An unsigned independent rapper, singer, composer, cameraman, photographer and a marketing consultant, Xilax was born in Chicoutimi Quebec, born in Quebec. His father, a veteran died of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis when Xilax was only 6 years old. Born in Haiti, his mother arrived in Canada and had to fend for herself, with only the help of Xilax’s grandfather and godfather. Xilax grew up in 90’s as the only black kid in his neighborhood which proved difficult for his daily existence where he had to learn to fight for respect. Over the years, the rapper has been able to gain a circle of friends, as well as find solace for his frustration and anger through music.
Currently the Canadian creative is promoting his sophomore album ”Young Xilax Boom Bap Rap Vol 1”. So how does this come together? Well, in a sense superbly. The production is as eclectic as it is, grabbing choppy, brittle beats, noisy dusty drums, rubbery synth-heavy textures, and loading them all into Xilax’s typically expansive mix.
Factor in layers of rich vocal production, and excellent features, which all lead to impressively dense musical arrangements, that never detract from the actual bars. And then there are just tracks where Xilax’s wordplay is so strikingly potent in asserting dominance it’s impossible to ignore.
So as a whole, ”Young Xilax Boom Bap Rap Vol 1” succeeds in its purpose of having a distinctive sound, plenty of ideas and great cuts to keep it interesting throughout. Starting out with “Acid on the Mic 251”, the ten-song album is diverse and finds Xilax carefully channeling his impressive flow in a variety of ways.
As he has previously demonstrated on his releases, Xilax actively refuses to be boxed in by commercial expectations, and instead opts to chart his own course through the oversaturated world of rap music. And it really is refreshing to hear him deliver tracks like the funky “West Side ‘Meet Me’ ft. Mayila and Slapstck aka Trix and the aggressive “Hip Hop Make Me Feel Great” ft. Zeques, instead of simple recycled trap songs.
Of course Xilax can turn out catchy mainstream sounds if he wants, which promptly does on the brilliantly soulful and mellifluous “No Friend” ft. Mayila and Slapstck aka Trix. This is probably one of his most accessible tracks ever.
The lyrics on “Dark Side” finds Xilax dishing out raw thoughts, almost in a stream-of-consciousness manner. Paying no attention to what people want from him, Xilax packs in fantastic wordplay and rhymes on “Black City”.
Thematically, “I Can’t Breathe” ft. Charikleia Mari Amersa, is an interpretation of the racial burdens Xilax has been grappling with since being a kid. Only now his vision is clearer, and he is able to see and recognize where the prejudiced system is coming from. As far as verses go, there may not be a single bad one on the entire record.
Some of the most memorable come on “West Side Made Me”, where we see Xilax adopting various tones over a banging boom and bap beat. The thing that really strikes me about Xilax, as a rapper, is his rhythm.
He always comes through with a flow that interacts with the beat and has a fantastic sense of attack. This is evident on both “Huntin’ Ya Funeral” and “Monster”. ”Young Xilax Boom Bap Rap Vol 1” feels like a solid release from an emcee establishing himself as a rising power.
Instagram @ https://www.instagram.com/realxilax/ @realxilax
Twitter @ https://www.twitter.com/kyubi251 @kyubi251
SoundCloud @ https://soundcloud.com/alix-lemire @alix-lemire
Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/18qg7B9KX5Nq4EdklVzySw @ Xilax
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvBg95acNCyXKA9YIKfE2Sw?sub_confirmation=1 @xilax251