Xavier & The Thrill is a rapper from Chicago and Thrill is his debut album. It's a whirlwind of funky basslines, jazzy keys, hard-hitting drums, sly melodies, and vivid imagery in the lyrics.

"It's a psychedelic time-warp trip, back 'n' forth from early 80s Hollywood to present day, filled with sex, parties, drugs, neon lights, and everlasting life. The two main characters in the narrative are Buddy and Cat," Xavier tells us. 

While previous single "Tears of Legend" was dark and edgy, there's a lot of sonic variety across the album, moments of carefree fun and late night parties alongside more reflective tracks. As Xavier explains, Thrill also reflects a personal change for him. "I was seeing much of life through a dark filter. I liked to have fun and all, but everything in my personal and public life had darker undertones. Life felt like a cave to me."

"Thrill is my triumph. It's me doing everything MY WAY and not believing in the word of someone else. I made sure everything for this project happened on my own, along with advice from only a few trusted contacts. It's me describing a life that so many lead when maturing. We're all animals when it's broken down. We seek food, shelter, affection & entertainment one way or another. So there are constant nature references and animalistic elements throughout the listen."

Thrill clearly comes straight  from the mind of Xavier, but he does call in a few well placed features—fellow Chicagoan Saba appears on "Tears of Legend," YP, Young Wolf, Trouble T, Ari Stylez, and David Ashley all contribute, and none other than childhood friend Iman Shumpert pops up on "Barber Shoppe." 

Listen to Thrill now, and read a longer explanation from Xavier below.

In Xavier's own words:

Thrill started out as a three-song EP of somber music (see my previous single, "Bleeding Tree"). It was called Feed At Dark.

I was seeing much of life through a dark filter. I liked to have fun and all, but everything in my personal and public life had darker undertones. Life felt like a cave to me. Hurt Everybody and Shepard Hues would joke and call me a vampire. True tell.

I knew I needed to move forward and get from under this dark grey/black smog, because now it wasn't only affecting how I saw the world but how family and colleagues started to see me. That's why "Forward" is the location on my Twitter bio. I plan on staying forward.

A combination of praying, undying support from my OG (Mom), a memorable conversation with one of my brothers, Troy, my Puerto Rico birthday trip and a recent California trip has brightened and lifted me. That grungy, dark EP got buried in the night and Thrill came about over a span of about six/seven months.

I'm used to people not upholding their end of bargains and management/investment situations pushing my work aside 'til it's convenient. Thrill represents a new me, a less down and reclusive me. A me that smiles more.

Thrill is my triumph. It's me doing everything MY WAY and not believing in the word of someone else. I made sure everything for this project happened on my own, along with advice from only a few trusted contacts. Like, "count on one hand" few. It's me describing a life that so many lead when maturing. We're all animals when it's broken down. We seek food, shelter, affection & entertainment one way or another. So there are constant nature references and animalistic elements throughout the listen.

It's a psychedelic time-warp trip, back 'n' forth from early 80s Hollywood to present day, filled with sex, parties, drugs, neon lights & everlasting life. The two main characters in the narrative are Buddy & Cat.

Thrill is a ride. A ride that's gonna take us places. On shorty.thrill back cover