X98 launched his music career 10 years ago. His climb up the ladder has been a passionate, patient and steady one. He made his debut on stage at Fubar Venue & Lounge in downtown St. Louis, MO in 2018, and has followed up with his radio debut on KNVC 95.1fm in Carson City, NV in 2021. Forging a blend of melodic Hip Hop and R&B/Soul flavors, X98 draws his influences from The Weekend, Travis Scott, and Lil Wayne. With the 8 tracks on his “222” album, and incorporating some of coolest banging beats, this project shows how diverse and talented X98 can be. Although the album as a whole is truly impressive, it’s safe to predict that a handful of tracks will be the main singles that get the most streams and radio play. Among them of course, is “Free Bird”.
Talking about the album, almost all of the songs switch pace and thought process mid-track, the seamless transition of each song leading onto the next like a storyline. The entire album is amazing. One thing that “222” does well, is to be very diverse. X98 is not afraid to use the infamous auto-tuned syncs and mellifluous vocals on one track, and then switch up his style on another song.
Listen to how X98 switches from the twisting haze of “Anchor” to the resonant urgency of “Buried Alive” for proof of the previous affirmation. This can also be heard on the intoxicating, and heartrending love ballad, “I Miss You (My Fault)” which is followed by the grittier “Heart Like December”.
In “Antisocial”, X98 meshes high vocals with spacey instrumentation and a thumping beat to create something captivating. In songs like “Pedal Struck” and “Fake Love” he creates deep and intense atmospheres that sound so gorgeous to the point that you don’t even need to pay attention to what X98 is saying on the record.
But you do, because every word comes through so loud and clear. Unlike his contemporaries, X98 is not in the shadow of his beats – he is very much front and center. All of which brings us to the album opener, and what is considered the fan favorite song on the album – “Free Bird”. It is here that X98 lives up to his potential.
Nothing comes close to matching the sheer transcendence of hearing X98’s haunting vocal nuancing, as he switches his tone up and down throughout the song. By the time X98 turns up to delicately sing the opening verse, the piano motifs would already have overwhelmed you with their beauty.
The song was written to symbolize him starting his new journey in life, explained X98. “I speak about fake friendships, failed trusts, and starting over. Growing up I experienced all of those things time and time again. Then eventually they were enough to motivate me to just move on, and move out,” he concludes.
After releasing the album “222”, X98 said that he began to see more opportunities pop up for him. It was as if his vision in life, and in his mind, became clearer and his path was right there in front of him.
Ultimately, X98’s finely-spun vocal delivery makes his songs go a lot further than the average singer inhabiting his genre. “222” also contains better music, never losing its ability to entertain, emote and surprise. That’s why the path ahead of X98 is now so much clearer!