US rapper XXXTentacion, who shot to fame with consecutive hit albums, has been killed aged 20. He was shot and killed during an apparent robbery in Broward County in Florida in the US, police said. He was taken to hospital and later pronounced dead.
He was often described as one of rap’s most controversial artists and was facing domestic violence charges. A witness told celebrity news website TMZ that multiple shots rang out outside the motorcycle dealership.
The 20-year-old, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was leaving a motorsports store shortly before 4 pm on Monday when two men in a dark coloured SUV shot and killed him in an apparent robbery, CNN quoted Keyla Concepcion of Broward County sheriff department as saying. Broward County deputies are actively looking for the two men and asking anyone who witnessed the shooting to come forward, the officer said.
XXXTentacion, a native of Plantation in Florida, rocketed to fame after his song “Look at Me” went viral on social media and audio distribution platform SoundCloud in 2016. He went on to be featured in XXL magazine’s 2017 Freshman Class alongside other up-and-coming artistes. His latest album “?” premiered at No. 1 when it was released in March, according to Billboard’s website. The album’s single “Sad!” peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 15 weeks on the charts, according to Billboard.
At the time of his death, he was awaiting trial for a domestic violence incident involving his pregnant girlfriend, according to court documents. He had been under house arrest for a time while he awaited trial on battery and harassment charges. The house arrest was lifted in March, according to Miami-Dade court documents.
XXXTentacion also stirred controversy. His September 2017 music video for the viral hit “Look at Me” sparked backlash for staging a scene depicting XXXTentacion lynching a young white boy. The video also referenced flashpoints in the national debate on race such as the 1991 Rodney King beating, the lynching in Mississippi of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955, the 2014 Ferguson, Missouri riots, the police shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota in 2016 and the 2017 Virginia violence. At the end of the video, XXXTentacion spoke about violence and American youth.
As news of his death was confirmed, Kanye West, DJ Diplo, Juicy J and others tweeted their condolences.
rest in peace I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here thank you for existing pic.twitter.com/QU7DR3Ghbw
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) June 18, 2018
Thanks for inspiring me. pic.twitter.com/BmX3ya6Hmx
— diblo (@diplo) June 18, 2018
Prayers up for @xxxtentacion
— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) June 18, 2018
I’m at a loss for words… speechless #RIPXXXTentacion Loved collaborating with you. You were a true artist, one of the most fucking talented of our time
— Travis Barker (@travisbarker) June 18, 2018
— Louis Theroux (@louistheroux) June 18, 2018