Dallas-based rapper xBValentine was, perhaps, better equipped than most artists to roll with the chaos introduced by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Good or bad, change always seems to spark inspiration for me,” she said via email. “It helps expand what I already I thought I knew and gives me new experiences to write about.”
That flexibility and willingness to embrace fresh challenges is, in part, responsible for following up Midnight Lane, her 2019 full-length debut, with the staggering run of singles she’s dropped over the last 11 months, which include collaborations with Baby Bash (“Vibe with You”), Bone Thugs-N-Harmony (“Forgiveness”), Paul Wall (“Low Key”) and Dizzy Wright (“Drifting”).
“It was important for me to stay as consistent as possible in regards to releasing new music,” xBValentine said. “I wanted to focus solely on building my Spotify up and keeping my name in the loop. The best way to do that was to release singles consistently in a strategical manner.”
She’ll help cap off this productive year by performing her inaugural headlining set Tuesday, Nov. 30 at Haltom City’s Haltom Theater, with a total of 10 local acts tapped as support, including CJ Top Off, Ren the Third and Kozzy.
The 24-year-old Georgetown, Texas native has embraced her new residence — “I always felt like Dallas was a home away from home,” she says — and foresees a bright future for herself here, not least because of the hip-hop infrastructure already in place.
“The artists here all root for each other and it’s rare to find that in a lot of places,” xBValentine said. “The creativity here is limitless and the talent is unreal. There’s so many artists here that deserve all the recognition!”
Even as 2021 winds down, xBValentine isn’t losing focus. She’s intent on maintaining or even increasing momentum: “More singles, more shows and maybe even a project in 2022. [I’m] gonna keep working and just stay consistent,” she said.
But what lies behind all the work, keeping up the grind and continuing to push herself? While accolades, fame and a step to the next level might be the logical assumptions, xBValentine offers a different reason for keeping up the pace she does.
“I want [listeners] to feel what I feel,” she said. “That’s my biggest thing. I pour nothing but emotions into my music. I want the listeners to be able to not only put themselves in my shoes, but also relate in their own way.”
Preston Jones is a freelance writer and regular contributor to KXT.
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