Rapper XXXTentacion killed in Deerfield Beach shooting

Underground hip-hop star dies in possible robbery, detectives say

By Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer, Ian Margol - Reporter, Terrell Forney - Reporter

DEERFIELD BEACH, Fla. - The Broward Sheriff's Office confirmed the man who was fatally shot in a possible robbery Monday in Deerfield Beach is Jasheh Onfroy, better known as rapper XXXTentacion and remembered in South Florida as a rising star of the SoundCloud underground rap movement. He was 20. 

Detectives said the rapper, who was born in Plantation, was driving a black BMW after leaving RIVA Motorsports, a motorcycle dealership at 3671 N. Dixie Highway, when a gunman with a red mask shot him and fled with an accomplice in a black Dodge Journey. 

Onfroy, who was living in Parkland, was shot about 4 p.m. He was supposed to be serving house arrest until March 21 for a domestic violence case in Miami-Dade County. He was facing charges of battery, false imprisonment and witness tampering -- charges to which he had pleaded not guilty. 

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue personnel rushed the wounded rapper to nearby Broward Health North, where he was pronounced dead about 5:30 p.m. TMZ published a video that showed witnesses surrounding his car before deputies arrived. 

"If I'm going to die or ever be a sacrifice, I want to make sure that my life made at least 5 million kids happy, or they found some sort of answers or resolve in my life, regardless of the negative around my name, regardless of the bad things people say to me ... I appreciate and love all of you and I believe in you all," the artist said on a live stream on Instagram that was going viral. "Do not let your depression make you. Do not let your body define your soul; let your soul define your body."

XXXTentacion's popular song about suicide -- "Sad!" -- was streamed at least 270 million times on Spotify, about 174 million on YouTube and was on the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. The rising star had earned respect from members of the the hip-hop community who quickly reacted to the tragedy on social media. 

"Enormous talent and limitless potential and a strong desire to be a better person," rapper J. Cole tweeted. "God bless his family, friends and fans."

Kanye West displayed regret. 

"Rest in peace. I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here," West wrote. "Thank you for existing."

Onfroy began recording in 2013 as a solo artist and as a member of the Members Only collective after time in a juvenile detention center.

XXXTentacion was enjoying a surge in popularity in the last year and had a No. 1 album after the domestic violence case. In early 2017, "Look at Me!" was the first hit of the SoundCloud genre-crashing rap movement on the Billboard Hot 100. 

"Diplo says XXXTentacion wanted him & Skrillex to finish the rapper's next album," Billboard tweeted

The success hit while Onfroy was in jail for aggravated battery of a pregnant woman and false imprisonment. The song peaked at No. 34 and was among the most commercially successful artists who started on SoundCloud.

His certified-gold "17" album was released in August and his "?" album was released in March. It made its debut on the Billboard album chart as No. 1.

Amid it all, XXXTentacion faced Spotify, a popular music streaming service, when they stopped promoting him and other artists whose conduct Spotify employees classified as "hateful." The censorship only lasted about three weeks. In March, he was the most-streamed artist on Spotify with 26.7 million. 

Broward Sheriff's Office detectives were asking anyone with information about the shooting to call 954-321-4210 or Broward County Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

 

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