Everybody dies in their nightmare




Ten seconds of soft, melodious vocal by the underrated yet adored R&B artist Shiloh Dynasty leads the listener to a part of XXXTentacion’s ‘Collection of nightmares, thoughts and real life situations’ – just how the artist himself identifies his album ‘17’.

Often referred to as X, Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy grew up in Florida and began his journey as a Soundcloud artist after being released from a youth correction center. He released his debut album ‘17’ on the August of 2017, which landed as No. 2 on the Billboard 200. The track which paved his way to this stardom was ‘Jocelyn Flores’, a song which granted XXXTentacion with the recognition that was due. On the album cover, it reads ‘My sanity left me when I was 17’, which is why he has a tattoo of the number on a side of his face as well.

‘Everybody Dies in Their Nightmare’ is R&B music flirting with rap, with the mellifluous and euphonic instrumental created by Potsu. Shiloh’s vocal contribution to the track consists of the lyrical repetition of the words ‘Don’t go to sleep, don’t go, stay up with me’, which may imply that this is the voice of a loved one telling X not to give up, but to live – assumed since X’s songs in this album are hinged on depression and death, more so simply because sleep is often used poetically as a metaphor of death.

The chorus, sung by X, addresses how one can feel trapped in their own mind or in a lie due to sadness. X said after the publishing of the album, ‘I realised the pain is and always will be a cycle when I was 17’. Following this, the chorus starts with X’s take on how being in love is the only time he feels pain, perhaps the pain of either finding or losing himself. X also expresses the state of being solitary is a detriment for him, for his thoughts always lead him to damage. In the end of the verse, X uses ‘traffic’ as a metaphor, conveying that he doesn’t go out in order to prevent getting caught up in traffic – seemingly the traffic of thoughts or the traffic of reality. Shiloh’s airily melodic outro leaves the listener with a fragment of X’s mind.

XXXTentacion may soon fall hard on the rap culture kitsch appeal due to his new albums ‘Bad Vibes’ and ‘Revenge’, but the album ‘17’ divulges listeners with a portion of his raw self. A line from the album which received ample amount of adoration was, ‘Hello, from the dark side in, does anybody here want to be my friend?’, and acutely betrays the position X was really in when he wrote the songs. ‘Everybody Dies in Their Nightmare’ is the one song from this heart-stirring album that every person can relate to during a spur of sadness. When X said, ‘I put my all into this, in the hopes that it will help cure or at least numb your depression’, he really left no stone unturned to leave the world in adoration for the lyrical representation of his heart.



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