The untold truth of XXXTentacion

Jahseh Onfroy goes by XXXTentacion (pronounced X-X-X-ten-tah-ceeyon), X, and Young Dagger D**k if you're nasty. After the Jamaican, Syrian, Indian, and Italian-American artist landed himself behind bars in a juvenile detention center, he had all the time in the world to perfect his rap flow, and all of his practice paid off. Following his release, he began recording and uploading his tracks to the music streaming website SoundCloud. What followed next can only be described as serendipitous. 

His heavy metal-inspired songs range from dark to moody, so if you're looking for music that will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside, perhaps you should look elsewhere. From "Everybody Dies in Their Nightmares," where he raps, "Tired of feelin' like I'm trapped in my damn mind," to the equally-depressing lyrics in "Sad!," where he says in a sing-song voice, "It's torture being in love," it's clear his fans are beyond entranced by his emotional vulnerability. It also doesn't hurt that he has a pretty striking appearance — right down to his colorful dreadlocks, face tattoos, and shaved eyebrows.

After landing at the No. 1 spot with the release of his March 2018 album ?, he had the music industry in the palm of his hands, despite being riddled with controversy. From a less than idyllic childhood to the criminal charges that threatened to impose on his freedom, this is the untold story of XXXTentacion.

What's his age again?

Try your best to search for an interview where XXXTentacion goes in-depth about his life pre-fame and you'll likely come up empty handed. The embattled rapper and singer has gone to great lengths to keep most of his private information under wraps, and he's done a good job of playing the elusive role … up until he gave a rare interview with No Jumper.

Before ditching his jacket and conducting the rest of the interview shirtless — because, why not? — he was asked to state his age. He hesitated and stumbled over his words for a brief second before responding, "I don't say my age."

His police report from a domestic violence charge, which we'll discuss later, confirmed he turned 19 in 2017, so the cat was essentially out of the bag. However, the "Look at Me!" artist has a good reason for trying to keep most of his private info hush-hush. "I don't say much about myself because I feel like everybody tries to judge me as far as knowledge-wise," he told No Jumper. "People try to use my age to determine my knowledge."

A violent childhood

XXXTentacion was in rare form during his exclusive April 2016 interview with No Jumper, showing a different side of himself that surprised even his diehard fans. And, as he shed light on his childhood, the pieces started to come together about the star's rough upbringing.

As with most questions that were asked, the rapper hesitated before providing the answers, especially when it came time to discuss his mom who had given birth to him as a teenager. He revealed during the interview he was afraid his mother would get "hot" — or angered — by his forthright responses, but he proceeded to spill with caution.

"[My mom] was in situations where she couldn't take care of me," he said before revealing that raising a child was "her last priority." He also described his mom by saying she "wasn't a prostitute," but she "just wasn't in a very stable environment." 

One traumatizing moment in his life occurred when a man got physical with his mom, and a 6-year-old XXXTentacion "stabbed" him with a shard of glass and "bit his flesh out" to protect his mother. 

Come to find out, that wasn't the last time the MC resorted to violence…

He got kicked out of middle school

As unstable as his upbringing was, things were even worse when XXXTentacion would head off to school. The Florida-based rapper described himself as a "hard a**" during his formative years, and it was his rambunctious and uncontrollable behavior that eventually got him kicked out of middle school, he told No Jumper

When he was asked why he was booted from school, he rattled off a laundry list of offenses, including beating a student's eye in, kicking a kid in the mouth for making fun of his mom, and fighting another student on the school bus.  

He eventually made the risky decision to drop out, and he explained the reason why he left the classroom behind in a video he shared with his fans. In the footage, the rapper says he didn't want to remain in school and be manipulated, and he wanted to focus on following his dreams instead. 

A lengthy rap sheet

XXXTentacion found himself facing some serious allegations when he was charged with home invasion robbery and aggravated battery with a firearm in 2015. That same year, he was also arrested for allegedly assaulting his then-girlfriend. The alleged victim, who was pregnant at the time, claimed he "head-butted her, punched her, stomped on her, and put her in the bathtub, where he continued hitting and kicking her," Pitchfork reported. 

He pleaded not guilty to aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness-tampering. His alleged victim reportedly requested to drop the charges in a signed statement obtained by TMZ. But prosecutors believed XXXTentacion had contacted her numerous times while he was behind bars and had coerced her into dropping the charges, so he was eventually hauled back to jail in December 2017 and charged with 15 additional felonies for witness tampering, according to TMZ

XXXTentacion later wound up back on house arrest but a judge agreed to let him off home confinement in March 2018 so he could go on tour. However, soon thereafter, an old video resurfaced of him repeatedly punching an unidentified girl in the head. His lawyer told TMZ the video was taken "in jest," and the rapper later filed a lawsuit, claiming the girl and her family tried to extort him for $300,000 in exchange for keeping the footage under wraps.  

