17 is the debut studio album by American rapper XXXTentacion. It was released on August 25, 2017, by Bad Vibes Forever and Empire Distribution. It features 11 tracks and was supported by the lead single "Revenge". 17 is X's second solo commercial project, succeeding the compilation mixtape Revenge, also released in 2017. It includes a guest appearance from Trippie Redd and uncred vocals by Shiloh Dynasty, as well as production from X himself, Nick Mira, Taz Taylor, Dex Duncan, Natra Average, Dub tha Prodigy, and Potsu, among others. The album experiments with a variety of genres, such as emo, indie rock, and lo-fi.
The album polarized critics but fared well commercially, charting at number two on the US Billboard 200 while selling 88,000 units in its first week of sales. It also performed well internationally, charting highly in numerous European countries. In August 2018, two months after XXXTentacion was murdered in Florida, the album was certified Platinum in the US. The album won Favourite Soul/R&B album award at the American Music Awards.
While XXXTentacion was in prison for false imprisonment, witness tampering, and aggravated battery on his alleged pregnant ex-girlfriend, including charges of domestic battery by strangulation placed by the victim, he signed with Empire Distribution on exclusively a distribution deal. Empire Distribution made an official announcement on March 2, 2017, while he was still in prison that his debut album Bad Vibes would be released in spring 2017. Talking to XXL while in prison, XXXTentacion announced 17, I Need Jesus and Members Only, Vol. 3 saying:
I got this really really, really good album called 17. That's more of an alternative, R&B sound. Then I've got this mixtape called I Need Jesus, which is mainly rap and the underground sound I did. So I'm trying to give my fans and anybody that comes in and listens to me everything with the mixtape and album. And then I want to come out with Members Only Vol. 3. People are gonna be really surprised about the shit I drop.
X later reaffirmed the announcement of 17, Revenge, Members Only Vol. 3 and I Need Jesus during an interview with WMIB following his release from prison in March 2017. He later used the app Periscope to talk to his followers and announce the three albums once again.
He later said that 17 would be released after he finished working on Members Only Vol. 3 with his collective, "Members Only". Members Only Vol. 3 was released on June 26, 2017. He began to preview short snippets on his Instagram page that were later taken down, one of the snippets had the caption "Working on a the [sic] album, what do you think?".
Snippets were released showing him in a collaboration with Kodak Black and Juicy J. He later announced via his Snapchat story that the release date for 17 was August 25, 2017. In the same story, he claimed that the album would be different from his previous works and more for people with depression.
X previewed snippets on August 6, 2017, via his Snapchat story. The snippets shown was his iTunes library page with the album being played showcasing a tracklist of 8 songs. He kept his thumb on the feature that showcases the song count on the computer monitor and didn't announce the tracklist as official. The songs showcased in the snippets included "Jocelyn Flores", "Save Me", "Fuck Love" featuring Trippie Redd, "Orlando" and "Ayala (Outro)". XXL's Vernon Coleman called the snippets "very somber". On August 22, 2017, X revealed the official tracklist alongside the final cover for the album. The day before the album's release, the song "Fuck Love" featuring Trippie Redd was uploaded to SoundCloud.
On August 23, 2017, Onfroy posted a short 3.5-second clip of what appeared to be him hanging himself from a tree to his Instagram account. The video circulated much controversy and criticism, and led to rumors that Onfroy had indeed committed suicide. However, many were quick to point out that the video was fake and was a publicity stunt to draw more attention to his upcoming album. This was heavily criticized by the press, with many calling the act an insensitive ploy to draw attention by projecting a message of suicide to a young fanbase.
Later in the day, Onfroy posted another clip to his Instagram, showing more clips of the hanging, but this time elaborating that the clips were a teaser for an upcoming music video. He later offered an explanation of the situation fully and publicly apologized on his Instagram.
The lead single, "Revenge", was released on May 18, 2017, for streaming and digital download, originally titled as "Garrette's Revenge".
