If the documented accounts of domestic violence and abuse regarding XXXTentacion hasn’t landed him on the cancellation block, a new interview might seek to change that. Details regarding the popular Florida rapper’s longstanding issues are examined far deeper than in times past, including the viewpoint of the alleged victim of his abuse.
Miami New Times reporter Tarpley Hitt dug deep into the early beginnings of the artist born Jahseh Onfroy, who is described as a short but intense man with a propensity to fly off the handle. Part of this, Hitt reveals, is due to Onfroy’s mother, Cleopatra Bernard, who instilled in him a code that he defend himself violently but also a perceived need for Onfroy to be respected despite his small stature.
The story, which sympathetically lays out some of how XXXTentacion came to see violence as normal, takes a dark turn when the victim and ex-girlfriend, Geneva Ayala, tells her side of the pair’s troubled romance and the problems that ensued.
From the Miami New Times:
So when Onfroy moved to Orlando in late June 2016, Ayala went with him. The depositions detail a pattern of regular, torturous abuse that summer, with daily verbal attacks and physical incidents every three or four days. According to Ayala’s statement, he beat her at times, choked her, broke clothes hangers on her legs, threatened to chop off her hair or cut out her tongue, pressed knives or scissors to her face, and held her head under water in their bathroom while promising to drown her.
“His favorite thing was to just backhand my mouth,” Ayala says. “That always left welts inside my lips.” Onfroy would also try to guilt her with near-attempts at suicide, she says. He would fill a bathtub, dangle a microwave over the water, and threaten to let go.
Onfroy’s triggers were, in some ways, predictable — usually jealousy — but also erratic. Small things could set him off: like her humming another rapper’s verse or asking a friend what music he was playing.
“Once, we were all in the car, and my ex made a joke,” says Talyssa Lee, who was dating one of Onfroy’s producers in 2016. “[Ayala] just laughed as a reaction… When we got in the house, [Onfroy] walked into the other room and started beating on her.”
On Twitter, the story has made its rounds and XXXTentacion’s name began trending and still doing since Tuesday when the New Times published its piece. Part of the backlash is most certainly due to Spotify’s recent decision to reinstate the rapper’s music to its promoted and curated playlists despite initially removing the content from those sections in wake of recent protests against R. Kelly and the burgeoning #MeToo movement.