Not long after 20-year old rapper XXXTentacion dropped his debut album ‘17’, he began to formulate his ideas for a follow-up album after coming in contact with one of his old colleagues, Robbie Soukiasyan. His new album, titled ‘?’, was released just over a week ago, features lyrical rappers like Joey Bada$$ and is expected to debut at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. Here’s 5 things SOHH learned from talking to XXX’s go-to hitmaker.
1. The Duo Have History
On ‘17’, Robbie mixed and produced many of the songs. He even showed off his instrumental skills, playing the drums on X’s hit song “Revenge”. Soon after the release in 2017, X’s team contacted him once again while working as an engineer at NightBird Recording Studios in West Hollywood, California. They knew there was something special in Robbie, as his track record also includes artists such as Camilla Cabello, Gucci Mane and Mike WiLL Made It. Having worked already with Robbie Soukiasyan on his first album, X knew that Robbie would be perfect for his next creation.
2. The “?” Album Producers
After months of rigorous studio time and recording, Robbie Soukiasyan’s work paid off and with the help of executive producer John Cunningham “ALONE, PART 3”, “NUMB”, “Pain = BESTFRIEND” and “schizophrenia” were produced. The colorful individual minds in John, X and Robbie blended so well, considering the album has been a fan-favorite ever since it was dropped.
3. XXX’s Style Has Changed Since “17” Came Out In ’17
A new album from Jahseh Onfroy (the rapper’s real name) meant new ideas and new sounds. X made a transition into a more versatile set of songs, ones that hit a broader audience. ‘17’ was a darker album that resonated with a lo-fi vibe. The work on it was intense, with some of their sessions lasting 30+ consecutive hours. ‘?’ carries over that vibe a little bit in spots, but this album was different in the sense that it offered more variety. It offered something for fans of all genres.
4. The Release Is Already An Extreme Success
‘?’ is projected to sell 125,000 copies in its debut week. Currently occupying the spot for #1 album on RapCaviar, Apple Music, and iTunes (achieved in the first hour upon being dropped), it will only keep rising. Every single song has also found a spot on the RapCaviar Top 50, an astonishing feat for any album. The trio shares a mutual respect, all admiring each other and now being like family to each other. The song “SAD!” already has over 70,000,000 plays!
5. Studio Time W/ XXXTentacion Is Awesome
For months on end, Robbie worked with Jahseh on a spontaneous schedule. This meant getting to work whenever and wherever necessary. Upon completion of ‘?’, Robbie had produced four of the album’s eighteen tracks. X knows what he wants and only expects greatness, so their sessions were often intense and long. John and Robbie worked to make everything sound as good as possible, sometimes just jotting down ideas on their phones to come up with new songs. X is a creative genius, meaning it might take him just 10 minutes to create an awesome hook. Working with Jahseh is inspirational and spontaneous, and he has a uniquely conceptual mind that varies from every other artist out there. He creates diverse content that is meaningful and thorough, often without boundaries. One might never know what X is going to create, but it’s surely going to be amazing.
The time spent creating ‘?’ helped form a beautiful bond that will potentially see more work done in the future. John and Robbie worked together so vigorously on their pieces, both sharing their excellent ideas and presenting unique sounds to X.
As time goes on, the group will continue to grow. As an individual, Robbie will not stop working towards his goals, growing his list of clients day by day. With the ability to collaborate with others and combine so many genres, all while making some of the world’s best music, Robbie will soon be recognized as one of the most renowned producers in the industry.