The troubled life of XXXTentacion

Observer writer

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

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Jamaican music producer Jon FX remembers murdered rapper XXXTentacion as a talented, misunderstood youth who was set for bigger things.

XXXTentacion was shot and killed Monday in Florida in what police called an apparent robbery attempt outside a Deerfield Beach motorcycle dealership.

“He was very misunderstood, not the 'bad boy' image portrayed by the media. He just yearned to be appreciated,” said FX in an interview with the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

He added, “When he was happy, he would just run through the house and the studio, playing. Remember, he was just a kid.”

XXXTentacion, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was born in born and raised in Plantation, Florida. However, he spent most of his childhood in Lauderhill, a community with a large Jamaican populace. His father Dwayne Onfroy and mother Cleopatra Bernard are Jamaicans.

He began writing music after being released from a youth correction centre and eventually released his first song, News/Flock, on the audio distribution platform SoundCloud in June 2013.

His debut album, 17, was released in August 2017. XXXTentacion's sophomore album came out on March 16 on his Bad Vibes Forever label. Distributed by Caroline Distribution, a subsidiary of Capitol Music Group, it debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart. Among his songs are the Top 10 hit Sad, Changes, and the platinum-selling Jocelyn Flores.

FX recorded and mixed the tracks I Don't Even Speak Spanish LOL (which he also co-produced), Alone Part 3 and Smash. He also mixed the single Jocelyn Flores.

The troubled artiste had his scrapes with law enforcement. In late 2016 he was arrested by police on charges that included false imprisonment and aggravated battery, resulting from a spat with his pregnant girlfriend.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released from jail in April last year.

In an interview with the Jamaica Observer in March, FX described working with XXXTentacion.

“He's a very eccentric young man and is extremely smart and wise for his age. There's a lot that the audience can learn because he really understands the art of music and its organic promotion process.”

FX said he has unreleased material with the rapper including collaborations with Ky-Mani Marley and Vybz Kartel.

“We will release his music and continue the charity works he initiated. There is a charity event scheduled for July 31 which is being arranged by his attorney, Sam Rogatinsky.”

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