A 20-yr-old rapper named XXXtentacion (real name Jahsen Dwayne Onfroy) has died. He was shot to death in a robbery in Miami. It's always sad when anyone dies, but the Hollywood response to his death is... questionable (at best). Various celebrities, including Kanye West, have reacted to his death, expressing remorse and suggesting he was an inspiration to this generation. His fans on social media have proclaimed him to be something of a hero with years of supposed humanitarian work under his belt (which is a bit of a stretch, at best).
Reality check: he wasn't a great person. In fact, he was a horrible person. At age 20, he already had a long list of crimes under his belt (many of them violent) and most of these incidents happened somewhat recently. While it's fair to say he was just being young and stupid, unfortunately "Young and stupid" is probably the best way we can describe his legacy.
Let's walk through some of his life decisions, shall we?
In 2014 (age 16), he was sent to a juvenile detention center for a gun possession charges. According to him, the district attorney wanted to try him as an adult which, according to his own legal expertise, would have come with a sentence of 5–10 years in prison.
Some might think that would have been an unfair sentence but, if he had been kept in jail for that length of time, it would have prevented him from committing a laundry list of crimes (again, many of which were violent in nature).
Moving along to July 2016 (age 18), XXXtentacion was charged with robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. According to the report, he entered a man's home (with three other witnesses present), armed with a gun. After pistol-whipping the victim he fled the scene with a used iPad, iPhone, PlayStation portable and $20 (total estimated net worth - about $450 + tax). He was later arrested and posted bail for $10,000 in October 2016.
While awaiting trial, he was arrested again (within less than a month) on charges of false imprisonment, witness tampering, and aggravated battery of a pregnant teenage girl.
In March 2017 (age 19) he was released from jail on bail for his probation of robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. His trial for aggravated battery of (again, of a pregnant girl) was originally going to take place in May but was pushed back several times. On September 2017 a music magazine leaked his female victim's testimony for the aggravated battery case. The trial was delayed (again) to December 2017 and again after an affidavit was filed asking for the charges to be "completely dropped." The victim in the case declined to testify in court so the prosecution split the case into two, with witness tampering charges filed and a new trial date announced for December 2017.
He pleaded not guilty and was taken into pretrial custody after a motion was filed by prosecution for violating his bond.He was held without bail but later released on house arrest. Shortly after being released from house arrest, a video surfaced from 2013 that showed XXXtentacion hitting a woman while dancing around her in a mocking fashion.
The woman in the video came forward several days later saying she was "terrified for her life," supposedly because of online death threats from his fans.
In March 2017, following his release from jail, a riot broke out at one of his shows in Miami. Police eventually escorted him out and closed the show down.
In June 2017 he punched an audience member during a concert in Utah for "touching" him. He was involved in another fight with a fan in October 2017 at a show in California.
Remember, he did all of this by age 20 - his short life thus far has been nothing but a string of violent incidents and rap music recording sessions.
Again, it's always sad when someone dies. I am by no means trying to glorify this man's death. But if we're going to be completely honest about who he was as an American celebrity, we also need to acknowledge the victims of his many violent crimes. Rappers are no strangers to controversy, but beating a woman and robbing a man in his own home doesn't make you someone who deserves to be treated as a role model. THis is XXXtentacion's legacy. Long after his music starts to sound dated and out of style, the victims of his crimes will remember him for the true character of his being.