XXXTentacion: a musician lost too soon or an immoral criminal

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XXXTentacion: a musician lost too soon or an immoral criminal

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American Rapper Jahseh Onfroy, better known by the moniker XXXTentacion, was assassinated on June 18, 2018 near his home in Broward County, Florida. He has since left two parallel legacies for fans of Soundcloud-style rap to remember him as, one of love, and one of hate.

From one perspective, Tentacion was a musical revolutionary and a symbol of hope. He, amongst other underground rappers like Lil Peep and Ski Mask the Slump God, pioneered a wave of awareness regarding mental illness in his music. His lyrics often confronted such topics as depression, suicidal thoughts, and experiencing the death of loved ones. He served as an inspiration to thousands of young adolescents experiencing their own internal tribulations, and many of these fans continue to celebrate Tentacion and his music months after his death.

Despite Tentacion’s contributions to the genre of rap music, opening its boundaries to a level of sensitivity and introspection which had never been seen before, the artist has an abundance of downfalls. Before Tentacion’s death, he faced allegations of domestic abuse and battery throughout his rise to fame. A testimony given by Tentacion’s girlfriend revealed that he supposedly beat her while she was pregnant, threatening to kill her multiple times throughout their relationship. In addition to this, Tentacion was also arrested for stabbing nine people, something he confessed to on a tape released after his death.

To add even more controversy to this topic, Tentacion demonstrated his viewpoint on the allegations before his death, never explicitly declaring himself as guilty or innocent. By starting the Helping Hand Charity Foundation, Tentacion provided homeless and displaced youth with a ‘sense of hope’ according to a childrens shelter in Florida, and also announced a donation of $100,000 in support of domestic abuse organizations just a few months before his assassination. On the other side of things, Tentacion also made a series of scathing comments while live on Instagram, including one which served as an invitation for women who wish to be domestically abuse to make contact with him. This leaves room for a great amount of debate regarding whether the young rapper was truly remorseful over his actions or not, and the sensitive nature of the issue causing the controversy has polarized the fanbase of the Soundcloud rap community.

Members of Poolesville’s student body are found on both sides of the argument for Tentacion’s legacy, with many of the students finding themselves somewhere in between the two viewpoints. Michael Suzich, a senior in Global, explained the mixed emotions he feels regarding Tentacion.

“I definitely enjoy his music and the emotionally-subject of X’s lyrics,” he quickly declared, “but I do feel as if X is not an appropriate icon for his scene due to the allegations brought against him.”

Humanities senior Josh Tiren, another student who is also familiar with Tentacion’s music, is much less forgiving of the deceased rapper.

“The amount of hate conveyed in his social media posts is an element of X’s persona that I simply could not get out of my head whenever I tried to listen to his music after I heard his comments. Although I do believe he was a unique, talented rapper, his actions ruin his character both within and apart from the music.”

Despite Tentacion passing away more than three months ago, dialogue still continues regarding the artist’s legacy. Die hard fans will continue to worship the late rapper as a prophet, and just as many of those fans’ peers will scorn them for doing so.