Xxxtentacion’s Bad Vibes Forever Release Party: An Unforgettable Story
It wasn’t until late Wednesday night that I received a phone call from Juno Morales—founder of FloridasOwn1K—inviting the UNDERVIEWS team to cover the release party for Xxxtentacion’s 4th (2nd postmortem) studio album Bad Vibes Forever.
Obviously, there was no way I could decline this invitation.
Although I had high expectations, little did I know this would become one of the most unforgettable entertainment-related nights of my life thus far, similarly to when we went to X’s first show out of jail in 2017.
In less than 24 hours our car was loaded and we were on our way. Samuel, Jesus, and I were on our way to witness havoc.
I was not aware of any of the acts, events, or installations at the event; not sure if this was due to my lack of due diligence or an unintrusive and mysterious marketing scheme. This made the event all the more exciting. Jesus and I could not stop talking about what to expect. We’d heard rumors of performances from Rick Ross, Trippie Red, Lil Wayne, and other major names to find out we’d be blessed with the presence of the best Members Only set I’ve ever seen and a surprise visit from Playboi Carti (and Diplo?).
We were not disappointed.
Our arrival was just as stressful and anxiety-inducing as it always is for me… communicating with the organizers to make sure we would be well taken care of after a more than a two-hour drive to be there, making sure we don’t piss anyone off or cross any lines we’re not allowed to, etc. Juno made this a breeze.
Upon arriving, it took us about an hour to make it into the venue between finding parking and getting our press passes. Once inside we were jaw-dropped by the spectacular setting achieved by the event’s organization. Albeit a major-label-sized event, EMPIRE did nothing but impress us with the amenities and preparation for the event. The lighting, installations, venue, and crowd were ready to make this a great night.
The venue was covered in Xxxtentaction memorabilia, from life-sized statues of X himself to large murals with artwork to accompany the new release. It was very nice. Cocktail waiters (is that what they’re called?) running around handing out free shrimp tacos and other elaborate foods made us crack a good smile: tonight we wouldn’t starve!
— UNDERVIEWS (@UNDERVIEWSx) December 6, 2019
Being in Miami for Art Basel week, one of the busiest weeks of the year, the amount of celebrity presence was shocking—it was a Disneyland for culture trend-watchers like us. We noticed Matt Ox and his mother discussing with security about their access to the show. This scene hit me: we most likely would have the chance to meet some of our artist idols during this spectacle of a night.
The vibes were indescribable. Violent and turnt, yet passive and lovable. The people were ready to rage but most remained collected and sappy due to the nature of the event—a celebration in the name of an untimely passed legend.
Taco from Odd Future was on the tables upon arrival, but the crowd was small and more interested in exploring what the venue had to offer. They were doing live tattoos, selling exclusive merch, and viewing all the X installations spread around the park.
Up next was Diplo, who we’d awkwardly bumped into minutes before. I’ve got to be honest, I wouldn’t have recognized Diplo if I was paid to do so, but Jesus—with his extensive experience in EDM festivals and rap alike—immediately pointed him out. We laughed. It was quite the surprise if I do say so myself, just like many of the features on Bad Vibes Forever. Nonetheless, Diplo ignited the crowd with his untouchable ability to spin sounds. Alongside YesJulz on stage, they debuted an unreleased track by Diplo and X. The crowd loved it. There was no room for collective hating on Diplo despite his distant affiliation to the fanbase present at the show.
We proceeded to mingle around the event, bumping into and talking with ‘underground legends’ from the likes of Robb Banks, Craig Xen, Trippie Redd, Yung Bans, YNW BSlime (YNW Melly’s young brother), and others. Most were just mingling around the crowd. We were fucking excited.
I had the chance to speak with Craig Xen briefly. Sometime in 2017, we’d organized an interview with Xen. Upon driving to the agreed location in Tampa before his show, he reached out to let us know he’d missed his flight and would not be performing or completing the interview that day. We were devastated, but we lucked out and go to see Ski Mask that night. Craig laughs about this when mentioned and immediately recals “calling his bro Ski Mask that night.”
Finally, it was time for the first act to hit the stage. Unsurprisingly, Miami legends Members Only were the first to hit the stage. This was their best performance ever. We’ve seen Members Only across the entire state many times—nothing compared to this night. The crowd of X fans accepted them entirely. They really gave it everything they could to make this their best set ever. A full-length video will be released shortly following the release of this article and it will be updated with a link.
— UNDERVIEWS (@UNDERVIEWSx) December 6, 2019
Coolie Cut and Kinsoul were the first to hit the stage. I won’t even bother narrating here. Just watch the video. It was insanity.
Then came the big surprise. No one knew who’d be hitting the stage next. We were lucky to be in a private section near the stage, and as soon as Members Only walked off the production crew immediately started to stress about a special guest who was about to hit the stage. It seemed as if he had arrived late because the production crew was highly stressed out about making sure time marks were met.
We had no idea Playboi Carti would be the next to hit the stage. Although he probably shouldn’t have, snoopy Jesus was able to get a picture of the setlist (pictured below) from on stage. It was not viewable from our position, but Zoos used his iOS gimbal to conveniently place the camera at an angle that allowed us to view the paper with the setlist on it. Immediately, I tweeted this.
— Sebastian Alsina (@youngseebi) December 6, 2019
Seconds later, the king hit the stage. The crowd roared. It was a spectacle. Playboi Carti was out.
His performance wasn’t too enthusiastic—but the crowd didn’t care much. His selection of songs is just too relevant and memorable. Everyone knows the lyrics to his songs so it resonated extremely well with the crowd. A full-length video will be released shortly following the release of this article and this will be updated with a link.
Finally, they finally began to play Bad Vibes Forever. The crowd was much less rowdy, and much more remanent. They played a very emotionally driven short-film with various clips from epic moments from X’s career. It was really sad. It was the moment everyone was waiting for but didn’t want to face. There are not many words to describe how the crowd felt unless you’ve been in those crowds before.
At the time, the clock was around 1-2 AM. Time to drive home. We’re more than 2 hours away from Naples after all.