto Christmas Carol EP on his SoundCloud on December 11, 2017.[11]

After the release of A Ghetto Christmas Carol, XXXTentacion announced he was preparing three new albums[12] and eventually announced the titles of the albums as Bad Vibes Forever, Skins, and ?, after being released on house arrest on December 23, 2017.[13]

The track listing and release date was confirmed by XXXTentacion on March 12, 2018 via social media.[14][15]

Composition[edit]

The songs on the album have been observed to span a variety of musical genres, such as acoustic, emo, indie rock, old-school hip hop and trap.[16][17][18][19] The song "I Don't Even Speak Spanish LOL" has been labelled as reggaeton pop,[16] while "Infinity (888)" is "a classic hip-hop song."[20]

Promotion[edit]

The cover art was first shown on XXXTentacion's Instagram story on January 28, 2018, with the caption "coming soon". Later that day, he explained that:

"This albums not about the words, it's about the feeling...it'll be very hard to understand, but very easy to listen to...it's not what you're expecting, even if you feel like you understand my music, be prepared to not understand this music."

XXXTentacion released the song "Hope" on his SoundCloud on February 21, 2018, dedicated to the survivors of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.[21][22] "Hope" was released shortly after XXXTentacion hosted a benefit show[23] and offered condolences to the victims of the shooting.[24] On February 25, 2018, after the release of "Hope", XXXTentacion posted vague messages on social media accusing Canadian rapper Drake of threatening to murder him alongside crude photoshopped images of Drake.[25][26] XXXTentacion proceeded to claim his accounts were hacked whilst there was speculation he was insulting the rapper for promotion of "Sad!" and “Changes”.[27]

Singles[edit]

The lead singles "Sad!" and "Changes" were released March 1, 2018 for streaming and digital download.[28] "Sad!" debuted at number 17, and peaked at number one on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming XXXTentacion's first number-one song and his highest-charting single to date[29] while "Changes" debuted at number 47 on the week beginning March 13, 2018 and peaked at number 18.[30] The album's third single "Moonlight" was released posthumously to rhythmic radio on August 14, 2018.[31][32]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
SourceRating
AOTY43/100[33]
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[34]
HotNewHipHop70%[16]
Salute Magazine3/5 stars[17]
Sputnikmusic0.5/5 stars[18]
XXLXL (4/5)[35]

In a positive review, online publication HotNewHipHop stated that "Despite an sagging middle section, ? features some of X's most nuanced and impressive material to date", adding that "X's commitment to honoring his various influences is admirable, but it may have behooved him to spend a little bit more time on sequencing this artistic kaleidoscope."[16] Sputnikmusic gave a negative review, saying that "This exercise in granting credence to emotionally stunted, bad musicians is something that is truly stunning to bear witness to."[18] XXL gave the album a positive review, and wrote "The album sonically goes every which way—a double-edge sword that can make for a dizzying, disjointed listen at times. Still, ? is X's most stimulating offering to date and with a little more focus on structure and cohesion, X's best work could very well be ahead of him."[35]

Commercial performance[edit]

? debuted at number one on the US Billboard 200 with 131,000 album-equivalent units, with 20,000 pure album sales.[3] It was XXXTentacion's only number-one album during his lifetime.[3] The album was certified Platinum by the RIAA on August 7, 2018.[36]

Following XXXTentacion's death, ? reached a new peak of number one in the Netherlands.[37] It also ascended the Billboard 200 from number twenty-four to three, earning 94,000 units, with 17 also re-entering the top ten.[38]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal, YouTube Music and iTunes.[39][4]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Introduction (Instructions)"Jahseh OnfroyXXXTentacion1:57
2."Alone, Part 3"
  • Onfroy
  • John Cunningham
  • Robert Soukiasyan
  • Cunningham
  • Soukiasyan
1:49
3."Moonlight"
  • Onfroy
  • Cunningham
Cunningham2:15
4."Sad!"
  • Onfroy
  • Cunningham
Cunningham2:46
5."The Remedy for a Broken Heart (Why Am I So in Love)"
  • Onfroy
  • Cunningham
  • XXXTentacion
  • Cunningham
2:40
6."Floor 555"
  • Onfroy
  • Alejandro Rodriguez
Dell Soda1:33
7."Numb"
  • Cunningham
  • Soukiasyan[a]
3:06
8."Infinity (888)" (featuring Joey Badass)
P. Soul2:56
9."Going Down!"1:55
10."Pain = Best Friend" (featuring Travis Barker)
  • XXXTentacion
  • Cunningham
  • Soukiasyan[a]
1:50
11."$$$" (with Matt Ox)
  • Onfroy
  • Denmarc Mangupag
  • Laron Wages
  • Matthew Grau
  • Den Beats
  • Wages
2:10
12."Love Yourself" (interlude)
  • Onfroy
  • Cunningham
  • XXXTentacion
  • Cunningham
0:48
13."Smash!" (featuring PnB Rock)
1:49
14."I Don't Even Speak Spanish LOL" (featuring Rio Santana, Judah and Carlos Andrez)
  • Onfroy
  • Juan Guerrieri-Maril
  • Flavio Santana
  • Judah Amar
  • Carlos Andrez
  • John Crawford
Z3N3:12
15."Changes"
  • Onfroy
  • Allen
  • Cunningham
Cunningham2:02
16."Hope"
  • Onfroy
  • Cunningham
Cunningham1:50
17."Schizophrenia"
  • Onfroy
  • Cunningham
  • Soukiasyan
  • Cunningham
  • Soukiasyan
1:20
18."Before I Close My Eyes"
  • Onfroy
  • Cunningham
Cunningham1:39
Total length:37:36

Notes

Stylizations

  • "Introduction (Instructions)" is stylized as "Introduction (instructions)".
  • "Alone, Part 3", "Sad!", "Numb" and "Smash!" are stylized in uppercase letters. For example, "Sad!" is stylized as "SAD!".
  • "The Remedy for a Broken Heart (Why Am I So in Love)", "I Don't Even Speak Spanish LOL", and "Before I Close My Eyes" are stylized in lowercase letters, except for the word I.
  • "Infinity (888)", "Going Down!", "Love Yourself", "Changes" and "Schizophenia" are stylized in lowercase letters. For example, "Infinity (888)" is stylized as "infinity (888)".
  • "Pain = Best Friend" is stylized as "Pain = BESTFRIEND".

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Tidal and YouTube Music.[39]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[71] Gold 35,000^
Canada (Music Canada)[72] Platinum 80,000^
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[73] Platinum 20,000^
France (SNEP)[74] Platinum 100,000*
Italy (FIMI)[75] Gold 25,000*
New Zealand (RMNZ)[76] Gold 7,500^
Norway (IFPI Norway)[77] 2× Platinum 60,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[78] Silver 60,000^
United States (RIAA)[36] Platinum 1,000,000double-dagger

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Various March 16, 2018 Bad Vibes Forever [79]
March 22, 2018 Vinyl [80]
June 1, 2018 CD [81]

References[edit]

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