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19/06/2018 13:51 BST | Updated 20/06/2018 14:48 BST

Who Was XXXTentacion? The Controversial Life Of The Late US Rapper

He was shot dead at the age of 20 on Monday.

 

The death of US rapper XXXTentacion has hit headlines over the world, after he was shot dead at the age of 20

The musician was caught up in what police suspect was a robbery at a Florida motorbike showroom on Monday, and was murdered by one of the assailants. 

While numerous famous faces from the music world have paid tribute to the young star, many have also been discussing his turbulent and controversial life, which saw him spent time in prison and be accused of beating his pregnant girlfriend.  

His Upbringing

Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy was born on 23 January 1998 in Plantation, Florida. 

His brushes with the law began at an early age and he was put on a youth program at the age of six, when he stabbed a man who was trying to attack his mother.

He spent time living with his grandmother due to his mother’s financial situation, and was expelled from middle school after getting involved in a number of physical altercations, before dropping out in the 10th grade. 

However, while at school, he developed a love of music and learned to play guitar and piano. 

At the age of 15, he was sent to juvenile detention for gun possession charges. While there, he beat a gay cellmate for being “suspicious”. 

Music Beginnings

While in detention, Ofroy met Stokeley Clevon Goulbourne (aka Ski Mask the Slump God), and they began free-styling together. 

After his release in 2013, Onfroy began recording music and released his first song, called ‘Vice City’ on SoundCloud, using the moniker XXXTentacion. His first EP, ‘The Fall’, followed in November 2014. 

He quickly began to amass a following on the site, but despite vowing to put his life of crime behind him, he found himself on the wrong side of the law again. 

Arrests And Jail Time 

Onfroy was arrested multiple times in 2016. In July, charges were brought against him for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon, and he was taken into custody. 

Handout via Getty Images
XXXTentacion's mugshot

After being granted bail in September, and placed on house arrest, he moved in with on-off girlfriend Geneva Ayala. But in October, he was arrested for domestic abuse against her, facing charges of aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness tampering. 

He posted bail, but was sent back to custody for breaking the terms of his release. He always denied the charges against him. 

At the time of his death, he was still awaiting trial for the domestic violence incident, after it was pushed back on a number of occasions - most notably when court documents about the case leaked in the media. 

Mainstream Breakthrough

Upon his release from jail in April 2017, Onfroy set to work in his debut album, ’17′ which hit number two on the US Billboard charts upon its release that August. It included the songs ‘Jocelyn Flores’ and  ‘Fuck Love’.

His second album ‘?’ followed in March 2018, and went straight to number one in the US. It featured singles ‘Sad!’ and ‘Changes’, and also made it into the top three in the UK album chart. 

Drake Feud

Onfroy hit headlines when he became embroiled in a very public feud with Drake in 2017, having claimed the rapper had ripped off his music. 

He said Drake’s track ‘KMT’ bore resemblance to his breakout hit ‘Look At Me’, adding he believed Drake had “disrespected” him. He later shared a series of unsanitary comments and images of him on Twitter. 

Drake flat-out denied copying ‘Look At Me’, claiming he didn’t even know who XXXTentacion was before his claims were picked up by fans and in the media. 

Other Controversies 

His first video for re-issued single ‘Look At Me’ was marred in controversy when it was released in September 2017, as it featured him placing a noose around the neck of a white child as a black child watched on. He stated this was a comment on his support for All Lives Matter. 

YouTube
The video for 'Look At Me' was highly controversial

Following a backlash, Onfroy claimed he was quitting music due to negativity, but still remained signed to his label and went on to release more music. 

Onfroy was also known for becoming involved in a number of physical altercations with fans at his gigs, although he has always claimed those incidents were self defense. 

Spotify Row

Less than two months ago, the rapper was one of the artists who saw their music removed from Spotify’s curated playlists under its hateful conduct policy.

Despite initially winning praise from subscribers, the policy was pulled on 2 June after backlash from within the music industry, with Kendrick Lamar publicly saying he would remove his own back catalogue from the service if XXXTentaction’s music wasn’t reinstated.

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