Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, better known by his stage name XXXTentacion, was gunned down during a robbery while leaving a motorcycle dealership in Florida.
Sadly, the rising star was only 20 years old when he passed away.
Before his tragic death, XXXTentacion had already made a massive impact on the music industry and had inspired other young talents like Billie Eilish and Juice Wrld.
His legacy lives on, but his untimely death left fans heartbroken and the hip-hop world mourning.
XXXTentacion’s Early Life
Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy was born in Plantation, Florida, on January 23, 1998.
He had a turbulent upbringing, considering his mother was a teenage parent who struggled financially, which forced him to bounce around and live with different people.
But things changed when he moved in with his grandmother at 12, who became a crucial maternal figure in his life.
“My grandma feels like my mom,” he once said. “My mom almost feels like more of a sister.”
As he grew older, XXXTentacion’s behavior became increasingly problematic.
He had numerous run-ins with the law, including armed robbery, burglary, and firearm possession, which landed him in juvenile hall.
While in prison, he attacked his gay cellmate viciously for allegedly staring at him while naked.
After his release, he ordered a mic on eBay and began creating music, starting with his debut track “News/Flock” on SoundCloud in 2013.
His fanbase quickly grew, with over 2 million followers on the platform by 2018.
The rapper went on to release two studio albums, four mixtapes, and five extended plays, collaborating with the likes of Travis Barker, Lil Yachty, PnB Rock, and Joey Bada$$.
But his success was marred by a series of controversies, including a confession to domestic abuse against his pregnant girlfriend, Geneva Ayala, and admitting to stabbing nine people.
He also constantly feuded with other artists and stirred anger with a music video showing him lynching a white child.
XXXTentacion’s life may have been short, but it was nothing short of wild.
From his tumultuous upbringing to his rise to fame and the controversies that followed, he was a lightning rod for attention in the music world.
How Did XXXTentacion Die?
On June 18, the late rapper Onfroy went to withdraw some cash from the bank before making his way to RIVA Motorsports.
Little did he know, he was being tailed by a group of alleged murderers, Dedrick Williams, Robert Allen, Michael Boatwright, and Trayvon Newsome, in a dark-colored SUV.
According to the police, Williams had spotted the rapper’s car on the day of the incident, leading them to believe that the murder was planned and targeted, not just a random attack.
Shockingly, in her first interview after her brother’s death, Ariana Onfroy claimed that the killing was an “inside job” arranged by someone close to him.
“Somebody on the inside knew where he was going to be, and the exact time he was leaving for the murderers to know when to come and to do what they did.
It was set up,” she told The Sun.
On the afternoon of June 18, 2018, Onfroy visited RIVA Motorsports with his uncle.
Suspect Dedrick Williams had seen the rapper’s car earlier and informed the other alleged murderers to confirm it was indeed Onfroy before proceeding with their plan.
Williams and Allen were seen buying black masks before following the rapper and his uncle inside the store.
Later that day, as Onfroy drove away from the motorcycle shop, the SUV blocked his way.
Trayvon Newsome and Michael Boatwright then got out of the vehicle and demanded that the rapper hand over his belongings.
After a brief scuffle, they shot Onfroy several times in the neck, leading to his tragic demise.
After the shooting, the rapper was rushed to the hospital, but despite the medical staff’s best efforts, he was pronounced dead about an hour and a half later due to multiple gunshot wounds to his neck.
As soon as the news of his tragic death broke, his fans began to mourn and pay tribute to the young artist.
Some shared an eerie video he had posted on Instagram Live just a few days before his murder, where he spoke about how he wanted to be remembered if he ever passed away.
“If I’m going to die or ever be a sacrifice, I want to make sure that my life made at least five million kids happy or they found some sort of answers or resolve in my life,” the rapper said in the video.
Investigators suspected that the murder of the rapper was premeditated, as security footage from RIVA Motorsports showed the perpetrators’ SUV tailing Onfroy.
Once Onfroy and his uncle entered the store, Allen and Williams went in after them, apparently to ensure that they targeted the right person.
The two men bought two black masks and waited for Onfroy in the parking lot, where they shot him.
Initially, authorities did not know who was responsible for the murder, and several well-known rappers were investigated due to their public feuds with Onfroy.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office offered a $3,000 reward for information about the perpetrators, and fans of Onfroy put theories on social media.
Local rappers Soldier Kidd and Soldier Jojo were among those accused early on, as their Instagram accounts contained details of the murder that the public deemed suspicious.
In June 2018, police pulled over a 2004 silver Honda in a routine traffic stop, and the driver was identified as 22-year-old Dedrick Devonshay Williams.
Officers grew suspicious of Williams after noting that his clothing closely matched that of one of the individuals seen in the surveillance video.
Specifically, Williams was wearing a white tank top and orange sandals that stood out.
After reviewing the footage, employees from RIVA confirmed that Williams was one of the men who had purchased a mask at their store.
Over the ensuing weeks, authorities arrested three additional suspects: Robert Allen, Michael Boatwright, and Trayvon Newsome.