Speaking to XXL, X said the album would consist of "an alternative R&B sound". Following the release of his solo mixtape Revenge (2017), and his collaborative mixtape Members Only Vol. 3 (2017), X began to promote the album on Snapchat. Speaking on the sound of 17, X explained that the album was different from his previous works, saying "If you listen to me to get hype or to not think, don't buy this album, this one is for the depression, for the depressed ones, for the lost ones."
17 released on August 25, 2017. The album was barely an LP with a total length of 22 minutes.17 is eleven tracks long with not a single track being longer than three minutes long, abnormal for a studio album. The album takes a different style from X's traditional music which is often considered rap rock and trap music. The album adapts different genres of music, including emo and indie rock to create an unconventional style that fits within the genre of alternative R&B. The singer Shiloh Dynasty is sampled frequently on the album. The album itself is produced mainly by X, Natra Average and Potsu, a producer who generally creates lo-fi instrumental hip hop on the audio distribution platform, SoundCloud.
The lyrics for 17 are based around depressing themes such as suicide, failed relationships and infidelity. It also focuses on events in X's life and involves a lot of internal dialogue.
Meaghan Garvey of Pitchfork stated that 17 "presents X as impressively adept at reconciling his influences into a sound that is shockingly elegant, even at its most unpolished—an album whose disparate influences dissolve in an acid bath of raw feeling." Adrian Glover of Salute Magazine lauded 17, praising it as one of the year's best albums, while also directing praise at XXXTentacion for his originality and resistance to change his style to conform to the traditional radio standards of the hip hop music industry. Jon Powell with Respect. compared 17's use of guitar arrangements to Staind's Aaron Lewis and noted how the album was different from XXXTentacion's breakout single "Look at Me!" Mitch Findlay with HotNewHipHop called the album "different from your average hip hop album" stating its lo-fi aesthetic, experimentation with guitar arrangements and vocals.Uproxx complimented 17's experimentation with different genres and the album's lyrics and narrative though criticized the album's short length and its inability to depict fully what it was trying to convey. Andrew Matson from Mass Appeal described the album as "musically excellent, morally problematic".Pigeons and Planes' Eric Skelton called the album's composition "progressive" and "genre-defiant."
17 was released on August 25, 2017, on iTunes, Spotify and Apple Music for streaming. Following the release, the album was promoted on social media by numerous other artists including Kendrick Lamar,Tory Lanez,9th Wonder and Lil Yachty. The sales projections for the album, managed by the magazine Hits estimated that 17 would collect over 80 million streams and would sell 74-79,000 album-equivalent units, including 16–18,000 pure sales.
In the United States, 17 debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 with 87,000 album-equivalent units, of which 18,000 were pure sales.17 dropped down to No. 3 on the Billboard 200 for its second week of release with 51,275 total album equivalent units sold. In its third week, 17 fell to No. 6 with 40,100 album-equivalent units sold.17 had sold 313,000 album-equivalent units by October 12, 2017, dropping to No. 12 in the same week.
Seven songs—"Jocelyn Flores", "Revenge", "Fuck Love", "Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares", "Depression & Obsession", "Save Me" and "Carry On"—debuted in the Billboard Hot 100 at numbers 31, 77, 41, 54, 91, 94 and 95 respectively, with "Jocelyn Flores" becoming XXXTentacion's highest charting song since "Look at Me", which peaked at 31 on September 16, 2017. Three songs—"Jocelyn Flores", "Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares" and "Fuck Love"—debuted in the top 100 of the UK Singles Chart, at numbers 56, 88 and 99 respectively. "Jocelyn Flores" peaked at 39 on the UK Singles Chart.
Following XXXTentacion's death, 17 re-entered the Billboard 200 at number seven, earning 55,000 units, with ? also re-entering the top ten.Rolling Stone reported that 17 "hit the charts with no record label besides his own imprint, no radio play and a near-total press blackout."
^"Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201735 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved September 5, 2017.