XV follows up the very successful Zero Heroes with yet another mixtape full of original music titled Popular Culture. It’s been more than a year since that last effort was released and XV has since been asked about the release date of his debut album countless times. He began releasing new music in video form late last year and early this year, eventually announcing that a new EP would be released later this year. The announcement of this new mixtape a few weeks ago came as a surprise to his fans that were just expecting a new EP.
The mixtape is kicked off strongly with the Popular Culture themed track “Andy Warhol” that was released a few weeks ago. The very dope Inception-themed track “The Kick,” one of the songs that was debuted in video form earlier this year, found its way onto the project and deservedly so. The majority of the production on Popular Culture is handled by XV’s in-house producer, The Awesome Sound. There are however some tracks produced by other producers. The track “Be There, Be Square” is produced by Chiddy Bang member Xaphoon Jones. There, Vizzy puts his ability to create a memorable hook on full display, tell a story along with using clever word play that you can expect from a typical XV song.
As far as features go, there are some very solid choruses provided by Raja on three of the mixtapes’ tracks with the final track “One of One” being my favorite of the three. Emilio Rojas provides a very solid verse on “Wonkavator,” which is XV’s follow up to his other Willy Wonka-themed track “Gobstopper” (Everybody’s Nobody). Schoolboy Q provides a dope verse of his own on the standout song “AaaHH! Real Monsters,” which was released before the mixtape came out. B.o.B. was a late addition to the track and he definitely sticks to the monster concept and delivers a dope verse as well.
This mixtape is definitely worth a listen. Download the mixtape below and if you like what you hear, pre-order XV’s new Awesome EP that will be released next week.
Key Tracks: Be There, Be Square, Wonkavator, AaaHH! Real Monsters, One of One