XXXTENTACION: Does he deserve to be remembered?
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Amidst the release of Skins, the posthumous album from the late XXXTENTACION, debates about the rapper’s legacy have been sparked on social media and around the school.
XXXTENTACION was murdered on June 21, after an armed robbery took a fatal turn. He died shortly after in his car.
The controversy surrounding “X” is based on his violent and arrest-filled past. The most notable event being his 2016 domestic abuse arrest when he was accused of aggravated battery of a pregnant woman. The allegations say that he held his girlfriend captive in his apartment, and he tortured and beat her. The victim and the rapper’s ex-girlfriend, Geneva Ayala, said that after he complimented his friend on his jewelry, X slapped her across her face and slammed her phone on the ground. Geneva alleged that he punched her, head-butted her, stomped on her, held her head under running water in a bathtub, and threatened to kill her. Once she became pregnant with his child, the abuse did not stop.
There was an ongoing trial for this case, but the charges were officially dropped due to his death.
This is not the only case of violence in his life though, as there are claims that X also beat a man for allegedly “looking at him”. Although he did not admit to the reason why he did it, he’s bragged about it in interviews saying that “I was going crazy. Like, I smear his blood on my face, in my hands, I got it in my nails, bro, I had it all over me.” In a recent tape released by Pitchfork, he admits to stabbing nine people during an altercation in Florida.
“Personally, I don’t believe he is guilty in the domestic abuse case, but I do think that he was a violent person,” said Kosta Kinnas, senior. “I also believe in the separation of art and the artist. We do it all the time. Look at John Lennon for example. He made amazing music, but it is a fact that he beat his wife and kid.”
Before his death, streaming services such as Spotify took a stand against him, and banned his music from their official playlists, but after his death, they made him the face of their “Rap Caviar” playlist.
“Whether you like him or not, he is everywhere. My favorite song by him is ‘Falling Down’, which is a collaboration with Lil Peep, another rapper who tragically passed away,” said Julia Krasuski, senior.
His death created a separation in the rap community, some shaming him for his past, while others recognizing his musical importance.
“I believe that X’s legacy should be viewed positively due to the fact that he was never convicted of the allegations brought forth by his girlfriend,” said Joe Paulson, senior. “He was never found guilty, so people should focus not on his allegations, but on his music. He had a unique style of music and he connected with millions of people.”
It is clear that the rapper has a twisted past, but only time will tell how he will be remembered. His music reached the ear of millions, and his name will live on.
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