Officials: Rapper XXXTentacion shot dead in Florida

MIAMI – Officials say rapper XXXTentacion has died after being shot in Florida.

TMZ first reported the 20-year-old was leaving a motorcycle dealership when a gunman fired shots at his vehicle. The rapper was rushed to a hospital where he later died, according to TMZ and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office. Witnesses said on Twitter that the rapper appeared “lifeless.”

According to CNN, a spokesperson for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said two men in a dark-colored SUV shot and killed him in an apparent robbery at 3671 N. Dixie Highway in Deerfield Beach, where RIVA Motorsports is located, roughly 43 miles outside of Miami.

Dispatch received a call of a shooting at 3:57 p.m., and the sheriff’s office positively identified the rapper as the victim at 6:27 p.m.

Rise to Fame

Born Jahseh Onfroy, the Plantation, Florida, native rocketed to fame after his song “Look at Me” went viral on social media and audio distribution platform SoundCloud in 2016 according to CNN affiliate WSVN-TV.

He went on to be featured in XXL magazine’s 2017 Freshman Class alongside other up-and-coming artists.

His latest album “?” premiered at No. 1 when it was released in March, according to Billboard’s website. The album’s single “Sad!” peaked at No. 7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 15 weeks on the charts, according to Billboard.

The rapper had his share of legal troubles as well. He was arrested in South Florida, according to CNN affiliate WPLG-TV, while he was still a minor. At the time of his death, he was awaiting trial for a domestic violence incident involving his pregnant girlfriend. And he was under house arrest while he awaited trial on battery and harassment charges, according to Miami-Dade court documents.

XXXTentacion also stirred controversy. His September 2017 music video for the viral hit “Look at Me” sparked backlash for staging a scene depicting XXXTentacion lynching a young white boy. The video also referenced flashpoints in the national debate on race such as the 1991 Rodney King beating, the lynching in Mississippi of 14-year-old Emmett Till in 1955, the 2014 Ferguson, Missouri riots, the police shooting of Philando Castile in Minnesota in 2016 and the 2017 Charlottesville, Virginia, violence.

At the end of the video, XXXTentacion spoke about violence and American youth.

“Are you willing to risk your child’s future due to your own bigotry? The choice is yours, but your child will not stand for the hate. This generation will be loved, nurtured, heard and understood.”

Celebrity Reaction

When the news of XXXTentacion’s death hit, rappers took to social media.

Kanye West shared his condolences, saying “Rest in peace I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here thank you for existing.”

Juicy J also shared his thoughts in two short tweets saying “”Prayers up for @xxxtentacion” and “R.I.P. Xxxtentacion.”

Tyga, California rapper signed to Lil Wayne’s Young Money Entertainment, said its “so sad to lose good artist” via Twitter.

Rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine also took to Instagram to talk about XXXTentacion’s death in sometimes graphic language..

“Tomorrow’s not promised … you could be here today and be gone tomorrow,” he said. “X spread nothing but positivity.”