Eye of the Tiger

Lil Xan’s “Total Xanarchy” does not make the grade

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WILL WAGNER

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To say the new wave of rap artists have been lackluster would be an understatement. The “Lils” of the world have taken over the Soundcloud rap scene on the back of drug promoting songs with vibrant and fun production.

Lil Pump is the poster boy for the new wave and represents everything that can be fun about these artists. On the other end of the spectrum, there is Lil Xan.

The 21-year-old rapper from California likes to rap about the drugs he’s doing, but from the perspective of how those drugs help in relationships and his still-present teenage angst. His debut project, “TOTAL XANARCHY,” is the painful 43 minute dive into the uninteresting thoughts of Lil Xan.

The few things that make this album listenable at times are the features and the production. YG and Rae Sremmurd provide fairly good contributions on their respective tracks and help to break up the repetitive lyricism on both songs.

Charli XCX comes through on “Moonlight” with her trademark vocals that perfectly match the beautifully simplistic trap beat. “Moonlight” could have easily been from a Charli XCX album if not for Lil Xan’s terrible attempt at being Post Malone.

Feature of the album goes to 2 Chainz on “Tick Tock” who lyrically runs laps around Xan and is the only reason to ever put on “Tick Tock.”

One feature very clearly highlights everything wrong with “TOTAL XANARCHY” though when Diplo gives his contributions on “Color Blind.”

The EDM track is bright and has all of the club banger elements expected, but Lil Xan calls himself “the savior” and no statement is more laughable than that.

But there is just song after song that makes the listener never want to listen to music again. On the opening track “Who I Am,” Xan proclaims that, “Xans don’t make me who I am.” To even say that when so many songs after not only speak about his xanax use, but that his name is literally Lil Xan, is sad.

At the same time, if he really believes that, it is funny in the sense of laughing at the one friend who doesn’t realize he’s only funny because he’s ridiculous.

This is all without mentioning the lead single on the album, “Betrayed,” which has one of the most ridiculous verses ever put over a trap beat. Lil Xan worked with solid producers and was able to snag some quality features throughout his album.

But until Lil Xan can improve on his craft and find something more interesting to rap about, it’s impossible to see him as a mainstay in hip hop.

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