Sixteen hours of prison conversation add further complexities to XXXTentacion's legacy.
XXXTentacion's legacy is complicated, to be sure. The oft-cited allegations of domestic abuse will forever hang above him, even after his untimely murder. Now, Pitchfork has once again obtained phone conversations recorded during X's stint in prison, this time landing over sixteen hours of audio. While in the Metro West Detention Center, X made over two hundred phone calls, with fifty-nine of them having recently been made public. While we have yet to hear them, Pitchfork indicates that X's tone is wide-ranging, expressing both hope and disappointment at his potential legal fate.
The conversations are numerous and varied in topic. Speaking with friends, exes, family, and associates, X openly speaks about his controversial relationship with his ex, Geneva. Speaking to an unidentified woman, X reflects on her testimony, stating "How did I keep you hostage if you managed to leave, you fucking bitch, bruh? I swear to god, bruh, I was in the fucking living room playing Minecraft with my fucking fans, and this bitch disappears.” He does maintain that his ex-girlfriend was indeed jumped, and that she was never pregnant to begin with, despite what he originally believed.
On October 26th, 2016, XXXTentacion seemed to confirm some of the more disturbing allegations. Speaking to another woman, Xsaid "I already got what I wanted, I already bashed her face—her face on the internet, bruh, I done made her look bad on the internet, bruh." After finishing his conversation with the woman, X reportedly said "Somebody need to beat [her] up. I loved every second of that because you could hear the fear.”
In other conversations, X's focused shifted to his music, which was on the verge of gaining rapid momentum. He seemed excited by his sudden shift in trajectory. “I’m thinking when we finally do get a check from SoundCloud it’s gonna be fat, bruh," he says, “I found the agent company that Kanye has, A$AP Rocky has, Diplo, Skrillex,” he said in one call. In another, he predicted, “I’ll dominate the whole country. I’ll be bigger than Drake.”
The transcript is vast, and especially wide-ranging. X speaks about politics, disavowing both Trump and Clinton. He pokes fun at DJ Khaled, and refers to himself as a "demon," who possesses the "mark of the beast." He speaks to several women with whom he had sexual relationships, and expressed interest in discovering his "third eye." There is much to unpack here, and the entire report paints a picture of a complex young individual; that is not to cast judgment, but rather to highlight the dangers of judging from afar. A good act does not wash out the bad, nor the bad the good, though such understanding is difficult to apply on a consistent basis.
Moreover, Pitchfork's report on the conversations highlights a wide range of emotional temperaments, thus further shrouding the late rapper's legacy with deeper complexities. Though it's clear that the young rapper was indeed troubled, showcasing signs of possessive, violent, behavior and narcissism, the harsh reality of his incarceration, as a teenager no less, weighed down all the same. "I just wish I was close to my mom," he says, to an unidentified man, "but I ruined that relationship too. I don’t blame nobody else but myself.” Later, allegedly speaking to his mother, XXXTentacion attempted to comfort her, saying “You gotta stop speaking like there’s still no chance. There’s still a chance. I’m not dead yet.”