Initially, Boatwright was taken into custody for drug-related charges unrelated to the murder of XXXTentacion.
However, during his incarceration, law enforcement searched his phone and found that he had searched for “accessory to murder” and “XXXTentacion.”
It was later determined that Boatwright had fired the fatal shots, making him the primary perpetrator of Onfroy’s death.
In June 2018, the first suspect, Dedrick Williams, was arrested.
Initially, Williams denied involvement in the murder of the rapper, but he later admitted to taking part in the crime, stating that he had been plagued with guilt but had not come forward due to fear of being labeled a “snitch.”
Williams was charged with probation violation and dangerous and depraved first-degree murder.
Authorities have alleged that Michael Boatwright was the person who fired the fatal shots that killed XXXTentacion.
He was charged with premeditated first-degree murder.
Robert Allen was taken into custody several weeks after the initial arrests at his sister’s home in Georgia.
He was charged with premeditated first-degree murder as well.
Trayvon Newsome was apprehended at the beginning of August 2018 and charged with premeditated first-degree murder, as well as robbery with a deadly weapon.
Investigators found that Williams had been on probation at the same time as Onfroy in January 2018.
It is believed that Williams spotted Onfroy’s car in the parking lot of the RIVA store and recognized it as belonging to the rapper.
He then called the other men to the scene and suggested that they follow Onfroy into the store to confirm his identity before committing the robbery.
A grand jury indicted all four men for the murder of Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy.
Michael Boatwright, Dedrick Williams, and Trayvon Newsome were convicted of the murder of popular rapper XXXTentacion in 2018.
The trio was found guilty of both first-degree murder and armed robbery.
The prosecution did not seek the death penalty, so Broward County Circuit Judge Michael Usan could only sentence them to life in prison for the first-degree murder convictions.
Robert Allen, the fourth defendant, had already pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was a witness for the prosecution during the trial, which began in February, and his sentencing was set at a later date.
How Did Celebrities React to XXXTentacion’s Death?
Celebrities and artists worldwide expressed their grief following the death of the rapper.
Kanye West tweeted, “Rest in peace. I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here.
Thank you for existing.”
Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker wrote on Twitter, “I’m at a loss for words… speechless #RIPXXXTentacion. I Love collaborating with you.
You were a true artist, one of the most talented of our time.”
J Cole wrote, “This got me f**ked up. RIP X.
Enormous talent, limitless potential, and a strong desire to be a better person.
God bless his family, friends, and fans.”
Big Sean also expressed his grief for the rapper, saying, “My heart dropped when I heard about @xxxtentacion.
I feel like we only got to see a glimpse of his artistry.
I didn’t know him personally, but I respect his passion for his music and message. Nobody deserves this kind of ending.
Gone too soon, damn! RIP.”
After his passing, Onfroy’s family and friends organized two memorial services – one for the public and the other for only his family and close acquaintances.
The public service took place at the BB&T Center, a hockey arena in Sunrise, Florida, on June 27, 2018.
Fans were welcomed to attend the open-casket event that went on for about six hours.
Thousands of fans from across the country came to pay their respects
Some fans waited outside the arena for hours and played XXXTentacion’s music while they waited.
In groups of 50 to 100, fans were invited into the arena to view Onfroy’s body and bid him farewell.
They were allowed to walk up to the stage past the rapper’s casket, where he was dressed in a dark blue jacket and brown pants.
While in the arena, visitors were shown videos from the rapper’s social media accounts with his music playing in the background.
Phones and cameras were not allowed in the arena.
The following day, XXXTentacion was buried in a private ceremony that his family and closest friends attended.
XXXTentacion was laid to rest in a mausoleum in Boca Raton Memorial Park in Boca Raton, Florida.
Conspiracy Theories Surrounding XXXTentacion’s Death
Onfroy’s death, like many other high-profile figures, sparked public speculation and conspiracy theories.
However, the reason for the rapper’s murder remains unclear.
Despite the successful robbery, Michael Boatwright allegedly shot Onfroy.
Meanwhile, various conspiracy theories continue to circulate.
Some of Onfroy’s fans believe that his murder was related to a dispute with another celebrity.
Others suggest that his lyrics, which often dealt with social and political issues, may have made him a target.
More outlandish conspiracy theories have also been proposed, such as the idea that someone in his inner circle was responsible for his death or that he is not dead.
However, none of these theories have been substantiated, and the official explanation for his death remains that it was a robbery gone wrong.
XXXTentacion’s mother announced that he and his girlfriend, Jenesis Sanchez, were expecting their first child three days after his murder.
In January 2019, Sanchez gave birth to a baby boy, just a few days after Onfroy’s 21st birthday.
Billie Eilish, a pop singer supported by Onfroy during a previous bout of suicidal ideation, released a song titled 6.18.18 in his memory.
Following his death, Onfroy’s song “SAD!” topped the streaming charts, making him the first lead singer since Notorious B.I.G. to have a posthumous No. 1 hit.
Many musicians expressed their sadness at his loss, both professionally and personally, recognizing his impact on the hip-hop community.