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Three short hours ago, I was sitting in my humble abode, when my lovely girlfriend sends me a simple text.
"xxxTentacion is dead. He was shot."
Six simple words, arranged in such a way that my mind couldn't process what was going on. I was just listening to one of his lesser-known songs, "I Don't Even Speak Spanish lol". The man was only a few months older than I am, and he'd been gunned down?
I did what I normally do when something like this happens: I began searching the internet for details of what had happened. I wanted to know more about, what I viewed at the time as, this travesty.
And then I learned a few things.
I learned that, on top of 15 felony charges for various things, from tampering with witnesses to armed robbery, he'd done something truly atrocious.
He'd beaten his pregnant girlfriend to within an inch of her life.
In the Pitchfork article I read, he alleged victim's charges are as follows:
-Threatened to kill her nearly every day
-Headbutting, punching, and kicking her, forcing her into a bathtub where he continued the assault (reportedly he even wanted to cut her tongue out), tackling her when she tried to get away, and nearly breaking her ankle, all because she hummed along to a part of his song where another rapper was featured.
-Breaking "nearly 30 white plastic coathangers" over her legs, trying to cut her hair, and holding her head under running water
-Strangling and verbally abusing her for cheating on him while he was in prison for other charges. Then waking her up, taking her to the back of their home, and threatening her with a broken beer bottle before slapping her and sending her to bed
-Strangling her a second time and forcing her onto the bed, which only ceased when another party stepped in
-Headbutting, punching, kicking, strangling, and verbally abusing her again while she was pregnant with his child
-Not allowing her to seek medical attention until her face healed so the police wouldn't get involved
-Trapping her in their bedroom, from which she was forced to escape out of a window
This is just the tip of the iceberg. All other charges are a simple search away.
Overall, while this man is heralded and mourned for being "an inspiration to all", his actions speak louder than his music. Being SAD! does not give you the right to rob anyone at gunpoint, it does not give you the right to bribe or threaten people into silence, and it certainly does not give you the right to beat your partner to within an inch of their life.
When I read all of these, I was appalled. I, like many others, listen to someone's music and don't really look into their personal lives. When I read all of this, it made me sick to my stomach to find out that I'd supported such a monstrous person.
"But he made a mistake!" Someone said to me when I pointed all of this out. "That doesn't mean he was a bad person!"
Cheating on an English essay is a mistake. Calling in sick to work when one isn't sick is a mistake.
Beating and nearly killing one's cellmate in prison for being gay is not a mistake. Harassing a woman by calling her over 200 times from prison to try to silence her is not a mistake.
"He's dead! Don't you have a heart?" someone else asked me.
I do have a heart. I care about those around me. But I do not believe that we should simply brush off all of these heinous acts just because he died.
I do not believe that anyone deserves to die. I do not believe it's my place to decide such a thing. But xxxTentacion, if even half of the charges against him are true, was more of a monster than a man.