XXXTentacion in October 2016
|Born||Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy|
January 23, 1998
Plantation, Florida, U.S.
|Died||June 18, 2018 (aged 20)|
Deerfield Beach, Florida
|Cause of death||Homicide by shooting|
Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy (January 23, 1998 – June 18, 2018), known professionally as XXXTentacion (//), was an American rapper, singer, and songwriter.
Born in Plantation, Florida, Onfroy spent most of his childhood in Lauderhill. He began writing music after being released from a youth correction center and released his first song on SoundCloud in June 2013, titled “News/Flock”. He was a popular figure in SoundCloud rap, a trap scene that takes elements of lo-fi music and harsh 808s.
Onfroy released his debut album, 17, on August 25, 2017. Onfroy’s second album, ?, was released on March 16, 2018. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, with its singles “Sad!” and “Changes” peaking at numbers 1 and 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 respectively.
Onfroy was shot and killed in a robbery after leaving a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Florida, on June 18, 2018.
Life and career
Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy was born on January 23, 1998, in Plantation, Florida, to Jamaican parents, Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy and Cleopatra Bernard. He had three siblings with one being half, shared paternally. Onfroy was mainly raised by his grandmother Collette Jones—due to his mother’s financial situation—in Pompano Beach, Florida, and Lauderhill, Florida. When Onfroy was six years old, he tried to stab a man attempting to attack his mother and was eventually put into a youth program before being forced to live with his grandmother.
Onfroy’s interest in music initially started after his aunt persuaded him to begin attending school choir and later church choir. He was soon kicked out of the school choir after attacking another student. Onfroy attended Margate Middle School where he was later expelled from middle school after a series of physical altercations. He was subsequently enrolled into Sheridan House Family Ministries by his mother for over six months. Onfroy began to listen to nu-metal, hard rock and rap during his time at Sheridan House Family Ministries, which led to him attempting to learn the piano and guitar.
Onfroy attended Piper High School until he dropped out in the tenth grade. He described himself as a “misfit” during that time, citing how quiet he was despite being popular and regularly involved in physical confrontations. Onfroy was not the athletic type and said that he was insecure and depressed during his time in high school.
2013–2016: Career beginnings and “Look at Me”
Onfroy’s career as a music artist began in June 2013 after the release of his song “News/Flock”. While in juvenile detention for gun possession charges, Onfroy met Stokeley Clevon Goulbourne, another artist known as Ski Mask the Slump God. During their time together, Onfroy and Goulbourne became good friends and began freestyling. Recalling his time in detention, Onfroy said that he was respectful to the officers and staff and used to protect people from other inmates, including a homosexual cellmate, whom Onfroy later attacked for allegedly staring at him while he was changing clothes.
That same year, following his release from a juvenile detention center, Onfroy and Goulbourne met up again under the belief they were going to commit a string of home invasions for monetary gain though Onfroy eventually bought a Blue Snowballmicrophone and began recording music, which convinced Stokeley to do the same. After Onfroy adopted the moniker XXXTentacion, he uploaded his first official song, called “Vice City”, on SoundCloud. Speaking on his decision to abandon a life of crime for music, Onfroy said that he felt like music was a better outlet for his feelings and then-girlfriend Geneva Ayala was someone who helped him realize that. He would then continue uploading small snippets of his songs that he would either soon release or keep unreleased. Onfroy eventually joined Ski Mask the Slump God’s group Very Rare, before breaking off and starting the Members Only collective, which Ski Mask then also joined. The word “tentación” in his stage name is the Spanish word for “temptation”.
Onfroy released his first official extended play (EP), called The Fall, on November 21, 2014. Onfroy released one collaboration album with Ski Mask the Slump God, called Members Only Vol. 1, before releasing Members Only Vol. 2 in 2015 with several members of the growing Members Only collective. In 2016, he released the EP Willy Wonka Was a Child Murderer, with music heavily inspired by heavy metal and indie music. In 2016, Onfroy quit his job as a call center operator due to his growing music career and moved in with rapper Denzel Curry.
