As much as I’ll try to write this from an objective point of view and stay fair, it won’t be quite as possible as I would like. Let’s put the carts on the table: I do not like this dude. Not that it matters. But if ever while reading this you feel that I’m particularly severe in my judgments, well it’s probably because I really, really cannot stand him. And here’s why:
My disregard towards X has very little to do with his music. That should be clear too, I’m not attacking him as an artist. Even though my attention was first brought to him after listening to some of his early projects. Basically, all good until summer 2017, more precisely, the 8th of September when Pitchfork published this article.
The article starts with a note warning its readers: This article contains descriptions of alleged domestic violence that some people may find disturbing. Because yes, that’s how graphic those details are.
At the time this was published, XXXTentacion’s debut album 17 had just been released and sitting on second place in Billboard Hot 100. Which made the rapper pretty proud as he was repeatedly showing it off on his Instagram account. Only something was coming in his way whilst on his path to success:
Last October (2016), prosecutors charged him with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness-tampering.
The story was coming up again in 2017 because the victim had just added detailed elements to these charges made in 2016. This is not only a little smudge on the lens: these accusations are very, very bad and also quite serious. Besides these allegations being shocking and disturbing, it’s most of all heartbreaking picturing someone having to endure all of this. Since the publication of Pitchfork’s article, a lot has happened and unfortunately the trial has been postponed several times, mainly by the rapper’s attorneys. X pleads his innocence and, well, as far as we can conclude: it looks bad for him. You’ll have to be a true XXXTentacion believer to stand up for his innocence at this point.
Nevertheless I want to stay fair in this. Despite the fact that there is a police report you can check out here which clearly says: “Victim’s both eyes where punched to where both eyes became shut and the victim could not see”. It’s hard to think she punched herself in the face or asked someone else to do it in order to frame X. But we’ll get to those details later.
Back to trying to be fair: Let’s assume the rapper is innocent and this is a mean way to get to the young man’s career which was taking off at the time when these charges were made public.
Timing is important for the victim’s credibility: here we can say that, well, why wasn’t she talking about this earlier? Before him dropping his debut album…basically before he was this popular? Legit questions.
Sidenote: When I say “Timing is important for the victim’s credibility” it is obviously in quite an ironic tone. As if timing would really matter, what determinates the victim’s credibility really is the aggressor. This is not ironic, but sarcastic.
But then again…
Fact is, the victim did go to the police way before his debut album dropped and before he had become a popular figure on Instagram and Twitter. A whole year earlier as a matter of fact, as you can confirm by taking a closer look to the police report made on the 10th of August 2016.
Now maybe we can consider that this girl did not intentionally plot XXX’s downfall from his rise to success after releasing his first studio album. Maybe there is a part of truth in what she says and she’s not just desperately trying to get that “clout”.
For some this is still not enough to prove the rapper’s involvement in this case and his popularity got out of these events with nothing, but a few scratches only. He finally got out of jail waiting for trial while being under house-arrest. In the meantime he had A LOT to say about this affair. These are indeed serious charges he’s facing that could lock him up for the rest of his life. And he’s only 20. It’s a frightening reality that would drive anyone his age mad or at least leave them filled with a sense of injustice. Especially, let’s consider, if he’s innocent.
No one appreciates being judged by their appearances. Only in most scenarios, they’re not facing lifetime in prison, so they pretty much allow themselves to behave on social media like no one is watching. This is not the case for X who seems to be very well aware about his fan base and like he repeats in his first single “Look at me!”, enjoys being the center of attention quite a bit. In other words: his behavior, or whatever he put up there, was not matching his so claimed-innocence. Especially after this came up:
(…) In video of another call, provided by the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office and readily available online, Onfroy can be heard saying, “I did not beat that bitch, she got jumped.” There’s laughter. The same voice continues, “And by the way for all you dumb fuck-ass n—– that thought this stupid bitch was pregnant, I got the paperwork signifying that she wasn’t pregnant, so when I get out I’m fucking all your little sisters in the fucking throat hole.”
“so when I get out I’m fucking all your little sisters in the fucking throat hole.”… It’s on video right here if you have trouble believing this.
