His name was Jahseh Onfrey, and he was the biggest mirrors of America in 2018. A time capsule of everything happening in America’s hip-hop culture, in one go. It’s almost difficult to fathom how one 20 year old could show the world…or at least the world that was willing to see, what was really going on.
See, he was coming onto the scene at such a young age for probably some of the most ridiculous reasons…actually things looked dim for the young man from the jump. Being involved in fights, being in juvenile prison like it was a holiday house, and emerging from all of that to make some of the most emotional music…a story that you could’ve found out of a movie script.
The young man had a stereotypical hip-hop beginning.
Mother was a young, hustling Jamaican mother and father wasn’t present, living with his grandmother in South Florida’s Fort Lauderdale. From stabbing a man who had was attacking his mother at the age of 6, to dropping out of high school at grade 10, he became very popular for being involved in many physical altercations.
He found Ski Mask the Slump God in juvenile as well and both made a conscious decision to pursuit music upon exit since they spent most of their detention spare time, freestyling. He says he was influenced by both rock and hip-hop during his early teenage years, namely Papa Roach, Kurt Cobain, Coldplay and Tupac, the latter of which he claims was the biggest influence especially lyrically. After a few singles on SoundCloud, XXXTentacion, (or ‘X’ as he became affectionately known between his fans), gained popularity through the accusations (made by fans and eventually the man himself) of Drake copying X’s flow on the later released KMT.
Peep the actual, more controversial music video below.
This is the part where people say “the rest is history”…but this young man’s death actually might make a shift a history in my opinion. The young man literally was a billboard sized mirror on the social culture of America who’s pretty much running all sorts of media you see anyway.
Social Media, KOD and Music
I don’t frequent Twitter much, simply because of how people allow information to flow – with no idea as to whether it’s true or not – on there. Besides social media being a minor springboard into popularity if you relate to enough people, people have gone and used it to get more people to look at them because a like button is a high nowadays. It’s so unfortunate that people apparently are said to have been taking pictures and snapping videos when the shooting occurred on the young culture leader.
His life’s robbery trended before he was able to get help.
Funny how this is just one incident yet the idea of how people use social media to get looks before they are willing to partake in the ills of the real world. Everyone is aiming to get attention, it’s even worse to realise many have it and yet don’t know what they would do once they get a sliver of that spotlight. X seemed to be a young gun who influenced even the OG’s.
The wisest thing I think I’ve been told is how ‘the wisest person is one who realises he is nothing, thus he will know everything’. Made sure he tried to spread a message through everything. His music videos, his music itself which had no particular/distinction of genre. He was always willing to explore sonically. From rock-screams, to triple cadence flows ona song with people like Joey Badass. He even made the XXL Freshman List of 2017.
Outside of publicly mentioning his constant experiences and struggles through depression, yet used his platform to promote the never-ending pursuit of being happy.
This was a major theme in his music and his personality. Throughout his entire career. Yet look at how much attention Kanye gets for going through mental issues…its making headlines. Kid Cudi also admits to the issue that he has mental issues. These are just 2 of the most influential members of today’s pop culture yet very few people have realised that their artistry is somewhat mirro what’s happening in society. The last time I ventured into social mediums, I realised how a lot of people are angry. It’s a common debate that is murmured only on social media (where the parents aren’t present) where quite a few black people admit to how they have these (previously considered) ‘white illnesses’.If not that, black kids grow up and figure that had their parents approach to teaching them about life would’ve been different, the relationship they have would’ve also differed as the communication about life would’ve been understood.It’s not just black people though. It’s a common topic between most young adults and teens…in fact, it’s quite the serious thing. Kids commit suicide, kids are cutting themselves, kids are on drugs. We could blame social media, or even the effect that hip-hop artists have on the culture but the truth is, this is exactly what it is.
There’s always a form of escapism we’re trying to use or find because the pain we’re going through is too much to handle. So we find an addiction. Whether it be gym, Instagram, drugs or even your religion. You find a means to soothe the pain of the truth, that some of whats happening in the world, is not making us happy. We’re surviving and very few, (if any) are living. X got me thinking about the credibility of some of the artists we listening to today, and basically how the media tells you what to see…not that many people would allow themselves to see things differently anyway.
As cliché as this question might be, ‘if you died today, what would you have left the world?’ it’s a question that X got me to answer that question, and maybe you might not have liked his music…and yes…the way he treated most if not all people in his early years, but I do believe he’s a success story to many, a leading example or what the typical teen faces in life.
Constantly fighting to be seen. Question is, when you’re seen, what are you willing to show the world?
CONOLENCES TO THOSE WHO WERE MOVED BY THE YOUNG MAN.