In July 2016, Onfroy was arrested and charged with robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. After posting $10,000 bail, Onfroy continued to work on his debut independent album, Bad Vibes Forever, which had a slated October 31, 2016 release date.The album missed the release date and was delayed due to Onfroy being arrested in early October on charges of false imprisonment, witness tampering and aggravated battery of a pregnant victim.
2017: Release from prison, Revenge, 17, and A Ghetto Christmas Carol
In 2017, Onfroy re-released his song “Look at Me”. The song peaked at number 34 on US Billboard Hot 100 and the top 40 of the Canadian Hot 100. The single helped him gain more popularity due to accusations of Canadian rapper Drake using a similar rap flow in his then-unreleased song “KMT” that he previewed at a concert in Amsterdam with feature guest appearance from British rapper Giggs.
After his release from prison on April 18, 2017, he released three more songs on SoundCloud. In an interview with WMIB, Onfroy announced that he was working on the studio albums Bad Vibes and 17; as well as a mixtape, I Need Jesus. In an interview three days after his release from prison, Onfroy said to XXL, “I got this really, really, really good album called 17. That’s more of an alternative, R&B sound—then I’ve got this mixtape called I Need Jesus, which is mainly rap and the underground sound I did.”
Onfroy announced his first nationwide tour on April 28, 2017. The tour, titled “The Revenge Tour”, had 26 tour dates overall and was widely publicized due to numerous controversies which included a rapper being assaulted, Onfroy being involved in an altercation on stage that led to him being knocked unconscious an audience member being stabbed, Onfroy being thrown into a barricade by security, and Onfroy punching a fan. He announced the cancellation of the rest of the tour dates due to his cousin being shot on June 24, 2017, though the final tour date in Broward County, Florida, still went ahead and was later streamed on the watchthemusic (WAV) app.
Onfroy was named as the tenth pick on XXL‘s “2017 Freshman Class” after being voted in. In his XXL freestyle (which is regularly done by freshmen where a rapper will rhyme a cappella), it was speculated that he verbally insulted fellow American rapper J. Cole, though later Cole endorsed the rapper’s music, calling him “talented”.
Onfroy released his major-label debut commercial project, called Revenge, on May 16, 2017. The mixtape consists of eight previously released songs. The collaborative mixtape, Members Only, Vol. 3, with Members Only, was released on June 26, 2017.
Onfroy announced that he would be taking a small break from social media on July 20, 2017, until he came back two weeks later to announce the release date for his upcoming debut album, called 17. Rapper DRAM brought Onfroy out at a concert in the Staples Centre during Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. Tour, being the first time that Onfroy performed at the arena and the first time he was brought out as an opening act by a mainstream artist. This was following Lamar’s comments about rappers using ghostwriters for song lyrics which may have been directed at Drake, whom Onfroy was in a rap feud with earlier that year.
He released his major-label debut album, 17, on August 25, 2017. The album debuted at No. 2 on the US Billboard 200, selling 86,000 album-equivalent units first week. The album received a positive response from critics, some of which lauded the album for its personal narratives and diverse musical style. On September 3, 2017, Onfroy announced that Bad Vibes Forever, his second album, was still in production. 17 gave Onfroy’s seven songs—”Jocelyn Flores”, “Revenge”, “Fuck Love”, “Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares”, “Depression & Obsession”, “Save Me” and “Carry On”—that debuted in the Billboard Hot 100 at number 31, 77, 41, 54, 91, 94 and 95, respectively with “Jocelyn Flores” becoming XXXTentacion’s highest-charting song since “Look at Me” that peaked it at 34. Onfroy then had his ninth song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100, in turn with his being featured on Kodak Black’s song “Roll in Peace”, taken from Project Baby 2. The song debuted at 52, and peaked at 31.
On September 12, 2017, Onfroy released his first official music video for his 2016 song “Look at Me”, as well as sharing a music video with his 2015 song “Riot”. The song generated controversy hours after being posted due to the video depicting a white child being hanged by Onfroy, as another black child observed. Onfroy’s label, Bad Vibes Forever, signed a distribution deal with Capitol Music Group subsidiary Caroline on October 19, 2017. The deal, reportedly worth 6 million dollars, is for one album only. Shortly afterwards on October 25, 2017, Onfroy announced he was terminating his contract with Caroline despite a representative confirming he was still signed. Two days later, he announced that he will be retiring due to negativity and backlash though some publications noted that Onfroy made similar statements before and not followed through. On October 30, 2017, Onfroy announced that he will make music again if fellow Broward rapper and “former best friend”, Ski Mask the Slump God, was his friend again. Later, Onfroy answered a fan’s question on Instagram live about his retirement, saying, “Am I quitting? Yes, I’m quitting—I don’t know for how long, but I’m just not going to make music right now.”
Onfroy previewed new music on November 2, 2017, signaling a return to making music. Onfroy announced a new album titled Bad Vibes Forever on November 17, 2017, speaking on the album, Onfroy said “It will be a mix of genres you have seen me dabble with, if you are not a fan of me this is not an album for you, it is for core fans only”. The album title shares its name with his label. On December 11, 2017, Onfroy released the A Ghetto Christmas Carol EP on SoundCloud. A day before his hearing for witness tampering charges, Onfroy announced that he was preparing three albums to be ready for 2018, and after being released on house arrest, he announced the titles of all three albums, Skins, Bad Vibes Forever and ?.
2018: YouTube channel, ? album and posthumous releases
Onfroy began to use his long-time YouTube channel “xxxtentacion”, previously used to upload music, to upload gaming videos and vlogs. The channel has 6.6 million subscribers as of June 2018. On January 22, 2018, Onfroy announced on Instagram that he and New York rapper Joey Badass had been creating a project together and the two dropped a freestyle to the song “King’s Dead” on SoundCloud on March 9, 2018, in preparation for the collab project. The “xxxtentacion” YouTube channel uploaded the video “#THEHELPINGHANDCHALLENGE” on the same day. The video included Onfroy donating musical instruments, video game consoles, and other gifts to a foster home. Shortly afterwards, Onfroy declared his album had finished and he was preparing to release it but would only do so after the hashtag #HELPINGHANDCHALLENGE reached one million mentions on Instagram.
Onfroy released his first single of 2018 on February 2, titled “Shining Like the Northstar”. He was also featured on long-time collaborator and producer Ronny J’s track “Banded Up”. Onfroy released the song “Hope” on his SoundCloud account on February 21, 2018, dedicated to the victims of the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. Onfroy announced that he was releasing two songs at midnight on March 2, 2018, both the first singles for his upcoming album ?. The lead single for ?, “Sad!”, was released several hours later alongside “Changes”, which features fellow 2017 XXL Freshman PnB Rock. “Sad!” debuted at number 17, becoming his highest-charting song in the United States, and eventually peaked at number 1 after XXXTentacion’s death.
Onfroy announced the release date for his second studio album, ?, on March 12, 2018. He shared the 18 track track-list with features from Joey Bada$, Travis Barker and PnB Rock. ? was released on March 16, 2018. ? debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, becoming Onfroy’s first number one in the country, losing out with his debut album 17 due to Lil Uzi Vert’s Luv Is Rage 2.
On June 21, 2018, the first posthumous song featuring Onfroy was released, “Ghost Busters”, with Trippie Redd featuring Quavo and Ski Mask the Slump God, and was uploaded on Trippie Redd’s SoundCloud. Hip hop magazine and blog XXL released a series of freestyles that Onfroy performed as a part of his 2017 Freshman Cypher. Ugly God released a song titled “Tear Drop” on June 22, 2018, which featured Onfroy’s aforementioned unreleased cypher verses, as a tribute to Onfroy.
On June 18, 2018, Onfroy was leaving the Riva Motorsports motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Florida and at approximately 3:55 p.m., while sitting in his car, it is alleged that “two armed men dressed in dark clothing and gloves — and one wearing a red mask, the other in a black mask — approached the rapper while he was in the driver’s seat.” A brief struggle occurred, and the masked men reached inside Onfroy’s vehicle, removed a small bag, and shot Onfroy multiple times. The perpetrators allegedly left in a black Dodge Journey SUV. Onfroy was transported by paramedics to the nearby Broward Health North in Deerfield Beach, “where he died shortly after he was shot”. Onfroy was pronounced dead by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office at approximately 5:30 p.m.
Suspect Dedrick Devonshay Williams of Pompano Beach was arrested 2 days after the shooting, shortly before 7 p.m. Held in the Broward County jail, he is charged with first degree murder without premeditation.
In his will, Onfroy named his mother Cleopatra and brother Aiden as the sole beneficiaries of his estate. Onfroy’s future child, that his girlfriend at the time of his death is pregnant with, was not named in the will as the will was written before the pregnancy.
Well known for his “depressing, and at times devastating” music that brought attention to mental health, Onfroy employed styles and techniques that were unconventional in hip hop during his career, such as distortion and heavy guitar-backed instrumentals drawing inspiration from third-wave emo. This influenced artists such as Lil Pump, Trippie Redd, Ski Mask the Slump God, Smokepurpp and 6ix9ine with the grungy vocals and lo-fi mixing of his early career. He was also credited with giving artists their first taste of fame and helping them with their careers through features and co-signs.
Onfroy left behind what Rolling Stone called “a huge musical footprint” due to his impact on his young fanbase and his popularity during his career. Given his immense influence only to die young, the article compared his cultural impact with that of Ritchie Valens and Darby Crash, the latter of whom had a similar trajectory as well. This success as “a zeitgeist-grabbing, industry-defying, boundary-destroying phenomenon” is “overshadowed” by his reported abuse of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, however, and the latter is focus of his life story. Nonetheless, the article contends that despite media attempts to suppress him, Onfroy’s “impact on music will be felt for years to come” and his recordings have “helped signal a new era of post-streaming, post-genre teenagers”.
Onfroy’s personal life and history are also noted as prominent parts of his legacy. An article in The Guardian described his legacy in more critical terms, stating that “[h]e will be remembered mostly for the unusually cruel violence he committed on vulnerable people, particularly his ex-girlfriend, crimes for which he never expressed remorse.” According to the article, his music “reflected a life lived with disregard for humanity, both other people’s and his own”; and rarely attempted to engage in bravado or bragging, instead focusing on “mental illness, suicide, extreme misogyny, and a prevailing feeling of numbness.”
An article in The Atlantic expressed similar criticisms, though it also noted that Onfroy “reminded young fans in particular that their hurt was valid but that it did not form the sum total of their lives” and that he “gave voice to their insecurities”. Contrasting these elements of his legacy, the article acknowledged that though he spent his career encouraging young fans to recognize their greater worth, Onfroy’s legacy is nonetheless characterized by the trauma he both experienced and caused.
In The Washington Post, Chris Richards likewise commented on Onfroy’s complicated legacy, contrasting how he “encouraged his fans to find hope in the fog of their despair, but bragged enthusiastically about the joy he felt in brutalizing others.” According to Richards, Onfroy’s music “brought solace to the depressed” while validating the sort of violence he practiced and legitimized the pain of his fans while erasing the suffering of domestic violence victims. Onfroy’s music serves as an example for Richards of how “a hateful song” might normalize such feelings in “hateful people”, which contributes to the profound paranoia in society about the hatred that might be in the minds of others.
“Save Me” by XXXTentacion (released 2015) shows Onfroy replicating his screaming-like rap flow alongside his aggressive and violent lyrics. The distorted production is a mark of Onfroy’s earlier music and the sound that boosted him into the mainstream.
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Onfroy’s influences included Kurt Cobain, Tupac Shakur, Cage the Elephant, The Fray, Papa Roach, Three Days Grace, Gorillaz, and Coldplay. When speaking on his influences, X said, “I’m really into multi-genre things that aren’t just based around rapping itself. I’m more inspired by artists in other genres besides rap.” Onfroy as an artist has been defined as versatile and his music has been described as having a “lo-fi” aesthetic, being diverse and experimental, drawing influence from heavy metal. His music also has the tendency to contain distorted bass and an “intentional lack of polish”. Speaking about this, Onfroy said that the intentionally bad mixing on his tracks make it “genuine”. Some fans have also noted that his music has inspired many up-and-coming artists, such as Craig Xen, Lil Pump, Trippie Redd, Karami, and Smokepurpp, into channeling similar vibes into their music.
Onfroy generally changed his vocal style depending on the type of song he was performing on. His vocal style has been described as displaying “emotional vulnerability” on much more depressing tracksand as replicating screaming on much more aggressive tracks. His songwriting has been described as outlandish and shocking, often referring to “violence, sex, and drugs” though on some projects such as The Fall and 17, Onfroy’s songwriting was more emotional in comparison to his previous work, often referring to loneliness, depression, isolation, and anxiety.
Onfroy lived in Florida. He lived with rapper Denzel Curry in the past. Before his death, Onfroy was moving into a 6,000-square-foot (560 m2) mansion in Parkland, Florida, after purchasing it in November 2017 for US$1.4 million.
In February 2018, Onfroy posted on Instagram that he was preparing to head back into education and went on to announce in March 2018 that he was going to a community college to get his GED. Onfroy was public about his struggle with depression.
Three days after his death, Onfroy’s mother announced on Instagram that Onfroy’s girlfriend is pregnant with his child.
Onfroy was generally considered a controversial figure within the hip-hop industry due to assaulting fans, public feuds with other artists and general social media scandals. Spin labeled Onfroy “rap’s most controversial man” and XXLlabeled him as their most “controversial freshman ever”.
On August 24, 2017, a day before the release of his debut album, 17, Onfroy uploaded a video to the social media platform Instagram of him depicting the act of suicide by hanging. Though he later uploaded a video onto Instagram showcasing the video being shot in part of a music video.
Onfroy uploaded a music video to YouTube for his song “Riot” after sharing a music video for his on September 12, 2017. The controversial scene portrays him placing a noose around the neck of a white child then hanging him (representing lynching). The child’s mother originally was anxious about the scene but said she was fine with the message being portrayed. Talking on Instagram live, he told his followers that the video was not supporting Black Lives Matter or addressing police brutality but was supporting All Lives Matter.
Onfroy announced he was retiring from producing music on October 27, 2017. Onfroy then stated using the Instagram story feature that he would make music again if South Floridan rapper, frequent collaborator and “best friend” Ski Mask the Slump Godwould become his friend again, telling his fans to post “Be friends with X again” on Ski Mask’s social media accounts. The post led to a social media exchange between the two, with Onfroy explaining his side using the Instagram Live feature on Instagram:
Ski Mask replied shortly afterwards, using Instagram’s story feature, “[I’ll] always love that alien-looking nigga named XXX, but I have to distance myself because it’s like nobody would see me as an individual rapper if I don’t, on top of that, that nigga crazy as hell”, Ski Mask then went on to post a much more intense version of the story, claiming that Onfroy threatened his family. On December 8, 2017, Onfroy wrote on Instagram, “don’t care about what you said about me, you know who got your back, love you, forever”, referring to Ski Mask the Slump God. Later, during Rolling Loud in Miami in 2018, they reunited, ending the feud.
Following a rumor that Onfroy was arrested in Las Vegas, Houston rapper Ugly God tweeted “Free X” which prompted a strong response from Onfroy which featured Onfroy insulting Ugly God. Ugly God later clarified there was no feud between them.
On November 14, Onfroy posted on his Instagram story accusing rap group Migos of attacking him and pointing a firearm at him.
The music streaming service Spotify announced on May 10, 2018 that it was going to stop promoting or recommending music by him and R&B artist R. Kelly. Spotify stated, “We don’t censor content because of an artist’s or creator’s behavior, but we want our editorial decisions—what we choose to program—to reflect our values”. The decision to remove XXXTentacion’s music from curated playlists was later reversed on June 1 after Top Dawg Entertainment CEO Anthony Tiffith threatened to remove his label’s music from the service.
Incidents at concerts
On March 26, 2017, following Onfroy’s release from jail, he set up a surprise concert that was arranged for April 7 in Miami. The show had an admission price of $5 until it was apparently filled up. However, before he arrived, a riot broke out. Police eventually escorted Onfroy out and closed the show down.
Rapper and member of Onfroy’s members-only collective Wifisfuneral was assaulted at the first show in the Revenge Tour in Houston on May 31, 2017. Wifisfuneral stage-dived into the audience where several audience members proceeded to kick him and then leave the venue.
During a concert in San Diego in June 2017, a physical altercation occurred, which led to Onfroy being knocked unconscious and an audience member being stabbed, though the injury was non-life-threatening. The assailant was reported to be an associate of rapper Rob Stone, one of the individuals that was currently involved in an ongoing feud that involved Onfroy and fellow South Florida-native rapper Ski Mask the Slump God. The feud had already led to Ski Mask the Slump God being assaulted during rapper Desiigner’s Outlet tour. Stone released a diss track following the attack, titled “Xxxtracredit”, in which he mentions the attack in San Diego and then proceeds to tell Onfroy to “not come back to California”. Later in an interview, Stone denied knowing who that assailant is. In October 2017, Stone confirmed that he and Onfroy had talked and the feud had been squashed.
Onfroy punched an audience member during a concert at the Complex in Salt Lake City, Utah on June 18, 2017. He claimed this was in self-defense, as he had requested that no one in the audience touch him, warning that he would punch them if they did.
Onfroy was scheduled to perform at the Concord Music Hall in Chicago, Illinois on June 21, 2017. The concert was canceled at the last minute, which led to hundreds of fans flooding the streets and nearly inciting a riot. He stated that the reason for the performance being canceled was the venue management’s decision. Four days later, his cousin was shot and he canceled his tour.
Following the release of Onfroy’s 17 album, a free concert was announced to take place at the Orpheum in Tampa, Florida, on September 2, 2017. The venue only had the capacity to support 750 concertgoers, but over 3,000 people appeared to attend the concert and the venue had to cancel the concert before a safety hazard was created. This led to many fans of the artist nearly rioting in the street and the police needing to break up the crowd. Some fans later claimed online that they were teargassed by police officers following the riot.
Onfroy was involved in another brawl with a fan during California’s Rolling Loud Festival on October 23, 2017. Onfroy announced on Instagram that the fight was purely self-defense before any video of the altercation was uploaded.
Canadian rapper Drake previewed a new track, titled “KMT”, on January 28, 2017. The song featured a guest appearance from British rapper Giggs in Amsterdam. The song, following its preview, was compared by users on social media to Onfroy’s breakout song “Look at Me” due to the similar flow. Before the release of KMT, HotNewHipHop revealed that Drake followed Onfroy’s account on Twitter. In an interview with XXL, Onfroy was questioned about the Drake comparisons, responding “If Drake is gonna take the flow, and I don’t know if he legitimately did, but if that is the situation, at least reach out to a nigga, help a nigga out in this situation.”
Drake released the mixtape More Life on March 18, 2017, which included “KMT”. Onfroy was released from jail on probation two weeks later and was subsequently interviewed by WMIB, where he called Drake a “bitch” and said that he respected Drake’s influence but felt like “KMT” was disrespecting him. The following day on Twitter, Onfroy posted a picture of Drake’s mother saying “she could get it”. He then posted a picture of Drake’s mother and a child version of Drake with Onfroy’s face photoshopped over that of Drake’s father, Dennis Graham. Later, in an interview with DJ Semtex, Drake denied those accusations that he stole Onfroy’s “flow”. Drake also denied knowing him and said that he only heard about him regarding rumors circulated following the “KMT” snippet. Onfroy replied on his Twitter page requesting that Drake “come to Florida”, after Onfroy saying that he won’t “twitter rap with niggas”. Onfroy then claimed on Instagram live that he could “out-rap” Drake.
Rapper Offset from the hip-hop group Migos used Instagram’s livestream feature to verbally attack Onfroy, further escalating the feud. 600Breezy, a Chicago rapper (who is currently in prison for violating his probation), then claimed that Drake gave him permission to enter into the feud and attack Onfroy. 600Breezy told Onfroy that he has “got a couple niggas that will knock you off in your own city”. 600Breezy later went to Florida to attempt to search for him, though it was fruitless.
