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EP Review: XL Hope- ‘Self Motivated Motivation’

Rising Maryland underground hip-hop artist XL Hope has returned with a new EP titled ‘Self Motivated Motivation’. A series of five vivid, grand songs that do well to capture the rapper’s sharp lyrical ability and intense focus on the mic, this EP continues his run of charismatic offerings providing inspirational content for listeners. Expanding even further upon the confident command of the microphone and verbose flow he has displayed on previous releases, ‘Self Motivated Motivation’ finds the XL Hope at his most energized and poised.

“Rise” sets the tone for the project aptly, with dry, driving percussion, rich bass and glitchy vocal samples. Atop the adrenaline-fuelled, fast-paced production, XL Hope delivers a series of blistering bars that define his lyrically-focused, ambitious style. Next, the emotive, bittersweet “Stay Solid” brings in dream-like pianos and wistful vocal samples atop bouncy percussion. Here, he presents some of his most vivid verses, detailing his path to success atop the powerful production. An inspiring offering that is raw in sound, “Stay Solid” provides an album highlight that draws the listener further into the EP’s atmosphere.

Lead single “I Won’t Stop” finds glorious strings winding atop clattering, pumping drums, creating a sweeping, electrifying soundscape for Hope’s strong verses. He attacks the beat with a barrage of bar-heavy verses, before dropping into a memorable, infectious refrain. The DeeReal-assisted “The Vision” encapsulates the EP’s sound towards the culmination of the project, with shimmering, elegant vocal samples, crisp percussion, and heavy bass. Hope and DeeReal showcase an organic chemistry as they trade evocative verses back and forth, displaying character-rich lyricism and nimble flows. Finally, the EP closes out with “Visualizing Success”, which makes for an expansive and grand outro to the project. Here, glowing keys drift atop pounding drums and infectious bass. Delivering some of his most powerful verses yet, Hope closes the project out on a high note, with evocatively personal verses atop the uplifting instrumentation.

The latest from Maryland artist XL Hope, ‘Self Motivated Motivation’ showcases the rapper’s sharply-crafted lyrical abilities and powerful flows across 5 inspiring songs. On ‘Self Motivated Motivation’, the listener is immersed in this EP’s uplifting, engaging sound as they try to catch every bar from Hope.

Listen to ‘Self Motivated Motivation’ now:

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