“3 AM Freestyle” by XXXTentacion

XXXTentacion and Ski Mask the Slump God were two homeys who sort of grew into professional rap musicians together. But that is not to say that things were always all gravy between the two of them once they blew up. 

For instance, this particular track (“3 Am Freestyle”), according to its official Genius explanation, serves as an apology from X to Ski Mask. And the reason he is compelled to apologize was because the two of them got into some type of altercation during a birthday event for the latter. And considering that X is in fact apologizing, obviously the vocalist at hand feels as if he was in the wrong.

But said apology is only touched upon relatively briefly, in the middle of the track’s singular verse and in the outro verse. Rather what the song primarily consists of is XXXTentacion spazzing out. 

Verily he appears to evoke the spirit of Tupac, unapologetically dissing rivals by name.  But beyond that he also elaborates on personal family issues. Indeed these days, many a track may be labeled as a “freestyle”. But this song genuinely reads as one, i.e. a reflection of what is going on in the rapper’s head at the moment as opposed to general, disjointed topics per se.

Song’s Consistent Theme

In fact there is a consistent theme permeating throughout this track. And that is, once again, X’s hatred and total disrespect for his enemies. Also as noted earlier, he namedrops the individuals whom his ire is most directed towards. 

He uses their local names, and as such the internet has not been able to ascertain all of whom he is referring to. However, there is one individual and one clique, respectively “Nora” and “V2”, who are recognizable.

“Nora” is said to be another Florida rapper by the name of Nyora Spouse who has recorded quite a few tracks alongside XXXTentacion. Apparently the two of them had some type of falling out circa 2014. And that is not only manifest in this song but also another track X dropped with the Slump God called “F–k V2” (2014). 

And as for “V2”, that apparently is the name of some type of crew which Nora is or was a part of. Just to note, the other characters whom XXXTentacion disses directly in 3 Am are named “Andre”, “EJ” and “PC”. The former two are also believed to be associated with Nyora Spouse. 

So all things considered, one can postulate that whatever happened at Ski Mask’s birthday party between him and X also had these figures involved. But even pushing that theory aside, it can be gathered that the thesis sentiment of this track is XXXTentacion possessing zero regard for his enemies.

Autobiographical Lyrics

And yes, as noted earlier the song does deviate for a while, where the rapper becomes more autobiographical. For instance, he alludes to the fact that he was once incarcerated (or more specifically prior to this track in juvenile detention) and that he only notices “Blacks in the cell”, “no Whites”. 

So this song perhaps marks one of the rare cases in X’s catalog where he touches upon the subject of racism.

Then he goes on to recount his respective relationships with the members of his nuclear family. 

X states that his moms is “mad”, most likely due to the fact that he was a bad boy who was always in trouble. His father also “ain’t proud”, i.e. is ashamed of him. Meanwhile the rapper states flat out that his sister ‘hates’ him.  And moreover he has a brother whom he “don’t even know”. 

All of these assertions are meant to illustrate how X’s life is less-than-ideal, frustrating even. And this leads to his first acknowledgement of ‘f—ing up his homey’s birthday’, i.e. that of Ski Mask the Slump God. 

So perhaps he in recounting his sad family life, he is looking for some type of sympathy from Ski. And/or X can be alluding to why he is such a volatile individual, as displayed throughout this song, in the first place.

Conclusion

So at the end of the day, we know that the existence of this track was prompted by XXXTentacion’s unacceptable actions at Slump God’s birthday party. 

Indeed “3 AM Freestyle” was officially released the day after on what would have been Ski Mask’s 18th birthday. But we can also safely presume that said actions, even though they’re not elaborated on at all, were prompted by someone(s) pissing X off.  Indeed they did so effectively that even come the following day, he is still inclined to basically level death threats against them.

When was “3 AM Freestyle” released?

This song dates back to 2014, being officially released on 19 April of that year. Its online presence was by and large deleted, and “3 AM Freestyle” remained more or less unheard for almost a decade. Then in early-March 2021 it made its way back online. And that time around, apparently in the wake of XXXTentacion’s death, fans embraced it.

XXXTentacion (1998-2018) was a rapper from Florida who was gunned down at the tender age of 20 during an armed robbery. He was a successful – and troubled – musician even before passing away. 

And as with most-popular artist who die prematurely, his overall popularity can be said to have even increased significantly in the aftermath of his murder. Indeed two posthumous XXXTentacion albums were released within a year and-a-half of his death, 2018’s Skins and 2019’s Bad Vibes Forever. And the former topped both the Billboard 200 and UK Singles Chart.

X and The Slump God

X and Ski Mask were homeys and regular collaborators. But as mentioned earlier, their relationship wasn’t always hugs and kisses. In fact X is on record of basically dissing Ski Mask directly in late 2017. 

But that being established, regardless of how their relationship was at that time, the Slump God clearly misses the late XXXTentacion and has remained close to X’s family.

3 AM Freestyle was written by XXXTentacion, who also produced the track with Clams Casino.

Samples used in “3 Am Freestyle”

Clams Casino, a musician from New Jersey, is the sole producer of “I’m God” (2012), one of the two tracks sampled into 3 AM.  And the other track is a song called “Just for Now” (2005) by Imogen Heap (which Clams actually sampled into “I’m God”).

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