Today, our mixtape of the week comes from XO, someone fresh on the scene with his debut mixtape, Million Dollar Lifestyle.
Million Dollar Lifestyle has an incredible amount of production value behind it. Each song has a bass-heavy feel to it. Every bit of sound emanates an upbeat vibe for getting up and going wild. At certain times, these beats come off as slightly repetitive in some songs, but XO manages to incorporate enough variety throughout this project to keep the attention of listeners.
What makes this mixtape stand out among the plethora of other releases from artists trying to make a name are its features. Rick Ross, Pusha T, Paul Wall and Killer Mike are just a few of the big name artists involved with this project. XO shows that he can work great with other artists, as the songs with these features—like “Gwop,” “Hold Up” and “Rappin My Life”—are probably the best tracks. The downside, however, is that more often than not these superstar artists who already have a recognizable voice and lyrical flow overshadow XO on his songs due to their well-established rap game presence.
While it was a great move to enlist the help of these artists in his debut mixtape, this decision seems to get in the way of XO establishing his own brand as an artist and restricts him from opportunities to show to listeners why we should give him any sort of attention.
The mixtape’s lyrical content also shows promise. When listening to Million Dollar Lifestyle the first time through, you might disagree, but XO has some lyrical gems hiding in his songs, like needles in a hip-hop haystack. While brand-name dropping, braggadocio and endless drug references make up a majority of the lyrical content as a whole, XO obviously has a captivating story to tell.
Whatever Million Dollar Lifestyle may lack in lyrical content, it makes up for with great party-like production value and awesome features from big-name artists. Keep an eye out for XO in the future because he is more than likely to here to stay on the hip-hop scene.