XXXTentacion: A Controversial Mourning
By: Phelicia Ball
Hip-hop fans are mourning the death of XXXTentacion after news broke about his death early this week. XXXTentacion, 20, was shot while sitting in his car on Monday. It was announced Thursday that Dedrick Williams, 22, was arrested for his death.
XXXTentacion expeditiously rose to fame, gaining his notoriety from SoundCloud. His first release to SoundCloud was “News/Flock” in 2013. By 2018, XXXTentacion grew an extensive fan base, reaching over 2 million followers on SoundCloud.
Fans gravitated to XXXTentacion because he wasn’t your typical hip-hop artist. He extensively expressed his battle with depression through his music–not once missing a beat. Depression and mental illness are a telling matter that not just artists, but society seldom considers. The dialogue practically doesn’t exist. It’s a topic that has been silenced for far too long, and XXXTentacion did not shy away from that. He might’ve had one of the most honest articulations of depression, that required so much vulnerability. In a society that is shameful of mental illness, it is clear why so many fans gravitated to his ability to open up to millions.
The death of the rapper is hard for some to part with because he also left behind a violent past. XXXTentacion has an extensive list of disturbing charges, including false imprisonment, domestic battery by strangulation, witness tampering and aggravated battery of a pregnant woman—his girlfriend.
Though a controversial rapper, XXXTentacion was no doubt soaring through his career, making the Billboard Top 100s, while also connecting with a community that is seldom silenced. Interestingly enough, XXXTentacion’s music sales jumped 1,603% following his death. Many fans believe he was making positive changes to improve his character, while others argue his death shouldn’t be mourned due to such a violent past.