Inspired by the likes of 2 Pac Shakur, Jay Z, Biggie Smalls, Zedd, SZA, Lyrica Anderson, Kendrick Lamar, Gucci Mane, and King Fox, Xero is a hip-hop/R&B artist originally from Detroit, MI currently based in Charlotte, NC. “Xero CAP” is the title of his latest EP. “CAP” stands for “Consistently Apply Pressure”, a philosophy that Xero lives by. The recording has forged two successful lead singles, and a music video. Xero has been on the for a while now, and along the way, he has refined and reconfigured his sound, placing more and more emphasis on both his rapping and singing while coming to favor sleeker, more dramatic production. It’s a journey now reaching its peak with this recording. It’s undeniably the product of a strong will, delivered with all but only one guest.
Storytelling and honesty have always been central to his artistry, and “Xero CAP” keeps present reality at the forefront. The openness about his actions, experiences and thoughts, fills this EP with fascinating texture. It’s evidence of Xero’s songwriting range and consistency that “Xero CAP” holds together no matter how many stories he tells or how many ways he tells them, whether it’s with fiery rapping, soulful singing, or a combination of both.
The opening track “Monster”, plays testimony to all of the above, and then some. Xero sounds assured in between the singing and melodic maneuvering that unites the song. “One for Me” ft. Oga Silachi, is another powerful standout track which features a stunningly catchy and impacting hook.
The Charlotte-based rapper showcases his vibrant personality, within noticeably melodic sonic contours, and ultimately on “Chips and Dip”, gives the trippy areas of his lyrics some refreshing new context.
Apart from the pocketed flows, endless catchy hooks, exciting wordplay, and tight narratives, Xero may just be one of the best rapper, singer, and songwriter the underground currently has to offer, and he is all this EP needs to succeed. Xero never lets up — not even on those ostensibly slower rap songs, like “The Money Calling”, and always finds a way to sound inspired.
He manages to still hit you with his trademark honesty, imbuing the song with clever observations. Throughout this EP, Xero shows the kind of versatility that most major label artists are striving for. And on “Fibonacci” he once again changes the template.
Another great thing is that you don’t have to go and lyric search Xero online, as there is no garbled rapping or singing – this is a plus point. His focus is on translating his ideas and emotions. So his diction is polished, as he brings us some serious storytelling poetry with loads of bravado.
Each single song brings validity to the image Xero portrays in his music. “Xero CAP” is a showcase of versatility that plays to Xero’s strengths enough, to feel like a definitive artistic statement. I’m sure you guys already know about Xero, but if you don’t, drop whatever you’re doing and go listen to him ASAP.