X.O.: "Realmatic" Mixtape

Author: Jian

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Hell got a few degrees cooler the day Wale headlined BrightestYoungThings‘ Inauguration party, the emcee even proclaimed that the event was “the most white people that ever been to one of my shows.” Beyond being a breakthrough performance, it was also an inkling that perhaps D.C. hip-hop was on the precipice of making it big.

X.O. — a name I honestly was not familiar with until this morning — is proof positive that our home-brewed rappers are coming into a sound all their own. Of course, I write this as a complete newbie, but listening to his Realmatic mixtape — which dropped via zShare yesterday — has made me a believer. Indeed, this is one of the realest albums I have heard in a while. Mixing go-go-inspired beats with references to Georgia Ave., Georgetown shopping, and observations on a rapidly-gentrifying city, Realmatic is as raw and meaty as a slow-cooking pork slab at The Rib Pit.

His flow synergizes with the beats creating a head-bob inducing effervescence, and he claims he is too street to ever be hipster, and I am inclined to take X.O. at his word, not once does he come off as grandiose — he’s merely telling us how it is. Plus, with backing from local heavy-hitters like streetwear guru Underdog the DJ, Best Kept Secret, and Tabi Bonney, it’s high time this hometown hero gets his due.

To commemorate the mixtape’s release. MAJOR is throwing a release party/performance tonight from 8-10 p.m.

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