A first-hand account of the memorial held in response to XXXTentacion's death, which ended in a clash with police.
When the news of the shooting death of Jaseh Onfrey, known worldwide as rapper XXXTENTACION broke mid-afternoon on Monday, June 18th, the shock rippled through out the hip-hop community. Countless artists posted screenshots of their last conversations with the rapper along with touching tributes speaking highly of his character, despite his history with violence. For what it's worth, the artist seemed intent on changing his ways for the better, and spreading a message of positivity towards the end of his short but impactful career.
Everyone's timelines were flooded with news, tributes and or else, scrutiny related to the death of X. Tributes were not only shared in the form of a simple social media post, some were in the form of music, and, in the case of the memorial last night in L.A., a real-life gathering.
The discourse that began online seemingly manifested itself in real-time at the No Jumper-led memorial for XXXTentacion. The event took place at the Onesomeshit storefront on Melrose. From about 7:00 PM up until around 10:30 PM, hundreds of people flocked to the Melrose between the cross streets of Curson and Spaulding to celebrate the life of the late rapper. The event was very evocative of XXXTentacion's discography, in the sense that there were so many different things going on at once, so many different layers to digest all in the moment. There were mosh pits juxtaposed with calm circles of candlelit vigils going on. Some people were crying, others played his music from their cars, and almost everyone was smoking copius amounts of weed.
Ultimately, the memorial erupted in chaos and police eventually intervened. Somehow, someway, it's possible that that's how X would have wanted it to end. No matter the case, he left his mark on the world, as is clearly evidenced by the memorial.
7:00 PM Upon arriving at Adam22's BMX shop Onsomeshit and No Jumper headquarters, there was a line of people wrapping around the block from Melrose Avenue and spilling over into Curson ave.
7:30 PM People began blocking the street and a crowd began to form in the middle of Melrose bringing traffic to a full stop.
7:50 PM Police arrived and began blocking the street off and directing traffic. A police helicopter also showed up and began to circle the perimeter of Melrose between Curson & Spaulding avenue. "Long live X" broke out and the crowd's aggression rose -- fireworks came into the mix, with fans shooting them off.
8:30 PM Onsomeshit closed the gate to their store but it only seemed to energize the crowd further.
8:45 PM People began climbing on the roof of Onsomeshit and the surrounding buildings. Rappers Skinny from The 9 and 24hrs showed up to pay their respects to the deceased.
9:00 PM Roof-jumping commenced. An ambulance showed up and things became even more hectic.
9:15 PM Some fans gathered in the middle of the street to hold a candle lit vigil and moment of silence for X. This was truly the calm before the storm.
9:30 PM Rapper Chris King showed up and appeared to be filming a visual for his tribute song to X.
Riot control police cut off access to the street and began to move in on the lingering, rowdier-by-the-minute crowd.
9:45 PM People began climbing and jumping onto cars and media coverage trucks.
10:00 PM A car with more than a dozen people on top of it and a broken windshield drove up and down Melrose.
10:15 PM Police broke out the tear gas and rubber bullets, ultimately dispersing the crowd.