UPDATED: Rapper XXXTentacion has died following a shooting in South Florida, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office confirmed. He was 20.
According to police, XXX was leaving a RIVA Motorsports in Deerfield Beach, Fla., shortly before 4 p.m. when he was approached by two armed suspects. At least one of the suspects shot XXX, and they both fled in an SUV. Investigators say it appeared to be a possible robbery.
XXX was transferred to Broward Health North, where he was pronounced dead. The investigation is ongoing.
Earlier in the day, a source had told Variety that the rapper, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, had been critically wounded. TMZ first reported that XXX had “no pulse” following the incident.
A Broward County official initially said there was “a developing incident regarding a shooting” located in Deerfield Beach, about 43 miles north of Miami, in which an “adult male victim was transported to an area hospital.” That 20-year-old male was later identified as Jahseh Onfroy, aka XXXTentacion.
Said Caroline Records, XXXTentacion’s label, in a statement to Variety: “Everyone at Caroline is shocked to learn of the tragic death of Jahseh Onfroy, professionally known as XXXTentacion. We extend our heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.”
His team issued a statement on his death on Tuesday. “It is with great sadness that the news is confirmed in this official statement by his team—manager Solomon Sobande, EMPIRE, Bob Celestin, Esq. and AKW PR.”
“In deference to his family, friends, and loved ones and in light of further investigation, we ask that their privacy be respected at this time,” the statement went on. “XXXTentacion touched the lives of millions around the globe and will forever reside in the hearts of countless fans who listened to his music, attended his concerts, and felt the glow of his uncontainable, undeniable, and unique spirit.”
In 2017, the hip-hop newcomer appeared on the cover of XXL Magazine’s influential “Freshman” issue alongside Kamaiyah, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, PnB Rock, MadeinTYO, Playboi Carti, Aminé, Kap G, KYLE and Ugly God. XXX won the fan vote to make the cover.
The 20-year-old Florida native has been embroiled in legal problems over his alleged beating of a girlfriend while pregnant. The controversy has resulted in numerous articles calling for the greater music industry to not “co-sign,” or endorse, his music, including one that was published by Pitchfork titled, “XXXTentacion Is Blowing Up Behind Bars. Should He Be?”
XXX was also one of the artists to spur a “hateful conduct” ban on Spotify — since revoked — which removed his music from popular playlists like Rap Caviar. Hours after his death, XXXTentacion claimed the top two spots on the playlist, with songs from “?,” along with a tag at the top that read, “Rest In Peace, XXXTENTACION.”
A June 5 feature on the rapper that appeared in Miami New Times chronicled the hip-hop star’s rise to fame, delving deep into his unstable home life and trouble with the law. In the piece, XXX is quoted as saying that abuse allegations “can go off hearsay,” and that “women are almost more powerful than men.”
In March, XXXTentacion’s album “?” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 album chart. His previous release, called “17,” landed at No. 2.
XXXTentacion first began creating music after serving time at a youth correction center. In an interview with No Jumper, posted to YouTube in 2016, the rapper detailed parts of his childhood, during which he was removed from his school choir for physically assaulting another student.
The Miami New Times piece also documented another instance in which the rapper was expelled from Margate Middle School after after participating in more physical altercations. XXXTentacion officially left the education system for good when he dropped out of high school after his sophomore year, according to a report by The Beat.
After serving time in prison for false imprisonment and battery of his ex-girlfriend, XXXTentacion returned to the music in 2017 with a re-released version of the song “Look at Me.” The song sparked controversy because of its stylistic similarities to the Drake song “KMT,” leading to allegations that Drake lifted XXXTentaction’s musical property. In interviews, the rapper publicly accused Drake of disrespecting his work.
In a live video recently posted to his Instagram, the rapper expressed his hopes for those he influenced in the event he “die a tragic death.”
“Worst thing comes to worst, I f—in die a tragic death or some s—, and I’m not able to see out my dreams, I at least want to know that the kids perceived my message and were able to make something of themselves and able to take my message and use it and turn it into something positive, and at least have a good life,” XXXTentacion said in the video. “If I’m gonna die or ever be a sacrifice, I want to make sure that my life made at least 5 million kids happy.”