Three men have been found guilty of shooting and killing rapper XXXTentacion during a 2018 robbery.
Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, known by his stage name XXXTentacion, was an up-and-coming rapper with a promising career ahead of him. However, these aspirations were cut short when he was killed during an ambush robbery in June 2018.
While the rapper was leaving a Florida motorcycle shop he was approached by two masked men who “demanded property” from him. During a 45 second struggle, at least one perpetrator shot the rapper. They then fled the scene with $50000 in cash that Onfroy had just withdrawn. He died in hospital later that day.
On Monday, after days of deliberation, three men were found guilty of armed robbery and first degree murder of the late rapper – Trayvon Newsome, 24; Dedrick Williams, 26; and Michael Boatright, 28. The three face mandatory life sentences, which will be given at a later date.
A fourth man, Robert Allen, pled guilty to second degree murder last year. He testified against the other three perpetrators, claiming that the four of them had planned to rob unsuspecting victims on the day Onfroy was killed.
XXXTentacion has been referred to as “rap’s most controversial man”, his personal life filled with countless domestic violence charges. At the time of his death, he was facing fifteen felony charges, including domestic battery, aggravated battery of a pregnant woman and domestic battery by strangulation. This pattern of abuse and volatility observed throughout his childhood.
He had a troubled upbringing and admitted to using violence to get attention from his mother. “I used to beat kids at school just to get her to talk to me, yell at me,” he said an interview. He was later expelled from school for fighting, leaving him to channel his energy and emotions into music.
Reflecting his violent youth, his songs touched on topics of depression, loneliness and abandonment. While the BBC described his music as “visceral and abrupt”, it also contained a level of tenderness and fragility. His combination of abruptness and raw emotion reflect the profound, lasting and dangerous effects of traumatic upbringings. Touching on themes of suicide, Onfroy later received criticism after he released a disturbing music video preview in which he pretended to hang himself.
XXXTentacion was a rising star in the music industry, his debut album 17 reaching no. 2 on the Billboard 200. Shortly after his death, many of his songs topped charts once more. Thousands of fans attended his memorial, demonstrating their devotion to the later rapper and his music’s lasting impact.