Following the official release of his latest projct acngl, we caught up with Tennessee rapper and artist Xenith to find out more about the music, his journey so far, and his plans for the future. Here’s how it went.
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Hey, great to chat with you – thanks for the opportunity! To introduce things, where are you based right now, and how would you describe the music you make?
I’m born, raised, and currently based in Chattanooga, TN. As for describing the type of music I make, first of all, labels suck, especially for music. At the end of the day I’m making what I want to make, you know? But, if I had to put a label on my current work in 2023, I would say it’s hip-hop with electronic influences.
Tell me about the project acngl – Why this title, and what does this collection of tracks represent for you?
acngl is really important to me. So acngl stands for archangel, which in simple form just means an angel of high rank. You will find this word in Christian angelology a lot. But simply put, “archangel” to me means a divine angel.
acngl is also the name of my clothing brand which is currently in the works. So acngl as a whole is really important in my life right now. That’s the meaning of acngl.
The 8 tracks on acngl were all made over the course of a year or so. What do these tracks mean to me? Well, there is a lot that can be said about that, but a big part of it is honestly just the love I have for my friends.
Shout out to my people, especially Jason22k, Bello, Crybabycam, and some other personal friends. They helped me a shit ton on this album. acngl definitely wouldn’t exist without my friends. Got so much respect for those guys.
What inspired the track stones, and why did you choose to open with this one?
Stones is really just talking about my struggle with drugs and relationships in my life. The song starts with the lyrics: “She love the way that I glow, Grabbing on all of my clothes” and later in the hook I talk about the opposite of that. “Say that you love me, you don’t” Basically, in Stones, I’m saying “I need to step back from girls who are going to fuck me up mentally, and focus on my bag”.
That just felt appropriate as an opener, that’s where I’m at right now in life. No time for games, just making my money, and trying to enjoy life with my people.
Do you freestyle when you write or preconceive what you want to talk about, and do you ever worry about revealing too much of your personal truth?
Definitely a lot of freestyling in my process. I’d personally classify it more as punching in. But, of course, there are ideas I have that I will write down for later use.
I’m always writing in notepads, or my notes app, ideas or lyrics I have in my head, like constantly. Probably 10% of what I write actually makes it onto a track. But it’s good to continue to exercise your mind in that way. Anything I write is never a waste in my opinion.
And about revealing too much of my personal self? That’s never been an issue. Music in a big way is an outlet for me. Sometimes it gets personal, sometimes it gets dark, that’s all part of it.
Which lyric from your latest work stands out as some of your best writing, and why?
Some of my favorite lyrics from this album are: “Pill got me rolling like stones.” That’s such sick wordplay haha, shout out my friend for that.
“Why you looking around like you just spawned?” That shit is so funny to me. You know in multiplayer games where you just spawn in and you look around to get a grasp of where you are, where your teammates may be, etc. You ever see someone just looking out of place? Like, say you at a party or some shit. A guy is just standing in the corner, looking around like he just spawned in. That’s me, ahahaha.
“She wanna get straight to my bedroom Like baby, I don’t even think I wanna talk” This shit has happened to me so many times, and it’s a shitty feeling. Most times I rather just be by myself.
What do you listen to or consume in order to inspire this style of creativity?
I listen to most genres. The stuff I’m currently listening to right now is keltiey, Lil Uzi Vert, Playboi Carti, Pi’erre Bourne, fourteendays, and all my friends that make music. They are sick as fuck and inspire me a lot.
Has your approach to making music changed in the years since releasing your very first original track?
Yeah, a lot. I actually know what I’m doing now. I also have a lot more fun, and take the right things seriously now. When I first started making music it was stressful. It is still sometimes obviously, but I feel a lot more comfortable with my craft now.
What’s your biggest ambition as an artist?
Expand my image, meet more people who make music, and just continue to put out good, quality music that I like.
If you could sit down for a chat with anyone at all, past or present, who would you choose – and what would you ask them about?
Any one of my many friends that have passed away. I miss them dearly and think of them daily.
Do you perform live much around Chattanooga, and if so – what can fans expect from a live show?
Not much at the moment, but more things are coming from that department. But when I do, what you can expect is great music, great vibes, and a lot of interaction from me.
I love talking to the crowd, making sure everyone is enjoying the music, and having fun. At that moment, it’s like me and everyone in that room are the only ones, and we are just here to vibe the fuck out, you know?
That kind of stuff is so dope, and needed in life. Shit gets stressful, it’s good to let go and ball out.
Is there anything else we should know?
Check out my new album, look forward to new singles dropping soon, and be on the lookout for more clothing pieces dropping at: xenithclothing.com.
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