The Rundown: Xavier Clark
Indianapolis’ Xavier Clark is not someone that you can nail down; he refuses to let his sound be defined. Instead he prides himself on the eccentricity that he brings with him on every track; never sounding the same, always keeping the listener on the edge as to what he will do next.
When I first listened to Xavier Clark, the twenty-two year old MC from Indianapolis, I couldn’t pin where he was from, or who he sounded like. On almost everyone of his track’s I felt as though I was listening to an entirely different artists. With that being said, it was still extremely apparent that Clark’s sound is heavily influenced by Travis Scott, he uses the “Yeah!” adlib for starters. The song “Block” feels like a mash-up of Scott’s “Apple Pie,” and Lil Durk’s “Dis Ain’t What You Want,” with the keys that sound like a church organ, the delivery that perfectly emulates Scott’s, but with more substance, lyrically, paired with the tenacity and swagger of a Durk track. Regardless, Clark is able to distance himself from Scott on tracks like “Way Up,” featuring Scotty Apex where Clark performs over a woozy trap track that features neon-colored keys and a steady bouncy beat. In these instances he shows that he can get away from those comparisons by placing himself beside brighter textures whereas Scott has almost always relied on the darker side. The comparisons to Scott also end when you address the two’s abilities to create a lyrical verse, Clark is clearly heads and shoulders above Scott on this measure.
I think what I find most intriguing about Clark is his ability to switch up his cadence and delivery to match the sounds that are behind him. It’s something a lot of rappers just don’t do anymore; they find a sound that plays well with the audience and stick with it. If Clark’s eclectic delivery style is due to a lack of his own unique style, it’s not apparent, he sounds just as well polished over a slow moving track like, “Bohemian Goddess,” as he does on his more bombastic songs like, “Look at Me Now.” His lyrics involve the things you’d expect a twenty-two year old to think about; chasing girls, smoking weed with your homies, dreams of fame and success, and just having a good time. Not exactly unique in the new era of rap, but what makes him unique is his inability to be comparable to anyone else coming out right now. As I said before he is a rap game chameleon, color changing, going from darker textures akin to Travis Scott to lighter ones like Lil Uzi Vert. His own individual voice shines through on ethereal tracks like, “Black Lambo,” produced by Lord Fubu. He’s more than adept at the rapid delivery, but the verbiage seems to fall short in these instances, in contrast when he’s given the slower beats, Clark is able to expand his vocabulary extensively. Clark seems to be at peak performance whenever he’s given a Lord Fubu beat; the typically slower, deconstructed beats let Clark take the spotlight. I say this because I feel like a lot of rappers coming out today seem to hide behind their producers and Clark is no different, but when he decides to be the spotlight, it usually garners him solid tracks.
Xavier Clark is still young, trying to figure out exactly what his sound is, he’s trying to find where he fits in, in the convoluted landscape that is hip-hop. Luckily for Clark, he’s an enigma, and he will be able to find success on whatever road he chooses to take. One thing is for sure, Clark is heading for the stars, which one is the subject of much debate, but hopefully with a few more releases, and hopefully a full length release, we will be able to figure out the exact trajectory of Xavier Clark.
How’s your Modern Life?
My modern life right now is a journey very exciting still figuring out who I am at 22 just living having fun.
Has anyone ever compared you to Travis Scott? If so, how does that make you feel as your own individual artist?
I have had plenty of people compare me to Travis Scott after they hear my music, I take it as a compliment that you would put my music on that level. Travis is probably one of my biggest influences but I wanna make my own lane.
What is it like trying to make it in the rap game in a place that isn’t like a L.A or an Atlanta, or Houston?
It's extremely hard, you have to work twice as hard as anyone else there's not a lot of exposure out here. So perfecting the music is key I honestly think we work a lot harder at our craft than other places because it is so hard out here.
Who are your musical influences?
My musical influences would be Kanye west, Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Travis Scott, Curren$y, Dom Kennedy's yellow album, Casey Veggies "Life Changes mixtape, Notorious Big, Future, Drake, Pharrell, Rick Ross, PND, Tyler the Creator, Big Sean I listened to most of them when they were dropping mixtapes and shit.
What do you think makes your music unique? What makes you, you?
What makes my music unique I talk about real situations that happen in my life or what I see in society around me. I put all my emotion in my music, I feel like nowadays you have a lot of characters who aren't true to themselves and one thing I can say is that my music is really me.
What made you want to pursue a career in music?
I've been around music my whole life I just didn't know it until I decided to do music myself. All my friends use to hotbox and freestyle in the car and it just turned into a passion.
If you could spit over anybody's beat, who would it be? If you could work with any other rapper who would it be?
It would probably be any 808 Mafia beat I love their production, specifically I'd like to rap over Future's "We Never Gone Lose" track shit was raw.
If I could work with anyone in the world it would be Kanye
"I feel like nowadays you have a lot of characters who aren't true to themselves and one thing I can say is that my music is really me."
What was your favorite album growing up? Song?
Lil Wayne The carter 3, and 3 peat from that same album.
What would you say to someone who was thinking about entering the music business?
Go to school.
What is your ultimate goal as an artist, and how do you hope to achieve it?
Bring people together and have a good time I just wanna make that feel good music