By Jacob Ezra
At the beginning of this year, Massachusetts artist Jxylen appeared on our platform with the release of his debut album, PROJECT MAYHEM. We were captivated by the record’s left-field, layered sonics and pensive lyricism, which often raised concerns about today’s society, criticizing its constructs in a thought-provoking manner. Adding four tracks to the original version of the album, Jxylen now returns with the deluxe version in PROJECT MAYHEM: FIGHT CLUB EDITION, tacking on a set of poignant songs that continue to build upon his cerebral style and darkly atmospheric sound
The additional tracks in question include “STILL TIRED”, “ALIVE!”, “GOD BLESS AMERICA”, and “SKT 3”, featuring Dayvii and KENZO.. These four cuts blend cathartic frustration with well-thought out, frequently lucid lyricism in a way that sets Jxylen apart among many rappers occupying the underground space. A poignant cocktail of powerful aggression and reflective vulnerability are a part of what makes these tracks so memorable, as they take on an emotional richness and depth. In particular, “ALIVE!”, produced by AUR, exemplifies these qualities as Jxylen attacks the ethereal instrumental with much ferocity in his delivery, while uttering highly affecting lines like “when the trauma’s running deep/ so quick to bleed on your own blessings”. “GOD BLESS AMERICA” blends beautiful strings samples with deep bass, raw percussion, and imposing vocals from Jxylen, while he delivers a personal manifesto of sorts with his verses, with lines such as “fuck the world since ’99” capturing the essence of the song’s urgent messaging.
PROJECT MAYHEM: FIGHT CLUB EDITION is an LP that is unafraid to wear its heart on its sleeve and take risks both content-wise and sonically- factors that are often missing from today’s musical landscape. It appears that Jxylen is holding nothing back on the album, rhyming as if the world might end and letting everything off his chest, atop a series of haunting instrumentals that capture this in sound.
Listen to PROJECT MAYHEM: FIGHT CLUB EDITION below: