In 2018, the music industry was rocked by the news of the tragic death of rapper XXXTentacion, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy. The 20-year-old artist was fatally shot during a robbery in Florida, leaving fans and fellow musicians devastated.
XXXTentacion first gained popularity on SoundCloud, where he uploaded his music and quickly amassed a following. His unique blend of hip-hop, emo, and rock music earned him a dedicated fanbase, and he became known for his raw and emotional lyrics. Despite his controversial past, XXXTentacion’s fame continued to grow, and he was seen as one of the most promising young artists in the industry.
The circumstances surrounding XXXTentacion’s death were shocking and heartbreaking, and the investigation into the robbery and murder of the young rapper was closely followed by fans and the media alike. In the years since his passing, XXXTentacion’s legacy has continued to live on, with his music and message inspiring a new generation of artists and fans.
Early Life and Music Career
Childhood and Early Interest in Music
Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, known as XXXTentacion, was born on January 23, 1998, in Plantation, Florida. He had a difficult childhood, growing up in poverty and experiencing abuse from his mother and her boyfriends. Despite this, he found solace in music, learning to play the guitar and piano at a young age.
Rise to Fame on Soundcloud
After being released from a juvenile detention center, XXXTentacion began writing and recording music. He gained popularity on the music-sharing platform SoundCloud in 2013, where he uploaded his first tracks. His music was unconventional in the rap genre, incorporating elements of emo and grunge, and using distortion and heavy guitar-backed instrumentals.
In 2016, he released the single “Look at Me,” which went viral and gained him national attention. The song peaked at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified platinum by the RIAA. He continued to release music on SoundCloud and gained a dedicated fan base.
Albums and Chart Success
In 2017, XXXTentacion released his debut studio album, “17,” which debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart. The album was a departure from his previous work, featuring more introspective and emotional lyrics. He followed up with his second album, “?,” in 2018, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and featured collaborations with Travis Barker and Kanye West.
Despite his success, XXXTentacion’s career was marred by controversy, including allegations of domestic abuse and a string of legal issues. He was shot and killed in June 2018 at the age of 20, leaving behind a legacy as a talented but troubled artist.
Legal Issues and Controversies
Domestic Violence Allegations
XXXTentacion’s legal troubles began in 2016 when he was arrested and charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness tampering. The alleged victim was his then-girlfriend, Geneva Ayala. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and denied the allegations.
In 2018, the case was still pending when XXXTentacion was shot and killed. Ayala continued to speak out about the abuse she suffered at his hands, which sparked a heated debate about how to remember the controversial rapper.
Other Criminal Charges
Aside from the domestic violence allegations, XXXTentacion was also arrested and charged with several other crimes throughout his career. In 2016, he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a fan in San Diego. In 2017, he was arrested again on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness tampering.
In 2018, he was arrested on charges of witness tampering related to the domestic violence case. He was also facing charges of second-degree murder in relation to a separate incident where he allegedly orchestrated a robbery that resulted in the shooting death of a man.
XXXTentacion’s legal issues were further complicated by his probation status. He was on probation for a 2014 case where he was charged with armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. He was also arrested multiple times for violating his probation, which landed him in juvenile detention.
Gun Possession Charge
In 2017, XXXTentacion was arrested again, this time on charges of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was already on probation at the time and was facing felony charges for violating the terms of his probation.
Despite his legal troubles, XXXTentacion remained a controversial figure in the music industry, with many fans and critics alike praising his unique style and talent.
The Murder Case
On June 18, 2018, Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo “XXXTentacion” Onfroy was fatally shot in Deerfield Beach, Florida. The incident occurred in broad daylight outside a motorcycle dealership. The rapper was in his BMW when he was approached by two masked suspects who demanded his Louis Vuitton bag. The suspects then proceeded to shoot XXXTentacion and flee the scene in a dark-colored SUV.
Investigation and Arrests
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office launched an investigation into the murder of XXXTentacion, which led to the arrest of four suspects: Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams, Trayvon Newsome, and Robert Allen. The suspects were charged with first-degree murder, armed robbery, and firearm possession.
Boatwright and Williams were identified as the two suspects who approached XXXTentacion’s vehicle and shot him. Newsome and Allen were identified as accomplices who helped plan and execute the robbery.
Trial and Sentencing
The trial for the murder of XXXTentacion took place in the Broward County Courthouse. The prosecution presented surveillance video footage of the incident as evidence. The trial lasted for more than a week, and on March 20, 2023, the jury found Boatwright, Williams, and Newsome guilty of first-degree murder. Allen was acquitted of all charges.
Boatwright and Williams were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Newsome’s sentencing hearing is pending.
The murder of XXXTentacion was a tragic event that shocked the music industry and his fans. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office worked tirelessly to bring the suspects to justice, and the trial and sentencing of the perpetrators brought some closure to the case.
Legacy and Influence
Despite his untimely passing in 2018, XXXTentacion’s legacy lives on through his posthumous releases. His final album, “Skins,” was released in December of that year and debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. The album features collaborations with Kanye West and Travis Barker, among others, and showcases XXXTentacion’s unique blend of hip-hop, emo, and rock influences.
In addition to “Skins,” several other posthumous releases have been made available to fans, including the album “Bad Vibes Forever” and the single “Royalty” featuring Ky-Mani Marley, Stefflon Don, and Vybz Kartel. These releases have allowed XXXTentacion’s fans to continue to enjoy his music and keep his memory alive.
Impact on Music and Culture
XXXTentacion’s impact on music and culture cannot be overstated. His music, which often dealt with themes of depression, anxiety, and sadness, resonated with a generation of young people who felt unheard and misunderstood. His unique approach to blending genres and his willingness to experiment with different sounds and styles set him apart from his peers and helped to shape the sound of contemporary hip-hop.
Beyond his music, XXXTentacion’s facial tattoos and distinctive style made him a celebrity in his own right. He was often seen as a controversial figure, but his fans remained loyal and dedicated to his memory. In the wake of his passing, tributes poured in from around the world, with fans and fellow musicians alike mourning his loss.
XXXTentacion’s legacy and influence continue to be felt in the world of music and beyond. His posthumous releases allow fans to continue to enjoy his music, while his impact on culture and society will be felt for years to come.
XXXTentacion had a complicated personal life that was often in the public eye. He had a girlfriend at the time of his death, but prior to that, he had been involved in several high-profile relationships. One of his ex-girlfriends was pregnant with his child at the time of his death.
However, his relationships were not always positive. There were reports of domestic violence and abuse, and he was charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant victim in 2016. Despite this, some of his fans remained loyal to him and defended him.
XXXTentacion was open about his struggles with mental health and depression. In interviews and on social media, he often talked about feeling sad and alone. He also spoke about his traumatic childhood and how it affected him.
Despite his struggles, he was known for using his music as an outlet for his emotions. He often wrote about his experiences and feelings in his lyrics, and his music resonated with many fans who were going through similar struggles.
XXXTentacion’s personal life was complex and often controversial. While he had his share of troubles, he was also open about his struggles and used his music as a way to connect with his fans.