A successful US rapper who attracted controversy after multiple accusations of domestic violence has been shot dead in Florida.
XXXTentacion, real name Jahsen Onfroy, was shot dead just before 4pm (2000 GMT) Monday after two suspects approached him as he was leaving a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, the Broward County sheriff’s office said.
“At least one of the suspects fired a gun striking Onfroy. Both of the suspects fled in a dark-colour SUV. Investigators say it appears to be a possible robbery,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement posted to its Twitter account.
The 20-year-old was taken to Broward Health North hospital where he was pronounced dead.
XXXTentacion released his first song using the online platform Soundcloud in 2014, becoming popular in the Soundcloud rap scene which has also given rise to artists including Lil Peep and Playboi Carti.
The Florida native released his debut album “17” in August and followed up with “?” in March, with the latter debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 chart.
Kanye West led the tributes Monday, saying he was grateful to the young rapper “for existing.”
“Rest in peace. I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here,” West posted on Twitter along with a photo of the rapper.
Superstar DJ Diplo tweeted a photo of himself with XXXTentacion with the caption “Thanks for inspiring me.”
“Prayers up for XXXTentacion,” tweeted Tennessee rapper Juicy J, who released the single “Show Time” with the Floridian in September.
XXXTentacion had a history of run-ins with the law, first spending time in youth detention in 2014 for gun possession before being imprisoned in 2016 for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.
Just months after posting bail in July 2016, he was again arrested and charged with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman as well as false imprisonment and witness tampering.
His music was removed from streaming giant Spotify’s curated playlists for several weeks earlier this year because his lyrics allegedly promoted “hateful messages,” Pitchfork reported.
On Monday, rapper J Cole said the news of XXXTentacion’s death had left him “fucked up.”
“RIP X. Enormous talent and limitless potential and a strong desire to be a better person. God bless his family, friends and fans,” Cole tweeted. (dpa/NAN)