Consumers need to stop supporting abusive artists like XXXTentacion

By Mitchell Rose, Staff Writer

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XXXTentacion’s meteoric rise to fame has only been matched by his massive crash back down to earth. The 19-year-old rapper burst onto the scene earlier this year with his platinum single “Look at Me!” before his debut album, 17, arrived with equal commercial success. But, last October,  XXX was charged with several insidious crimes including aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment and witness-tampering. Despite these allegations, the rapper’s celebrity continues to rise.

Pitchfork released the full transcript of the testimony of XXXTentacion’s reported victim, which included disturbing details of his systematic abuse. Earlier this month,  TMZ reported that XXXTentacion had been denied bail after new charges of witness tampering and witness harassment. He is currently facing decades in prison if convicted.

Meanwhile, America is in the middle of purging accused sexual assaulters from the workforce. In early October, dozens of women began revealing the sexual harassment they experienced at the hands of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein was promptly fired, sparking a flurry of accusations and firings across the country. Prominent men like Matt Lauer, Mario Batali, Roy Moore, Russell Simmons, Garrison Keillor and more lost their jobs as a direct result of the sexual assault allegations against them. After their respective harassments leaked, the general public demanded immediate retribution.

So, why is XXXTentacion not the target of the same public contempt given to other alleged sexual assaulting public figures?

When other media personalities received retribution in a matter of days, XXX’s career remained thriving well after initial news of his abuse broke. His album 17 remained in the Billboard top 40 albums for three months after Pitchfork’s report of his abuse. If the public had given XXX the same treatment as other accused media personalities — the treatment he deserves his album would have immediately plummeted down the charts.

Arguments in favor of XXX typically go along the lines of, “not all of his alleged abuse has been confirmed,” or, “he’s had a tough past, we should cut him some slack.” But we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard than ignorance towards cruelty. When the New York Times reported comedian Louis C.K.’s sexual harassment, the public outcry was immediate and intense. The response was not to weigh C.K.’s entertainment value with the accusations against him, but to immediately criticize and denounce the comedian. Not to downplay C.K.’s harassment, but the allegations against XXXTentacion are much more egregious, violent and continuous.

Perhaps the key difference in these situations is that XXX is a young rapper and (based off stereotypes), the public expects chaotic and dangerous behavior from him; endangering others is just a part of the lifestyle for an archetypal young, wild rapper. If this is the case, it’s downright lazy judgement.

Or maybe fans just aren’t willing to accept any responsibility for XXX’s success. Much the same way that individuals believe climate change should be combated, like it’s not an individual’s responsibility to conserve gas because of the small impact they have, perhaps fans think XXX deserves punishment but aren’t willing to stop streaming his music. Again, this is lazy judgement. Every stream on an XXXTentacion song gives him royalties and bumps him up the Billboard charts. Admittedly, each stream has a miniscule effect, but when millions of people think their streams don’t matter, XXX’s profits and public standing continue to rise.

It’s inexcusable to give XXXTentacion a pass in the public eye no matter what the reasoning. It does, at least, appear that XXXTentacion will be punished by the law to the full extent, and will likely serve decades in prison. Thankfully the court is taking action, but music fans should have been outraged long ago.

If we want to continue progressing equality and justice, we have to be willing to condemn artists we love.

12 thoughts on “Consumers need to stop supporting abusive artists like XXXTentacion

  1. What good will come out of ostracizing XXXTentacion and not supporting him? I think that is a really bad decision. He has been neglected as a child, he saw his uncle’s deceased body from suicide, a good friend recently committed suicide, he has been in and out of jail, and he just wants some love and loyalty that he has been missing throughout his life. In spite of that, he has recently been moving in a positive direction and trying to be a role model for his many fans. XXXTentacion needs mental help and love NOT people turning away from him. He has already been left by some of the people that he has loved. There is evidence that goes against XXX’s ex-girlfriend, such as medical documents showing that she was not pregnant, and if the accusations are true then I feel sorry but XXX still just needs mental help. All jail will do is make his mental problems worse.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. he’s not treated the same bc he didn’t actually rape or sexually assault anyone (that I know of). he’s definitely physically abusive but he’s young and actually trying to learn and change as misguided as he is. it’s only misguided bc he doesnt have a guide or actual path or role model to help him out if you’ve noticed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. rape and sexual assault shouldn’t be tolerated but X is moving in a positive direction. Everyone has done unforgivable things in their lives. While its unfortunate that he’s made some poor and downright despicable decisions he may grow more evil in prison and cause more harm to the world as a symbol. He has a massive following and infamy will only further polarize us and immortalize his vanity. He could do just as much harm in prison that he could do out of it unless he’s kept in a maximum security prison with total isolation. Justice must be served but I hope he can at least continue making music.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The reason he does this is that X has been neglected all his life, and just like some of the comments say above, He is moving in a positive path, and barely anything has been proven. To have his fans leave him would make him worse, basically making this article equal to a WSJ article on PewDiePie.

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  5. y’all are crazy… it’s obviously great to see someone who had a trouble past become a better person, i don’t think anyone is denying that. but that doesn’t make up for the horrendous things he did in the past. i do believe in innocence until proven guilt, but at this point, the thought that he could’ve done these things really bothers me and ultimately repels me from his music.

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  6. There’s no proof and the witness even said it was a publicity stunt and is trying to take back the charges. Innocent until proven guilty, we will support him until there is proof.

    #FreeX

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  7. You all are crazy, I suggest you stop assuming shit about x without any proof, he is young and he is willing to change himself and he isn’t only willing to change himself, he is also always there for people who feel like they don’t belong in life, he Inspires them to stay a alive no matter what and never hide their feelings.

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  8. Jahseh is treated differently because he has done nothing wrong, he is just mentally unstable man and if that’s a crime then there should be so many more people in jail. He is a good person he’s trying to improve himself and his self image, because (I have no idea how this is possible, but) the media only seems to see the bad things that he has done. It’s as if they refuse to see the good things and when they do they always seem to degrade it by putting in this “abuse” claims. It’s like everyone is on her side i understand she’s a woman but what even happen to being treated equally if a man reported that their mate was hitting them 9 times-out-of- 10 people would make it seem as though he’s a sissy or coward. Therefore, I strongly believe that incarcerating him is a very bad idea it would have a very negative impact on him and his fans.

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