On Monday, June 18, 2018 the influential up-and-coming rap star XXXTentacion was gunned down in broad daylight outside of Riva Motorsports in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Since the murder 20-year-old, numerous songs and have been dedicated and released under his name. Was this a random robbery gone deadly or a planned assassination?
When XXXTentacion was robbed and killed, it was trending news across all social media sites. It is always a big deal when a celebrity passes away, but a budding young talent like XXXTentacion meeting such a violent end was guaranteed to warrant more discussion. As talks surrounding the horror of this man’s death began, the internet was very quickly split into two groups: people who are mourning his loss and people who believed that he shouldn’t be mourned at all.
As a young child, XXXTentacion was known as Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfrey. He was born in Florida, where he was mostly raised by his grandmother alongside his three siblings. As a young boy, he reportedly attempted to stab a man while defending his mother. After this, he began to drift towards more violent behavior. There aren’t really any details surrounding the kind of violence that he saw growing up, but we can assume that there were some issues based on other events. Fortunately, his grandmother began to push him towards music. He reportedly joined a church choir and was known for his interest in both rock and rap, which would later be shown in his music.
Issues With School
Growing up, XXXTentacion was expelled and began to have trouble with the law. He was kicked out of school for a violent altercation, though it is unclear whether or not he was the only one. According to him, he was fairly insecure in school and frequently struggled with his place there. He was known to suffer from bouts of depression and didn’t always seem to fit in socially.
Early Criminal Behaviors
XXXTentacion has a history of run-ins with the law. He was charged for several different crimes and even ended up serving time for them. His charges ranged from gun possession to robbery and assault. While in prison, he reportedly violently beat a cellmate for looking at him while he was changing, and is considered to be incredibly homophobic. After prison, he decided to turn his life around with the help of his girlfriend at the time, choosing instead to turn away from crime to focus on the healing power of music.
A Focus On Music
Throughout his career, XXXTentacion released music that amassed quite a following. His sound, unique in nature, combined rap and rock music elements for a whole new kind of music. People really liked his sound, his voice, and largely found his music to be relatable. He was particularly popular among young fans, who claimed that the could learn from his mistakes and reach for something better. In fact, these young fans reportedly showed up in numbers to express how upset they were over his loss.
A History of Domestic Abuse
The women who have been involved with XXXTentacion have painted a very different story of this man. Though there is this theme, which labels him as a tortured artist, several stories seem to highlight severe mental problems and a propensity towards violence. He was charged for false imprisonment, domestic violence, and also witness tampering surrounding accusations from a pregnant woman, which seems in-line with what his exes have to say. One ex-girlfriend, Geneva Ayala, detailed out several acts of unfathomable abuse at his hands. She claims that he made several attempts to drown her for show, often beat her, choked her several times, and threatened her with torturous violence and sexual assault. In line with other abusers, XXXXTentacion reportedly threatened to kill himself if she ever left. He was also recorded violently striking a woman and later bragging about.
An Undecided Audience
This young rapper seemed to have a promising career and lost it when he was shot and robbed in his car over $50,000. In his wake, there are many debates. Some people remember him fondly, focusing on how his music influenced them. Others find it offensive that anyone is celebrating a known domestic abuser. There is plenty of controversy surrounding this artist, particularly given the overwhelming support, recognition, and popularity that has found him posthumously. For now, it is up to the people to decide how we will view him going forward.
XXXTentacion was already well-known through the hip hop community for creating a unique style and according to many enthusiast was on his way to changing the ‘rap game’ completely.