Name: Jahseh Onfroy
Alias: XXXTENTACION (xxx-tenta-ción)
Age: 19 (DOB: 1/23/1998)
Location: Broward County, FL
Affiliated Acts: $ki Mask the Slump God, Wifisfuneral, Denzel Curry, Pouya, Robb Bank$
Biggest Song: Look At Me!
Jahseh Onfroy is currently being held at the Metro West Detention Center in Miami, his life on hold as he waits for his trial to commence.
He is facing charges of false imprisonment, battery of a pregnant victim, and violation of his parole – charges that could effectively end his career at the tender age of nineteen.
However, despite the fact that he has been behind bars for the better part of the past five months, his career as the enigmatic XXXTENTACION has undergone an unprecedented ascent. He has gone from being just another SoundCloud rapper to putting the entire hip hop community on notice, even though he has released essentially no music over this time period.
His alias might sound more like an Xbox Live gamertag than the name of a rapper, but X’s talent is undeniable – he has showcased an unmatched versatility in his musical repertoire on his way to rapidly gaining over 200,000 followers on SoundCloud.
(Edit: He now has over 500,000)
To put that into perspective, that’s more than Chief Keef, Mick Jenkins, Rich the Kid, and MadeinTYO, all more established artists who routinely post music on SoundCloud. What’s more impressive is that X’s buzz has been built completely organically based off the power of his music and engaging persona, and it recently netted him an A$AP Rocky co-sign.
Musically, he might be the most talented youngster in hip hop. He has the potential to encompass a wider range than anyone ever has – he can hit you with classic conscious boom bap, make turn up bangers, sing silky smooth for a whole track, experiment by blending the genres of hip hop, screamo, and alternative rock, all while switching up his flows and subject matter in a variety of ways.
He has no music videos or solo mixtapes, nor does he not have the support of a label behind him, but there is a reason why XXXTENTACION has racked up millions of plays on several of his songs even though they are terribly mixed. His ability to create quality music in so many different lanes simultaneously allows him to reach a diverse audience, and he is able to compose complete pieces of work with his excellent beat selection and creative song construction.
But what makes X truly compelling is his wild personal life and the paradoxical qualities he has exhibited.
At only 18 years old, the Broward County native has the rap sheet of a seasoned convict, having already been in and out of juvenile correction facilities and jail multiple times. He has previously faced charges including robbery, home invasion, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and he has garnered a reputation as a belligerent hothead, which is reinforced by the plentiful footage online of him fighting.
In one clip that he broadcasted to the world on Periscope, he lured someone into his house then ambushed him, pummeling the helpless kid over owed money. Encounters like this have undoubtedly contributed to the blaring buzz around him as possibly the most polarizing figure in the underground hip-hop scene today.
X’s violent disposition leaks over into much of his music, where he abuses tracks with an aggressive delivery over heavily distorted bass, blurring the line between rap and metal. His angry energy will give you goosebumps, with combative lyrics like Cocaine for my breakfast // Hold that pistol ambidextrous // p*ssy boy talk reckless he might end up on a stretcher. As the premier artist performing this avant-garde style, he is pushing the boundaries of the typical hip-hop sound.
Through his aggressively “edgy” behavior and music, he has accumulated a dedicated cult-like following throughout the nation. While I was in the heart of the crowd at Camp Flog Gnaw waiting for shows to begin, I heard people scream, “FREE X!” on multiple different occasions. Posts on social media, online forums, and YouTube videos are also littered with “FREE X!” comments, and his fans have defended him to the death in the face of the damning allegations against him.