Following Onfroy being knocked unconscious on stage in San Diego, Drake liked a post on Instagram ridiculing him.
Onfroy’s Twitter account posted explicit photos of Drake on February 25, 2018. Onfroy’s Instagram account also posted “IF ANYONE TRIES TO KILL ME IT WAS [Drake] IM SNITCHING [right now].” He later claimed the account was hacked in a YouTube video titled “UPDATE, JUST CHECKING IN (VLOG)”. Onfroy traded insults with former collaborator Trippie Redd on social media following reports Trippie Redd worked with Drake on the song “God’s Plan”. Trippie and Onfroy resolved their feud shortly afterwards in March 2018.
Legal issues and controversy
In 2014, Onfroy was sent to a youth detention center for a year on gun possession charges. According to him, during his time in detention, the district attorney was attempting to try the artist as an adult for gun possession charges which Onfroy said would have had a sentence of 5–10 years in prison.
In July 2016, he was arrested and charged with robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. According to the arrest report, Onfroy entered the home of Che Thomas with three other people, armed with a firearm. After pistol-whipping Thomas three times, Onfroy escaped the home with an iPad, an iPhone, a Sony PlayStation Portable and $20. Onfroy was arrested in Orlando originally until he was transferred to Orange County.
After posting the bail of $10,000 in early October of the same year, while awaiting trial, the rapper was arrested again later that month on charges of false imprisonment, witness tampering, and aggravated battery of a pregnant victim. On March 26, 2017, Onfroy was released from jail on bail while facing charges of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. His trial for aggravated battery of a pregnant victim was originally going to take place in May 2017 and was pushed back several times, and was set to take place on October 5, 2017. On September 8, 2017, Pitchfork leaked the testimony of the victim in Onfroy’s aggravated battery case. The trial was then delayed again with a date of December 11, 2017, announced. Controversy arose once again following Onfroy’s choice to donate $100,000 to domestic violence prevention programs and then further when Onfroy announced an event to support rape victims though it was later canceled due to vandalism.
Onfroy’s trial was delayed again after an affidavit was filed asking for the charges to be “completely dropped”. The victim in the case also declined to testify in court. In reaction, the prosecution moved to split the case into two, with witness tampering charges filed against Onfroy and a new trial date announced for December 15, 2017. On December 10, 2017, Onfroy posted a message to Instagram, writing “Court date is on the 15th 9:00 am here is my court information, if I am taken into custody, I want to tell everyone I’ve let down I apologize, I tried my best, I really did…”; he then released the information of the court hearing.
Onfroy pleaded not guilty on December 14, 2017, and was taken into pretrial custody after a motion was filed by the prosecution on the grounds of Onfroy having violated his bond. He was held without bail. It was confirmed on December 20, 2017, that Onfroy was being released on house arrest. Onfroy was released from house arrest on March 21, 2018. Shortly after being released from house arrest, a video surfaced of Onfroy hitting a woman in 2013. Onfroy’s attorneys claimed the video, which shows Onfroy dancing to some music before striking the girl, was in jest. Onfroy also claimed afterwards that he was afraid he was going to be financially extorted by the woman and already was called by her family members requesting money.The woman attacked by Onfroy in the video came forward several days later saying she was “terrified for her life”.
