If you're old enough, you might remember what it felt like when Eminem first emerged on mainstream rap's radar, or for a more recent example, when Odd Future's buzz became impossible to ignore. That's what it feels like with Florida rapper XXXTENTACION right now. This is an artist with the potential to disrupt, to shift the direction of hip-hop and culture. He's got no real music videos, very little presence on platforms outside of SoundCloud, and few media outlets covering him, but look at his numbers.
Will he actually change the game? It's yet to be seen. XXXTENTACION is controversial to the point where some people get pissed that we even cover him, but for every person who denounces XXX, there's 100 riding for him. And his music is undeniable. From aggressive, lo-fi hip-hop to emotionally charged sad rap, XXX is versatile, complex, and one of the most exciting artists on the brink of something huge.