Part of being fair in this is also mentioning that the rapper talked, in previous interviews, about his struggles with depression and his difficult childhood. But since I’m staying fair, here is why I won’t go into details concerning this side of his. One thing is being mentally unstable and suffering under it. It’s a whole other thing to have charges for an extreme case of domestic violence, charges that cannot be dismissed by the simple idea of “well, the boy is fucked up. It’s not his fault”. Mental illness does not excuse domestic violence. Now repeat this sentence in your head until it sticks.
First, this is bad for men suffering under mental issues. This is the image that is being spread by mentally unstable young men: violent and aggressive against women. Since boys aren’t allowed to cry and to express their feelings as spontaneously as women, well, they just punch those girls in the face instead.
“It’s not them in their toxic male gaze. It’s the depression.”
Second, is this how we’re going to let domestic violence be seen as? Simply an act committed by an emotionally and mentally unstable men. As if it was completely out of their control to be responsible for smashing your face against the wall. Several times.
“It’s not them and their misogynistic behaviors. It’s the depression.”
I promised to stay fair and I will not deny that his mental issues do not come in handy while trying to balance his temperament. Also, after reading multiple articles concerning his arrests, it’s true that simply calling him a misogynist is not fair. Boys and girls, equally got to taste his abuse riddled with violent assaults, it’s not as sexists as it looks. But it is indeed as bad as it looks, at least from my point of view. And it doesn’t get any better…
Earlier this week Pitchfork published this:
Does it feel like a déjà-vu yet? Now it’s not his debut album, but it’s his second studio album “?” occupying the number one spot on the charts as this video drops seemingly out of thin air. People have trust issues and, well, it is suspicious that his demons from the past only seem to come pay him a visit when his career is on the up and up.
Except that, these are the moments where the world is watching and is focused on X and maybe, just maybe, this is the right moment to leak such a video. Maybe the goal behind this is for this video to go as viral as possible and not necessarily to destroy his uprising career. I don’t think someone getting slapped by this dude in such a “jokey” way, gives a bloody shit about his music. Maybe it’s because these girls want to warn others or simply show his true face. Maybe…
In the meantime this is how the rapper’s attorneys are trying to get out of this one:
We have seen what purports to be an aged (which is apparent from the physical differences in the depiction) video and note that it is, at least, inconclusive as to whether any such “hitting” actually occurred and WHEN this alleged incident took place. Moreover, the actors in this video are obviously friends, and also obviously acting in jest. You should be also aware that we are advised that the woman in the video has been located and has admitted that that activity depicted was a “joke” and not an “assault,” something that can easily be determined from watching it.
Adding to it:
Jahseh has been more than a changed young man as a result of this ordeal and it is disturbing that people who have negative agendas continue to try to tar him. He has dedicated himself to spreading a positive message and has been participating in community outreach and charitable concerns, and, despite these attacks on him, he continues that positive approach and is staying true to his music.
The fact that there’s not even an apology in this statement concerning X’s behavior shown on the video, is a true reflection of pure and ugly arrogance. We can pretty much agree that slapping someone in the face like that is a pretty bad and rotten joke. Plus, this opinion is not shared by the girl on the video herself:
Should’t this start to ring some bells? It would take less for other guys with less popularity to get locked up. But not for XXXTentacion though. While being under house-arrest he worked on his music because there was not much left to do anyway and it’s actually something he’s good at. Despite all of the times X went dramatic on social media and stated that he would never ever make music again and blablabla. In the meantime, he also tried to show off his humane side by spreading “positivity and good energy” through his daily preaches on social media. Also, since his female public was low-key mistrusting him, he tried to catch up with some anti-domestic violence and anti-rape campaigns. Sometimes even encouraging girls to “talk to me in my DMs” if they needed a shoulder to cry on, because he’s a good dude. Which, if I was you, I would not do. Now he’s into charity too and that’s at least something good he’s doing with his money.
As long as the rapper can count on his fans’ support with comments such as these, he can rest his head. Plus his album is doing good in the charts, all good…
Concerning my opinion on XXXTentacion, he’s not a dude I’d like to be around, that’s for sure. Even his so called “good vibes” feel imposed rather than offered. He doesn’t have to be nice, I agree. But he doesn’t have to be a dick either.