Photo Credit to Yung Xander on Soundcloud Article by Megan Vineberg
Alexander Collins, known professionally as Yung Xander, is, to many, an emo rapper but so much more than that. Garnering over 30,000 monthly listeners on Spotify, I’m impressed with how quickly he’s climbed the charts, passing local talents. His taste in music as a listener bleeds through to his own writing throughout the record, attracting listeners regardless of personal preference. Yung Xander first came onto the scene with his debut, Singles, Vol. 1, back in April of last year. He’s back at it again with a mixtape, “What Went Wrong,” officially released June 25 to all streaming platforms. Upon first listen, I was immersed in the sound. I noticed there was a newer sense of awareness as well as strength coming off this record compared to his previous work. He dives deep in self-exploration, upon reflection of past experiences.
“Hold On” is a track that acknowledges a vicious cycle of chasing things and people to his detriment, and realizing the effect it has. “I let you fuck up my life for way too long/I don’t know why I always hold on to you” is a line that particularly stuck out to me because it’s quite universal in theme. We’ve all been there, where we see only what we want to see in people. “Hold On” is the mirror of that, looking back on a situation and asking yourself how you didn’t see it. “Fine” is a track that has the listener coming up for air as it becomes clear that people don’t change, our perception of them does. “Don’t hit my line/You were always the type to only come around when I was high,” he says. As you listen, the sense of needing to escape becomes stronger until finally, at the end, he leaves. “Get It,” explores turning the pain of rejection on its head and using it for fuel.
The thing I notice I liked most about this mixtape is that it stays true to who Yung Xander really is as an artist. He readily embraces his roots of a pop-punk sound with some hip hop thrown in for good measure. What Went Wrong, is open and honest without being cheesy or overdone. If you haven’t heard of Yung Xander, think Lil Peep, Blink 182, Sum 41 with some melodic intros, and very artistic clips of popular movies and shows embedded in. Truthfully, Yung Xander doesn’t fit into one specific genre at all. He stretches out across many, expanding his reach. The main themes on this mixtape cross between moments of clarity and melancholy over what’s now been realized. What Went Wrong cuts straight to the heart of the matter—engaging in toxic relationships, seemingly in search of something more meaningful. “In my eyes, I’m just trying to find myself,” sums it up perfectly on “Forget Me.”
His music and social media: