Tired, dejected, isolated, beaten, bruised and abused — this is the story of 19-year-old Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, more commonly known as XXXTentacion.
The blossoming internet music scene has allowed for the relatively young genre of hip-hop to fragment into a myriad of different subsets, with artists pulling from a variety of influences that transcend the genre’s original stylistic parameters. The ability to create, share and listen to music with extreme ease has enabled audiences to find hyper-specific sonic niches often ignored by the mainstream media. XXXTentacion is an infamous by-product of this phenomenon.
Considered as one of the most successful artists to start their career on SoundCloud, the Broward County, Fla. native has shocked and confused listeners with his mercurial music output and constant legal disputes. XXXTentacion was arrested in Miami-Dade County, Fla. on Oct. 8, 2016. Charged with aggravated battery of his pregnant ex-girlfriend, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment and witness-tampering, XXXTentacion pled not guilty. The musician’s short career has become defined by volatility and uncertainty.
These aggressive and tormented compulsions also manifest themselves in his music. Prior to the release of “17,” XXXTentacion posted miscellaneous singles and rickety mixtapes to his SoundCloud page. Though every track is characterized by lo-fi production, XXXTentacion proved himself as a multi-dimensional artist. When tracks like “I don’t wanna do this anymore” and “vice city” are compared with “Pistol” or even his break-out hit, “Look at Me!,” it appears to be coming from two different artists.
Before giving birth to XXXTentacion, the current South Floridian rap scene took root with artists like SpaceGhostPurrp, Denzel Curry and Robb Banks — who defined the druggy, aggressive and alternative rap mini-Mecca. What set apart XXXTentacion, $ki Mask The Slump God and other members of…