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Meaning of the song ‘vice city’ by ‘XXXTENTACION’

Released: 2022

“Vice City” by XXXTENTACION is a multi-layered track that dives deep into feelings of depression, existentialism, and a critique of societal values. It deals with the search for happiness with the acceptance of death, navigates personal struggles, and critiques the superficiality of society. This song is packed with complex emotions and thoughts, served up in a raw, unfiltered manner that demands the listener’s attention and contemplation.

From the jump, X sets the tone with an intro that feels like a call to those burdened by their own demons, looking for “a brighter season.” This intro introduces the theme of struggling against one’s own mental obstacles and the feeling of being suffocated by the weight of these challenges. It’s a real talk moment about the constant battle with depression and feeling trapped.

The first verse kicks off with X’s personal reflections, stating outright, “I seem depressed, always being bothered, never less.” He’s candid about the mental and emotional toll that life takes on him, hinting at the pressures to stay out of trouble while facing existential queries about happiness. The mention of finding happiness in material or physical pleasures (“you write it on a check” or “when your dick is in the breast”) is delivered with a hint of irony, questioning the real value of these fleeting moments of satisfaction.

X then transitions into discussing the nature of death and dreams. He contemplates the vivid portrayal of death in his dreams, suggesting a deep-seated fear and confusion about what lies beyond life. The mention of “the Devil’s running his course” and “hatred’s not received, it’s coming straight from the source” could be interpreted as a commentary on the evil inherent in the world and society’s role in perpetuating this cycle of negativity and misunderstanding.

The critique of society deepens as X observes how people only scratch the surface of understanding (“Only breaching the surface, surface upon the Earth”) and live in superficiality. He speaks to the apocalyptic vision of flames engulfing the Earth, hinting at the destructive path humanity is on due to greed and materialism. X then touches on the distortion of history and knowledge (“See the record, here’s the record, take the record, set it straight”), urging listeners to seek the truth and question the narratives handed down to them.

As we approach the climax, X reveals his philosophical stance that “death ain’t shit, I’d rather die than be alive in this life,” expressing a preference for the end rather than enduring a reality filled with strife and falsehood. It’s a powerful, albeit bleak, acknowledgment of his inner turmoil and disillusionment with the world.

The hook, with its repeated lines of trying to “stand up on your own two feet, and, stumbling,” encapsulates the struggle of overcoming personal challenges and the harsh realities of life. It’s a metaphor for the human condition, striving and often failing, yet still reaching for stability and understanding amidst chaos.

In “Vice City,” XXXTENTACION delivers a raw and introspective analysis of his own psyche, societal decay, and the existential journey of finding meaning in a troubled world. By breaking down the facade and confronting the darker aspects of life and society, X invites his listeners to confront their own realities and perceptions, making “Vice City” a powerful and thought-provoking piece in his discography.

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