Longreads

Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, the singer-rapper known as XXXTentacion, died after an apparent armed robbery on June 18. He was 20 years old. His debut album, 17,  debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 last August, and a follow-up, ?, landed the number one spot in March. The popularity of his emotionally raw lyrics and sparse, cutting beats did not wane when allegations of strangulation, head-butting, kidnapping and other forms of physical and sexual abuse were made public last September.  In fact, XXX’s appeal only grew; fans as well as music industry insiders seemed to double down on their support. When the streaming service Spotify announced a plan to classify XXX and R. Kelly’s music as “hate content” and curtail promotion of the two artists, representatives of established hip-hop acts and label heads protested. Spotify abandoned the policy less than a month later, citing its “vague” language as one of the…

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