XXXTentacion was shot and killed last night at the age of 20.
Last night, XXXTentacion, real name Jahseh Onfroy, was shot dead in Deerfield Beach, Florida at the age of 20.
Born on January 23rd 1998, Onfroy was raised primarily by his grandmother, since his mother wasn’t financially stable. Most of his adolescent years were spent in and out of trouble with the law, the effects of a difficult home situation.
Onfroy’s career began taking off in 2015, following the release of his collaborative mixtapes with Ski Mask The Slump God and members of the Members Only collective. He went on to release a solo mixtape Revenge last year, in addition to a full length album 17. Earlier this year, X debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 with his album ?. He cited Kurt Cobain, Cage the Elephant, Tupac and Coldplay among his influences and was recognized for bringing a versatile sound to the rap scene, alongside tackling emotional subjects such as depression, anxiety and loneliness in his works.
However, XXXTentacion was as well known for his controversial private life as he was for his music. In 2013, he admitted to beating his homosexual cellmate for being “suspicious.” At the time of his death, he was facing domestic violence charges, accused of aggravated battery of his pregnant girlfriend and false imprisonment. Throughout his life, X was involved in a string of criminal behavior, from the aforementioned assaults to robbery and gun possession. His legal troubles have now overshadowed his career.
The legacy of XXXTentacion
Alongside all of the tributes pouring in for X, there have been a number of people celebrating his death, due to the violent acts he committed. A malicious lust for revenge is not the same as justice. The same people who are reveling in his death because of some of his actions are largely the same people who claim to care about social issues and criticize a prison system that prioritizes punishment over rehabilitation. Criticizing the actions of a person is necessary but there is a time and place for it.
Some of the most revered men in the industry have a past of violence towards women. Tupac was a convicted rapist, Dr. Dre has been accused of physical assault towards women several times. John Lennon, often named the most iconic musician of his time has admitted to beating women. There’s a number of men in the rap and entertainment industry who carried out acts of violence in their youths. The difference is, the majority of these men lived past 20 and were able to change their narrative. X was trying in the past year to better himself and change as a person. Misogyny is a common theme in rap and this is something that needs to be changed, but celebrating the death of another young black man to gun violence isn’t the answer.
There are many ways to help victims of domestic violence, but rejoicing over a 20 year old’s dead body when it’s still warm isn’t one of them.