XL the Beast

When you have the moniker XL the Beast, you’re setting some lofty expectations. Then you drop an album titled ‘Heavy Hands‘ which features some of the games most gifted emcees – including Sean Price & Rockness Monsta of Heltah Skeltah, Slaine (La Coka Nostra), Skyzoo, Reks, Shabaam Sahdeeq, Esoteric (Czarface), Big Shug (Gang Starr Foundation) etc – you better be able to back that up…. Great news, XL the Beast has delivered a brilliant, hardcore, balance album that has skyrocketed to the top portion of the playlist.

This started fifteen years ago when I was in fact a different person. Since then so much has taken place that it’s almost like a time capsule. There is music from the beginning right up to the current days. Its a decade and a half of experience, growth, successes, and failures” says XL.

Even with such a lengthy writing and recording process, the music itself is timeless, the album is cohesive and complete and it hits all the right lanes with it’s content. There is some real passion for the craft and culture embedded in ‘Heavy Hands‘.

The production is fantastic too. Largely handled by The Arcitype but with contributions from Domingo, Teddy Roxpin and others, every track has a killer audio fabric for XL to smash on. With the delivery and flow XL the Beast possesses, he needs really big, powerful production – even with some of the more commercially-skewed numbers. You won’t find any washed out, minimalist style joints on the album. It’s big drums, heavy guitar riffs and all head banging / nodding noise that captures your attention.

It needs to be noted that even with the booming production, the gruff delivery, the features from some real hip hop heavyweights – XL the Beast is far from a blunt force object. Lyrically he is razor sharp, dropping jewels on every track and ensuring he is delivering bars that make you think and hit rewind. This 16 track album is a fantastic listen and should be played over and over at loud volume. And keep checking for XL the Beast, because he’s told us there is a LOT of music coming up!

Bangers: Sucker Punch, The Reawakening, Fan of the Week, Wreckage of my Past, Credibility – Remix.

Score: 9.5 / 10. This is a fantastic hip hop album. Really big beats that bang through the speakers and a flow / delivery that is commanding. Lyrically on point, great features and a super 16 track experience. This needs to be on everyone’s Album of the Year list for 2021. Check it out now and report back!

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About The Author

By Brutus Maximus

Founder of Raw Side Hip Hop. Been rocking with the hip hop culture for over 30 years. Love the creativity, authenticity of the art and the culture as a whole. Shout out to the real ones making and supporting true hip hip and the artists who make it!

One thought on “REVIEW | XL the Beast – Heavy Hands”
  1. He’s a force in life to be Reckoned with. The talent I’ve seen since he was young, the person within & who he shows you, is all 100!
    I can say this world is a Better place with him in it….
    Blessed beyond measure!

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