Update: Hip-hop website Complex this week released an investigation into a promise that XXXTentacion made after being charged with assaulting a former girlfriend to donate $100,000 to domestic violence charities. So far, there is no proof the rapper made any such donation, the website reported. The story details the publication's attempts to get in touch with the rapper's representatives, which mostly took the form of vague statements such as, "There's no date or time stamp on X's plans." Only when Complex told the reps they intended to publish their story did the representatives offer limited evidence. They claimed the rapper had made a donation to Women in Distress of Broward County, but refused to say how much was donated. Complex also contacted Women in Distress of Broward County to confirm the donation, but the organization declined comment.
Rapper XXXTentacion is not a good person. He's accused of some truly heinous crimes, which New Times has detailed extensively. But somehow he keeps finding his way back into the news, and this time, it's for suing a woman who has accused him of hitting her.
On March 26, video surfaced via TMZ of the rapper, birth name Jahseh Onfroy, striking a young woman on the side of her head. The two appear to be posing for Snapchat, and the caption reads, "I hate this nigga." Judging by Onfroy's appearance (his hairstyle is different and he has fewer tattoos), the video is not recent, but it was alarming enough to get the attention of prosecutors.
Onfroy's legal team initially responded by calling it a harmless gesture. "The actors in this video are obviously friends, and also obviously acting in jest," they told Pitchfork. They added, "We are advised that the woman in the video has been located and has admitted that that activity depicted was a 'joke' and not an 'assault.'"
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Shortly afterward, however, it seemed the woman came forward to set the record straight. "For those who are questioning why i didn't come forward earlier," she wrote on an Instagram story under the name @lilbcupp, "i was terrified for my life..imagine someone doing that to u unprovoked.? At 16? Let alone the people he associates himself w/? truth of the matter is I would still be holding on to this secret if it wasn't leaked [sic]." She went on to deny releasing the video herself.
Onfroy's response? A lawsuit. The rapper is now suing the woman for fraud and defamation. He alleges her grandparents attempted to extort money from him by offering her silence in exchange for $300,000, and he claims the woman wanted to hold a news conference to further attack him as an abuser. The suit also includes a claim made by the grandparents that Onfroy had thrown a BB gun at the woman prior to the punch seen on video.
All of this is happening as Onfroy awaits trial for a litany of charges, including aggravated assault and witness tampering. Incidentally, the video came out a few days after a judge let him off house arrest March 21. It also comes as the rapper sees his most intense career success yet: His latest album, simply titled ?, debuted at number one on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, with the single "Sad!" becoming the rapper's first Top 10 song. Young Thug has expressed interest in a collaboration. XXXTentacion is riding high.
And this leads us to the crux of the matter: He may be accused of abuse and he may be an awful person, but as long as he's successful and doing numbers, he's newsworthy. That combination of fame and infamy makes it necessary for the media to continue covering him. But this doesn't have to happen. You, the consumer, do not need to give this person the success that prolongs his time in the public eye, the time that allows him to have influence. Stop listening to his music. Stop paying attention. Give him what he deserves, and let him fade away.