Rest in peace, XXXTentacion
One year ago, news broke that Jaseh "XXXTentacion" Onfroy had been shot after shopping at Riva Motorsports in Deerfield Beach, Florida. A disturbing video began circulating amidst panicked speculation. Sadly, the clip revealed a bleak reality. The shooting was fatal. XXXTentacion passed away that afternoon, at the age of 20. Though relatively new to the game, Triple X left behind a notable legacy.
His work with Members Only paved the way for a new lane of SoundCloud rap. His pair of released studio albums, 17 & ?, revealed an artist unafraid to take stylistic risks. He was an XXL Freshman. He contributed to charity, donating toys, musical instruments, and video games to foster homes. Despite his dark past and the disturbing allegations that loomed over him, XXX appeared ready and willing to change for the better. One tracking his career from the get-go would have noticed an upward trajectory; his petty feuds and mindless beefs were ultimately squashed, including a brief estrangement with his longtime best friend Ski Mask The Slump God.
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Like many controversial figures, XXX proved divisive in life. During his brief yet impactful career, few prominent artists openly co-signed him, with the exception of Kendrick Lamar (he praised 17 and fought Spotify's decision to remove X's catalog), Joey Bada$$ (the pair were working on a collaborative mixtape) and PnB Rock, who forged a genuine friendship with the young Floridian. Upon his death, many seemed to publically soften toward him, as indicated by posthumous collaborations on albums like Tha Carter V and Kanye West's upcoming Yandhi.
Yet his followers remained loyal from the jump, emerging in droves to pay respect to the fallen rapper. To this day, Triple X is seen by many young fans as an era-defining legend, with his murder marking their first experience with losing someone from afar. Case in point, his ? single "Sad" is nearly eligible to go Diamond, a monumental feat in itself. Today, take a moment to look back on XXXTentacion and his brief yet impactful run. Rest in peace to another young rapper gone too soon.