When he was shot and killed in June, Florida rapper XXXTentacion was anticipating trial for a 2016 domestic violence case involving a former girlfriend. He was charged by the Miami-Dade County state attorney’s office with aggravated battery of a pregnant victim, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness tampering, accusations the alleged victim detailed in a January 2017 deposition. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and kept up his innocence up until his death.
Pitchfork got their hands-on a secret recorded tape of X talking to friends around the time of his October 8, 2016 arrest. Talking about his ex, who he thinks cheated on him, the rapper can be heard saying, “I put my source of happiness in another person, which was a mistake initially, right? But she fell through on every occasion until now. Until I started fucking her up bruh. I started fucking her up because she made one mistake. And from there, the whole cycle went down. Now she’s scared. That girl is scared for her life. Which I understand.” He didn’t detail what he had done to the supposed unfortunate casualty. Prior in the account, he stated, “I will kill that bitch if she play with me.” Listen here.
The 27-minute tape is from the Miami-Dade County express lawyer’s office. As per the office, both the prosecution and X’s defense viewed the tape as a confession. (Criminal cases against the rapper, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, were closed after his passing. His latest safeguard lawyer did not restore Pitchfork’s messages or telephone calls before due date.) The state attorney’s office gave the name of the person who made the recording, an associate of XXXTentacion’s. The state lawyer’s office did not give the identities of other individuals on the tape and they can be heard revealing to telling him that he can’t have “private time” with the victim and talked him out of thoughts of suicide.
In addition to threatening his ex on the tape, XXXTentacion also admitted to a stabbing incident in Deerfield Beach, Florida, saying, “I’m on [Miami] New Times for stabbing, how many people they put in the news? They said three, it was eight.” (On January 21, 2016, a nearby Florida daily paper detailed that police were “searching for the person who stabbed three people during a fight in Deerfield Beach.” There is no record of anybody being accused of the stabbing, yet a Broward County Sheriff’s Office report from the episode expresses that an observer “saw an unknown black male with tattoos on his face swinging a knife in multiple directions.”) X also confessed to stabbing a former manager, an incident that he was arrested for in Orange County, Florida, on July 14, 2016, before being released on bail shortly. These act of violence was mentioned to explain why his then-girlfriend feared for her life. “She’s seen this shit,” XXXTentacion said. “She know.”
In the wake of going to jail over the claims in October 2016, XXXTentacion proceeded to top the Billboard charts and he has continued to spark debate even after his passing, breaking a record already held by Taylor Swift. His remarks in the tape additionally explained the themes of the album. “You ever seen somebody get their tongue cut out? … You ever seen somebody get raped? … You ever seen somebody try to kill your mom in front of you?” he asked an unidentified man, by way of explaining how events he had witnessed affected his own violent behavior. “Every night you go to sleep and you remember what you seen and you remember how it felt and you remember that horrible feeling in your soul. Nobody can comfort you. It’s something I gotta deal with.”