Over the years the hip-hop genre has seen it’s fair share of so-called ‘villains of the game’ who are set to change music as we know it in the most controversial possible way. Previously we had the likes Eminem and Tyler, The Creator testing the limits of political correctness with their lyrics and their approach, but now we have a new loveable rogue to look out for. Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy is better known by the stage name ‘XXXTENTACION’, which translates to ‘Unknown Temptation’, and the movements he has made in the hip-hop genre in just a small amount of time is nothing short of astronomical for someone his age. At just 19 years old, he has become one of the most popular SoundCloud artists around and even has a single which placed in the Billboard Hot 100 chart. What is even more shocking about these facts? All of this was done while being in prison, no possibility of advertisement available to him. A remarkable feat really when you think about it, and it only points to the direction he will be going in the near future.
XXXTENTACION (We will now just refer to him as ‘X’) has three projects prepared for this year, all in order to keep his hype justified and relevant and to see how far his current stream of popularity can take him. His debut studio album ‘Bad Vibes Forever’ is on it’s way to us soon and he is also working on mixtapes titled ‘I Need Jesus’ and ‘Revenge’ along with the ‘Members Only, Vol. 3’ mixtape with regular collaborator Ski Mask the Slump God. Why should we be excited for these I hear you say? Well, when asked to talk about some of his biggest musical inspirations, his answer was far from expected; stating that he listened to music as varied as the hip-hop roots of Young Money (Drake, Nicki Minaj, Lil Wayne) to rock and metal vibes coming from the likes of Papa Roach, genuinely. He has also claimed that he would love to collaborate with The Fray in the future, yes that is the band that did ‘How To Save A Life’ by the way. A truly intriguing figure who’s musical influences and inspirations are as varied as you’ll ever hear.
He has only just been released from prison after a collection of offences toppled over him, including assault with a deadly weapon and robbery. When awaiting bail, X was then arrested on further allegations of witness tampering and aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, accusations that he strongly rejects and claims are false. His die-hard fan base have ceased to let that tamper their views on X as an artist and in fact look at it as his avenue to emotion in music. This is where the idea of him being a super-villain comes into play. In a recent interview X was quoted to say that he wants the world to hate him as it only fuels his ambition to succeed. So far so good as he is now a red-hot favourite to be the poster boy of XXL’s 2017 Freshman List alongside some huge names of the past 12 months, including Playboi Carti, Ugly God and NAV.
So what do you think? With 100s of millions of plays to his name on Soundcloud and a new wave of adoring fans thanks to his cross-genre talent, can XXXTENTACION become a superstar in the hip-hop genre or will his image come back to haunt him in the long run? Either way, his beef with Drake and the promise of more disses on the way the future is tantalising on X’s quest to the top of the music industry.
Soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/jahseh-onfroy