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Xxxtentaction: The Enigmatic Artist and his Legacy

When I heard X was shot and killed I was initially hesitant to comment. It felt too soon. However, to not cover his death is both intellectually dishonest and journalisticly incompetent. As a great poet once said, "now that he is dead, he may truly live".

His impact on the SoundCloud industry is undeniable. When his track “Look At Me” burst the young artist onto the underground scene, and mainstream charts, it felt like our generation had arrived. When X’s name and music began to be brought up in casual conversations in my dorm during my junior year of college and not just online I knew the music scene had finally escaped out of the underground and would never again be contained. The culture shifted. His name became synonymous with the SoundCloud movement. A new dawn of music was upon us and X’s music apologetically ushered it in.

While his personal life has been marred in controversy his music nonetheless has maintained its appeal. X’s art and music reflected our generation’s struggle with depression, anxiety, and suicide. For that, he should be artistically commended regardless of how one may view his personal life. His music resonated deeply with others his age who weren’t as emotionally vulnerable as X. People of all backgrounds, sexualities, and races connected with him. The man was a human being. Surely, he made mistakes, as none of us are perfect, yet he made an effort to turn his negativity into a medium of artistic expression. Through his music, he made an effort to correct course and inspire his fans to imagine a better life. 

Above is a photo of Jahsey Onfroy aka xxxtentacion.

Above is a photo of Jahsey Onfroy aka xxxtentacion.

X was an individual, an artist pursuing his vision absolutely regardless of the social backlash or concern. Sure, the man was brash, but this quality of his personality and music only made him more endearing. Each track was always different, his songs changing genres and tones in order to match his emotions. They are honest, open, and some of them are fantastic achievements in art. It’s hard to say the same of other contemporaries in the scene.

Without his contributions to the industry, it’s unlikely the scene would develop into what it is today. With his passing, it’s hard not to feel the loss of a legend. His death marks another milestone in our movement’s short history. Could you believe less than 3 years ago he was an unnamed artist? Time moves fast. On second thought, you don’t need to take my word for it, listen to his music and see for yourself.


Rest In Peace to Jahsey Onfroy aka xxxtentacion. 

1998 - 2018