Before XXXTentacion’s death at 20, the controversial rapper was preparing the follow-up to his second studio album, ?. John Cunningham, ?’s co-executive producer and frequent XXX collaborator, recently told Genius the status of the Broward County artist’s posthumous album.
“We basically started making this next album right after ? came out,” Cunningham explained. “The songs and the ideas and the vision of it all was done or very close to being done.”
He also revealed that the majority of the remaining work on the project is “getting it mixed or mastered or a certain thing added… The whole idea, the concept, the songs, [all that] was done.”
X signed a new deal with Empire before his death worth $10 million, according to The New York Times. Ghazi Shami, the founder of Empire, explained that “a significant amount of material” was finished for the ? follow-up, although a clause in X’s previous contract with Universal Music Group reportedly meant his next album couldn’t come out before October.
A substantial amount of posthumous material from X’s camp has released in the last few weeks. Lil Wayne featured XXXTentacion on Tha Carter V’s “Don’t Cry” on Friday, September 28. During the same week, Kanye West previewed a song from Yandhi for The Fader, which has a contribution from the “SAD!” rapper.
“Falling Down,” featuring Lil Peep and X, was also met with fan outcry. The song was initially supposed to feature iLoveMakonnen, but XXXTentacion wanted to be part of the song after Peep’s passing.
“It came together from me and Lil Peep’s session in London when we were working on our album there…X had heard the snippet on YouTube and he wanted to be a part of it and he recorded some parts to it,” iLoveMakonnen shared. “[X] ended up passing away, and his mom and his family were reaching out to Peep’s management and everybody saying the song was something that [X] was very passionate about before he passed and he would really like to be a part of this and [asked] if we could make this happen. So I was like, ‘Sure.'”
XXXTentacion faced various charges including “aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness-tampering,” before his death. The various abuse allegations leveled against him have not yet hindered high-profile artists from wanting to release their work with him posthumously.