• S
    • M
    • L
    • XL
    • XXL
      • XXL
      • XL
      • L
      • M
      • S

XV, Zero Heroes

XV must be doubly motivated as an emcee coming from Wichita, Kansas, a city without much presence in the rap game. His latest mixtape, Zero Heroes assembles an impressive array of talent (Just Blaze, Pusha T, Kendrick Lamar), but the Warner Bros. signee’s writing skills and versatility keep it cohesive.

Vizzy is raw and playful on club bangers like the Pusha T featured “Awesome” and “All For Me,” the latter of which is backed by a great Vado verse and chopped horn loops. He turns introspective on “Wichita,” retelling his coming of age over Just Blaze’s slow building beat. Mixtape highlight “Pictures On My Wall” narrates with brutal honesty the story of a potentially suicidal young XV driven by pictures of personal heroes posted in his room over plinky piano.

Zero Heroes is largely produced by frequent collaborator Seven and spans an exciting variety of genres: the production runs from J .Cole’s Smashing Pumpkins loop on “Smallville” to poppy on “The Last Hero” and electro on “Swervin.” However, the tape does runs a bit long, with a couple unnecessary cameos, and could benefit from better sequencing. Nonetheless, Zero Heroes’ best songs present a strong case for the Kansas emcee as one to watch. For those that slept, consider ZH the wake-up call. —Aaron Matthews

  • thinker

    still wondering how dude didnt make it on the freshman cover AGAIN. personally i think this is his best tape so far.

  • Mr.MoeBtches

    What the Hell? No Cover AND only XL rating?!?!! They bullsh**ed on the cover thing TWICE and he deserved a XXL rating. This is why I’m not renewing my subscription

  • JeremyWard

    He is better then this years and last years and the year before that and so on and so on when it comes to Top 10 freshman, he is the best rapper to come out in a while i think so he needs a XXL

  • JustAFanOfMusic

    I think XXL rated him right… you guys are just being nut-riders, get off the guy’s scrotum.

    it was a great mixtape, but the beats weren’t what I hoped for… and the tape wasn’t too original.

  • heep hop

    Great mixtape, beats and feauture were all tight. i think he sending a message that its time people finally noticed him. Freshmen? yes.

    Highlights : “Pictures On My Wall”
    Disappointment: ” Swervin’”

    XL

  • http://xxlmag.com Akers_L7

    As a Squarian i can say this is the right rating. One problem that i have is that originality should be at least XL. I mean seriously, name one rapper that has used a JPop/JRock sample. Another problem is that for three straight years XXL, 3 straight years, you have curved away from XV for that top 10 Freshman list. I mean seriously put him on!

  • http://www.facebook.com/L.Q.ENT L.Q.

    I think the features and topics he rapped about were very original. The rating for beats was accurate and lyrics were amazing. I’d say this tape was mildly underrated.

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