He's probably the only person who hates Drake

While he was locked up in jail for battery and home invasion charges, his DJ received a call from Toronto rapper Drake who expressed interest in working with him, XXXTentacion told radio show 103.5 The Beat following his release from jail. He stated that initially he was excited about the opportunity, and he even referred to the "God's Plan" rapper as the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time). Drake was instructed to get in contact with XXXTentacion's manager, but, unfortunately, that phone call reportedly never happened.

The next thing he knew, XXXTentacion's friends and fans were telling him that Drake's song, "KMT," featuring Giggs, sounded a lot like his smash hit "Look at Me!"

"You can take his verse on my song and the cadence is just at the same tempo, it's not offbeat at all," XXXTentacion told the radio station. After Drake allegedly stole XXXTentacion's flow, the young rapper had some choice words for the Degrassi alum. "I think he's not a man. I think he's a b***h, that's a b***h move. Especially when I was in jail facing life," he said. Yikes.

His music video sparked major backlash

"Look at Me!" made ears perk up with its grainy, distorted beats and lo-fi vocals that make the overall track sound raw and unfinished. The beat is more uptempo than some of his other solemn tracks, but the rapper stayed true to form by releasing a grim music video that made us clutch our pearls.

The since-deleted video depicted a "6-year-old [white] boy getting strung up by a noose with the rapper himself doing the deed," while a black child looked on, TMZ reported. Finding child actors to fill the roles, understandably, proved to be difficult. "We had to delay the video because the mom that originally agreed and said okay but when she got there she didn't feel comfortable. We delayed for a week," the video's casting director, LaShawnna Stanley, told Fox News. "I called a lot of parents. It was a direct booking. No one was okay with their white child getting lynched." 

The imagery was way too heavy for shell-shocked Internet users, and it was eventually pulled from YouTube … but not before racking up over 5 million views.  

Nothing says 'welcome home' like a riot

After getting released from jail and placed on probation for armed home invasion robbery and battery charges, XXXTentacion decided to put on a surprise show in Miami back in April 2017 to thank his fans for sticking by his side.

What followed next can only be described as a riot. Footage from his post-jail performance shows a shirtless XXXTentacion riling up his loyal fans. Law enforcement then steps in to disperse the crowd, telling everyone to scram. 

The incident had the potential to turn into a full-blown melee, but, in the end, the rapper did the right thing by canceling the impromptu show before he even got the chance to hit the stage. And he even made sure to stick his head out of his awaiting vehicle and pose for pictures with fans before skirting off down a dark street, so it wasn't a complete waste of time.

Crisis averted.

He lays the smackdown on his fans

XXXTentacion's been involved in more than a few scuffles with his fans, including a violent assault that occurred at the 2017 Rolling Loud Festival. While the rapper crowd-surfed, a fan attempted to assault him, but that person found out the hard way that it's never a good idea to go up against a man that's armed with a microphone.

XXXTentacion later released a statement via his Instagram Stories about the incident (via XXL). "I'm just letting everyone know ahead of time that I punched someone in their face today because I was assaulted while I was performing," he said. "So before anybody sees the video and makes an assumption, I'm gonna beat everyone to it and let everyone know. Yo, I ended up punching someone because they punched me in my s**t."

That wasn't the only time things got brutal at one of his shows. A video posted to social media displayed a fan running up on stage mid-performance and clocking him in the face, and another video showed the rapper punching an unsuspecting fan square in the nose. Ouch!

Note to self: Pick up some boxing gloves before heading out to the next XXXTentacion concert … oh yeah, and a helmet, too. You know, just in case.

He flip flopped on a $6 million contract

A true overnight success story, the Florida rapper saw his life do a complete 180 in the blink of an eye. He went from perfecting his rhymes in a juvenile detention center, to uploading his tracks to SoundCloud, to becoming one of the most sought-after artists in the industry. Eventually, record executives were clamoring to sign him, and the lucky company who brought the rapper onto their roster turned out to be Capitol Music Group's indie subsidiary Caroline, according to Billboard — though the deal didn't last long.

The "Save Me" artist reportedly accepted a deal that was worth an estimated $6 million, but, before he could start spending his dough on a rap starter kit of pricey diamond chains and foreign cars, he revealed that he would be "terminating" his contract in since-deleted Instagram posts. "If you can match my alleged previous contract, and add free international travel & free international stay I would be happy to be in business with you. I'm currently a free agent, well, I always was," he wrote to prospective companies.

Is he ready to walk away?

Days after announcing his reported $6 million record deal had gone belly up, the rapper appeared ready to throw in the towel and end his stint in the music biz once and for all. "Sad to announce I will not be making or releasing any music," XXXTentacion wrote on his Instagram account (via XXL). "I am tired of being mentally abused for trying to help people, I am tired of the hate, I'm done."

His fans were beyond disappointed … but not for long. XXXTentacion seemed to have a change of heart, because almost five months after threatening an early retirement he dropped the chart-topping album, ?.

This could simply be a case of him being unprepared for his quick rise to fame. Or perhaps he's just not cut out for the business side of the industry. Either way, his fans would have hated to see someone with so much potential walk away from the industry at the height of his career.