XXXTentacion was a breath of fresh air when he first emerged on the hip-hop scene. A loud, audacious rapper, XXX gave his listeners crazy distorted beats and unparalleled dynamism. The mid-2010s saw rappers playing things very safe concerning beat selection. Acts such as the Migos used minimalistic and sparse trap beats that had very little progression and tried to make up for this with unnecessary ad-libs and high-budget visuals.
With the rise of the South and Atlanta in particular in the 2010s, drug culture within hip-hop became far more prevalent. Furthermore, artists were using narcotics far beyond the realm of just cannabis, and fans were seeing lots of drug overdoses. From Juice Wrld to Mac Miller and A$AP Yams, it was a grave problem and is to this day. Although XXXTentacion, with his rockstar image and emo aesthetic, was also a part of this movement, he did not see a drug-related fate. However, in 2018 the Miami musician (real name Jaseh Onfroy) was shot dead shortly after his seismic breakthrough with ‘Look at Me!’
Known as an emo-rapper and rockstar-emcee hybrid, with his distorted 808s and twisted tracks, Onfroy was one-of-a-kind. Still, during his brief time as a superstar, he was an agent of chaos, to say the least. After Onfroy obtained nationwide notoriety, some of the artist’s criminal foes still had unfinished business with him.
As evidenced by artists such as Tupac Shakur and 50 Cent, having one foot in the streets and one foot in the music industry is a dangerous business. If one doesn’t play their cards right, they can find themselves fatally injured or dead. Unfortunately, in Onfroy’s case, it was the latter as he was shot outside a motorbike dealership in Fort Lauderdale.
While in the spotlight, Onfroy even feuded with one of the world’s leading superstars, Drake. This put even more focus on the young man and gave him hypervisibility. XXXTentacion was also an avid Instagram user who put much of his energy into addressing issues and people on social media. This behaviour rubbed many people up the wrong way and put somewhat of a target on his back.
Following ‘Looking At Me’ Onfroy went into the studio to make many more tracks you can see rare footage of the Miami artist in the studio below.