Music Video Controversy

Infamous Rapper Makes Headlines Once Again


Courtesy of CNN

A scene in rapper XXXtentacion’s music video depicts a white child getting lynched.

XXXtentacion is a rising star in the rap scene who is notoriously known for his hard music and the vulgar language in his music. Nevertheless, he still has a huge following, and it continues to grow as he rises to fame.

In recent years, many controversies surrounding him in the past few years has come to light. He had faced jail time after prosecutors charged him with “aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness-tampering” (XXL). The woman he abused was his former girlfriend. Instead of being sensitive about the subject matter, he outwardly talks about it, and even jokes about domestic violence. In a few Instagram videos and livestreams, he is recorded saying that he would “domestically abuse [your] little sister” (XXL).

His newest controversy involves his most recent music video. The video starts off with his hit song, “Look At Me!” Then, the mood shifts from nonsensical to a more serious one. The song “Riot,” a song regarding police brutality and racism, starts playing. Videos clips of infamous police brutality killings such as the death of Philando Castile, Rodney King, and Heather Heyer accompany the music. The most shocking scene, however, was when XXXtentacion was filmed putting a noose around a child’s neck and hanging him. 

He claims that the symbolism of this scene was to show how a white kid getting hanged garners more anger and reactions from people than when a black kid gets hanged. He could possibly be alluding to the lynching of an eight year old biracial boy that occurred in late August, and saying that no one really seemed to care about his death.

Of course, right after the release of the video, people immediately took to social media to share their opinions and reactions. Some Twitter users were outraged that XXXtentacion had lynched a child for views, and thought that no child should’ve been depicted being hung, regardless of race and the message he was trying to put out. On the other hand, some people think this music video actually brings awareness to racism and hate crimes that are prevalent in American society. Ashley Bui-Tran (11) also agrees with the many tweets that condemn XXXtentacion’s actions. She believes that he is “trash” and is “exploiting an important societal issue” to “garner reactions and attention from people.” She’s also baffled that a mother would allow her child to be hung for a music video.

The KKK also reacted to this video. On the rapper’s instagram, he revealed that several KKK members had left him threatening messages on his phone, saying that they were going to “come for [him]” (Vibe).

Currently, XXXtentacion is awaiting trial for domestic abuse. His October 5 trial has been postponed.