Rapper XXXTentacion was shot and killed on Monday in what officials said was an armed robbery. He was 20.
The rapper, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was shopping for a motorcycle in Deerfield Beach, Florida, when two gunmen ran up to his BMW. One fired into the driver’s seat where the rapper was sitting, the Sun-Sentinel reported. He was pronounced dead at Broward Health North.
XXXTentacion, called “X” by fans, climbed to fame making SoundCloud rap from his bedroom. His most recent album ? was released in March and topped Billboard charts. But his success was shrouded in controversy, and even as his music made industry waves, he faced criminal charges including domestic abuse.
In October 2016, he was charged with beating his pregnant ex-girlfriend. Transcripts of testimony reported by Pitchfork revealed harrowing details of abuse; the victim said he hit her to the point of losing vision and kept her from seeking medical help. In December, XXXTentacion was handed down 15 charges including witness tampering and harassment. After several months on house arrest, a judge allowed XXXTentacion to be released in order to tour.
As many have pointed out, XXXTentacion’s fame was closely tied to his criminal past and straightforward admissions of violence. In interviews he described other violent encounters, including beating his gay cell mate in jail for “staring.” His music was temporarily pulled from Spotify last month after the streaming service introduced, and then reversed, a policy condemning “hateful conduct.”
On social media, XXXTentacion’s death was met with grief by fellow fans and fellow rappers, including Kanye West and J. Cole. It also sparked debate over whether people should feel compelled to mourn someone they knew as an abuser.
This got me fucked up. RIP X. Enormous talent and limitless potential and a strong desire to be a better person. God bless his family, friends and fans.— J. Cole (@JColeNC) June 18, 2018
As I’m watching people make @xxxtentacion a martyr, I pray that we recognize the women enduring sexual assault & domestic abuse around the world. They are the true martyrs & heroes. While I‘ve expressed compassion for troubled youth, I salute women worldwide— Jidenna (@Jidenna) June 19, 2018
Following news of XXXTentacion’s death, donations poured into a GoFundMe for the woman he was allegedly charged with assaulting. The fundraiser was started in October 2016 and was intended to raise money for surgery repairing fractures “due to an aggressive hit,” according to the description. By Monday evening, the GoFundMe had raised more than $28,000.