Before I start on my opinion of XV’s most recent mixtape, “30 Minute Layover”, I feel it is necessary to give my opinion of XV as a rapper. If you haven’t been attending Exeter Rap Association meetings (and believe me, it is my sincere hope that this blog reaches some of you out there that are not able to attend the amazing, legendary meetings of ERA), then XV is the greatest rapper you’ve never heard of. He’s the only rapper I know that is straight out of Kansas, and is probably the greatest thing to come from there since Smallville. XV is a personal favorite of mine and has stunned me by how unique his songs are. He mixes a wide variety of catchy beats, well used samples, and lines that make you look up from whatever you’re doing and think “Ah…I see what you did there XV!”. Really guys, this dude is pretty much what you’re looking for. And he releases all his music free from his blogs.
All that being said… I think I can now go onto “30 Minute Layover”. To start, this mixtape is just what it says: a type of “layover” for the fans while we wait for the release of his “Vizzy Zone” mixtape and “Kid With The Green Backpack” album. If you are and XV fan, then you probably will recognize that this mixtape isn’t like most of XV’s other albums; A majority of the tracks here are “freestyles” as he described it on his blog. There aren’t too many chorus’s on the mixtape, it relies mostly on witty lines and flow to keep the crowd entertained. Although this might make it harder to approach for those of us that are a little more timid when it comes to rap, I can assure anyone out there that this guy is not just “another rapper”. I’ve listened to this album eight times, and each time I kept discovering new lines that I liked. If you wanted to find all the lyrical jewels in “30 Minute Layover”, it really would require you to pause after every line of every song, and just think about it for a little bit. Try it, I dare you. But make sure you bring a paper and pencil or something… because you’ll most likely lose count in your head.
I can’t say this is my favorite work by XV, but it’s a side of his talent that deserves some attention. My favorite track on this mixtape is definitely “Drop The World”. XV just does this beat so much justice; the flow is great, and the lines are truly meaningful. The listener gets a glimpse at how dedicated to his roots in Kansas XV is through what he says, and the emotion he puts into it. Some other tracks that I loved were “This Plane”, and “Nothing On You”. If this is just the layover, I am really looking forward to seeing what XV has in store for us next.
DOWNLOAD: XV – 30 Minute Layover