- 17 (2017)
- ? (2018)
- List of murdered hip hop musicians
- “How To Correctly Pronounce XXXTentacion”. Genius.com. Retrieved June 24, 2017. ^
- Weinstein, Max (April 22, 2017). “The Break Presents: Ski Mask The Slump God – XXL”. News. XXL. Townsquare Media. Archived from the original on June 21, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
Born near the Swap Shop in Deepside, a rough area that’s a part of Broward County, Ski met X[XXTentacion] when the two were in a juvenile detention center […] When they both got out, Ski started a group called Very Rare and brought X into the fold. Soon after that, X started Members Only, and it was on from there. a b c
- Welk, Brian (June 18, 2018). “5 Things to Know About Rapper XXXTentacion, From Feuds With Drake to Legal Trouble”. TheWrap. The Wrap News. Archived from the original on June 21, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
XXXTentacion released his first track ‘News/Flock’ onto the music streaming service SoundCloud in 2013. a b
- Guan, Frank (March 28, 2018). “SoundCloud Rap Has Its First No. 1 Album — Now What?”. Soundcloud Rap. Vulture. New York Media. Archived from the original on June 21, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
Despite mounting controversy, XXXTentacion has SoundCloud rap’s first No. 1 album. […] XXXTentacion, the sole SoundCloud rapper who’s proven himself versatile in terms of genre and tone—East Coast boom-bap lyricism, nü-metal screaming, acoustic ballads, Weeknd-ish R&B, forays into EDM and Latin music—is facing the prospect of prolonged imprisonment, which would put an end to all experimentation. ^
- Caramanica, Jon (June 22, 2017). “The Rowdy World of Rap’s New Underground”. Arts (Music). The New York Times. Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on June 21, 2018. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
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But the whole SoundCloud rap tag probably best applies to a rangy mob of South Florida rap kids, raspy and forbidding stylistic descendants of SpaceGhostPurrp and Denzel Curry. […] The most prominent of them is XXXtentacion, the risible figure who went to jail for beating up his pregnant girlfriend and who seems to incite massive brawls at all his shows. ^
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Rapper XXXTentacion was shot and killed during an apparent robbery Monday in Broward County, Florida, police said. The 20-year-old rapper, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was leaving a motorsports store shortly before 4 p.m. when two men in a dark colored SUV shot and killed him in an apparent robbery, said Keyla Concepción, Broward County sheriff department public information officer. a b
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The Broward County Sheriff’s Office subsequently tweeted that ‘the adult male that was taken to the hospital has been pronounced dead’ at approximately 5:30 p.m. ^
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His ex-girlfriend detailed the most horrendous abuse in court documents and press interviews. He will be remembered mostly for the unusually cruel violence he committed on vulnerable people, particularly his ex-girlfriend, crimes for which he never expressed remorse. His music, a combination of hip-hop and emo that was depressive, and at times devastating, reflected a life lived with disregard for humanity, both other people’s and his own. […] His music rarely tried to demonstrate bravado or material gains, it mostly traced round mental illness, suicide, extreme misogyny and a prevailing feeling of numbness. […] When she [his mother] was away, a darkness and depression ate away at him, one that would define his short life. a b c d e
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That’s not to say that Trippie’s tracks lack gusto: He connected with XXXTentacion for a remix of the track ‘Uh Oh, Thots!,’ which has taken the internet by storm, and most of his songs explode with energy thanks to production from the likes of Pi’erre Bourne, 12hunna, Dpbeats, and Goose the Guru. ^
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Onfroy, in his music, reminded young fans in particular that their hurt was valid but that it did not form the sum total of their lives. He gave voice to their insecurities, wrapped their unending dread in the cover of his lyricism and transformed those nervous bundles into an electrifying body of work. […] XXXTentacion may have spent his career trying to convince his most ardent young fans that they’re worth more than they believe, but his legacy—of trauma endured and seemingly unrepentantly inflicted—reminds us that worth has never been distributed evenly. a b c
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He encouraged his fans to find hope in the fog of their despair, but bragged enthusiastically about the joy he felt in brutalizing others. His music brought solace to the depressed, the same way it granted validation to violent young men like him, legitimizing the pain of so many while paving over the suffering of countless victims of domestic violence. […] Listening to a hateful song in the privacy of our minds will not turn us into a hateful people—but it might make hateful people feel more comfortable in their hatefulness. The possibility haunts us. […] And this is the madness of our country right now—feeling profoundly paranoid about the hateful thoughts that might be hiding in the heads of others. a b c d
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Asserting that rappers like XXXTentacion and Lil Pump are a lyrical disease on the genre because their songs aren’t about serious topics is ridiculous—never mind the fact that XXXTentacion’s album was about his struggle with depression, which I suppose wasn’t deep enough when compared with J. Cole’s ‘Wet Dreamz.’ ^
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