The fact that Jahseh actually walks the walk in terms of what he raps about adds to his appeal. There seems to be no disconnect between his recording persona and who he is in real life, where the boy has shown no fear in handling situations the way his music would make you think he would. In this clip, he can be seen pressing a guy who flashes a gun at him while screaming at the guy to shoot him, while the following picture is the end result of a guy who fought X over an unreceived feature, even though he paid for it. (X’s reasoning)
However, Jahseh has shown a depth and intelligence in interviews and social media posts that clash with the hostile version of himself that he has portrayed. At a huge contrast to much of hyper-masculine hip-hop culture, he admits to towering insecurities and the inner war he fights everyday against his personal demons. X has also admitted to suffering from depression, likening it to a mental prison and saying that it is a key motivator for him, because he becomes, “distraught at seeing people succumb to themself” (Mars Files Ep. 25).
This side of him comes out in the other half of his discography where he sings and flows poetic about his emotions over well-picked samples. He pulls you into his world of depression and heartbreak with a great singing voice and brooding, poignant rapping, which is night and day compared to his metal-esque material.
The contradicting qualities he has displayed have created an irresistible mystique to him. On one hand, he has been a violent criminal making abrasive alternative rap, and on the other, he is a sensitive guy with human emotions who makes music with mass appeal. This is what fuels the never-ending tug-of-war between his supporters and their opposition.
Many are quick to label him as a psychopath. In his No Jumper interview, X weaves a story about smashing his homosexual cellmate’s face in while strangling him to keep him quiet, all because he kept looking at X despite being warned to stop. He has been seen on Periscope riding around with his friends who flash glocks while looking for SpaceGhostPurrp when the two were beefing.
What is most appalling, however, is his denunciation as a domestic abuser from his ex-girlfriend. However, this should be taken with a grain of salt, as the true picture of what happened is hazy at best. Amidst the carousel of deleted social media posts, hearsay, and wild accusations, none of the information that has come up has seemed truly reliable.
His ex posted pictures with two severe black eyes and claims of nerve damage and pregnancy, but they have been taken down. She even started a GoFundMe to pay for surgery to “save her eye” and raised thousands of dollars from supporters, but paperwork indicating no orbital fractures and no baby came to light, casting doubt to the situation. This ultimately planted the seed of skepticism of whether her injuries were fabricated with makeup or not.
X claims that she was jumped and that he did not play a role in her injuries, while she claims that he attacked her after finding out about her infidelity. It appears no one will know the truth until the trial is resolved.
One could point to his tough upbringing for his issues. His father has been incarcerated for essentially his entire life, and his mother could not properly raise him. He even claims that at six-years old, a man put hands on his mom so he bit the man’s flesh out and stabbed him with a glass shard. He eventually had to move in with his grandmother, and he would never go on to graduate high school.
In the face of all this legal trouble and controversy, it seems to be only a matter of time until XXXTENTACION joins Kodak Black and Denzel Curry as the faces of Florida’s new hip hop scene, as long as he gets out of jail.
He is an interesting, Very Rare type of oddity in today’s hip hop landscape. It is impossible to come up with an appropriate comparison for X. He won’t fit in any box you try to put him in, whether in music or personality.
He seems like an intelligent kid who can’t seem to reign in his emotions, but one who is aware of his shortcomings and what he needs to work on. Here is to hoping he is able to grow as a person and leave all of his troubles behind him. Just put him in the studio with the proper team and let him continue to make his refreshingly unique sound amidst today’s ocean of bland auto-tune rappers.
Tune in on January 19th, 2017. The trial of Jahseh Onfroy.
Edit: His court date has been pushed back to April 1st. Possible causes that have arisen are that new evidence was introduced to the case and/or the judge did not show up to the trial.
- Managed by Adam from the No Jumper Podcast
- Uses a lo-fi sound for “authenticity”
- Calls himself Young Dagger Dick (Guess why)
- Egyptian, Indian, German, Jamaican, & Italian descent
- Expected to release multiple projects in 2017 including
- Bad Vibes Forever
- I Need Jesus: The Mixtape (Prod. DJ Carnage & STAIN) [Hosted by DJ Carnage]
- Member’s Only Vol. 3 [15 Tracks] (w/ Wifi, Ski Mask, Craig Xen & More)
- Tape w/ Robb Banks
- Tape w/ Craig Xen
- Tape w/ Wifisfuneral