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How Did XXXTentacion Die?

When rapper XXXTentacion died on 18 June 2018, some of his fans already saw it coming. But, for others, it was unexpected. This isn’t the first time in recent years that a rapper had been killed so publicly in this manner. Rappers getting gunned down on the streets didn’t start and end with Tupac and Biggies Smalls in the 1990s. 

Far from it… 

It’s been an increasing trend over the past five years to hear about Drill or Trap Rap artists getting shot by rival gangs and so forth. However, the story of XXXTentacion’s death might be a bit different from most.

XXXTentacion’s real name was Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, and astonishingly, he was only 20 years old when he died. Especially when you consider how much music he released. 

He was a very successful, controversial, and influential figure in the modern-day rap world. So, the news of his death left a gaping hole in the industry and shocked most people. Let’s find out more about the death of XXXTentacion, his career, and where it all went wrong.

How Did XXXTentacion Die?

How Did XXXTentacion Die

XXXTentacion was shot and killed in a botched robbery after visiting the RIVA Motorsports shop that sells motorcycles and boats in Deerfield Beach, Florida. 

It was only 3.30 pm in broad daylight when XXX left the store to withdraw money from his bank. An SUV pulled up and blocked Onfroy’s car from leaving the scene. Several men exited the SUV and threatened XXX to hand over his Louis Vuitton bag containing $50,000 and a chain he was wearing.

During the robbery attempt, XXX’s uncle fled the situation to safety. After the men had relieved Onfroy of his goods, one of the assailants stood in front of his vehicle and shot the car six times with a rifle. Some of them hit Tentacion in the neck before they left the scene. 

At the hospital…

Local firefighters arrived at the scene, and XXXTentacion was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was in critical condition. Once at the hospital, paramedics tried to keep him alive and attempted to resuscitate him. But, he only briefly showed some signs of life.

Although he stayed alive for a short time, it quickly got worse. XXXTentacion was declared dead at 5:30 pm, approximately two hours after the robbery happened. For something to happen to someone so famous in broad daylight, you have to ask some questions.

What Did the Investigation Show?

Detectives who were investigating XXXTentacion’s death quickly surmised that the robbery and shooting were a targeted attack. Furthermore, the perpetrators knew exactly who they were jacking. 

There was CCTV security footage from the RIVA Motorsports store that showed the incident as it happened. The video showed two of the people from the SUV in the shop moments before the shooting. That was so that they could identify XXXTentacion to make sure they didn’t get the wrong guy. Then they left the store after buying two black masks.

At the time of the initial investigation, the police had no idea who robbed and killed XXXTentacion. They even investigated a few famous rappers that had previously had beef and multiple public disputes with XXX. As there was no lead, a $3,000 bounty was issued by Broward County Sheriff’s Office for any information that led to the killer’s arrest. 

Fan conspiracy theory

In the days after the shooting, no one was still wiser about who killed XXX. This led to lots of speculation and fan conspiracy theories about XXXTentacion’s death. Fans thought some of Tentacion’s rap rivals might be to blame for the killing. They mentioned the likes of Soldier Kidd and Soldier Jojo, who were rappers both local to the area. 

Most of these accusations came from Instagram accounts that many people thought were suspect. Some fans thought the accounts were suspicious because the posts included details about the shooting that were very specific.

How Did XXXTentacion Die? – The Suspected Killers

A routine traffic stop on 20 June 2018 found a silver 2004 Honda to be very suspicious. The driver of said vehicle was Dedrick Devonshay Williams, who at the time was 22 years old. 

The only reason they stopped Williams’ car was that he was acting suspiciously, and the clothes he was wearing matched the description of one of the main suspects from the CCTV video footage. The clothes in question were bright orange sandals and a very unique white tank top.

Several witnesses from the RIVA Motorsports store identified Williams as one of the men who had previously entered the shop to buy a mask. This was just the beginning of the arrests. Three more followed in the next few weeks. The three other men who got arrested on suspicion of killing XXXTentacion were 20-year-old Trayvon Newsome, 22-year-old Robert Allen, and 22-year-old Michael Boatwright.

Who pulled the trigger?

When Boatwright was arrested, it was nothing to do with Onfroy’s murder. It was for an unrelated drug charge. The police then searched Boatwright’s phones. They found lots of searches in his history inquiring about Tentacion’s murder, and this sparked the police’s interest. Some of the key search phrases found on his browser history were ‘accessory to murder’ and ‘XXXTentacion.’ 

Boatwright was later confirmed as the man who might have pulled the trigger and gunned down Onfroy in broad daylight. This made him the prime suspect in the murder and the man who was allegedly responsible for the death of XXXTENTACION

Did It Go To Trial?

By the end of 2022, the trials for the four men were still ongoing. The first man to be arrested on the traffic stop in 2018, Dedrick Williams, originally denied any part in the shooting and stated that he was not involved in any robbery plans. But, after a while, Williams confessed to his part in the murder and said he felt so much guilt over the whole situation. 

And he also said he didn’t want to confess anything because he didn’t want to be labeled a snitch. The charges brought against Williams were probation violation and first-degree murder.

At that time…

The police believed that Boatwright was the guy who pulled the trigger and was responsible for the murder of XXXTentacion. But they still didn’t have enough evidence. They charged Boatwright with premeditated first-degree murder. 

It was several weeks after the first two arrests that police finally caught up with Robert Allen. He was then arrested at his sister’s house in Georgia. Shortly after his arrest, Allen was charged with premeditated first-degree murder for his part in the shooting of XXXTentacion

The fourth and final man to be arrested in connection to the murder was Trayvon Newsome. He was arrested in August 2018 and was charged with robbery with a deadly weapon and premeditated first-degree murder.

Was XXXTentacion’s Murder a Moment of Madness?


Although it might seem that Onfroy’s murder was planned way beforehand, it might not have been that organized. Detectives found out that Williams and XXX had both been on probation at the same time in January 2018. So, Williams had recognized XXX’s car that fateful day in the parking lot of RIVA Motorsports.

It’s believed that Williams then called the other three guys to tell them of XXX’s whereabouts and the idea to rob him. Once the four men were together outside the store, two of them went into the shop to ensure the identity of Onfroy before buying the masks and then going on to commit the robbery and murder.

Grand Jury Indictment 

All four men were indicted by a grand jury for the murder of XXXTentacion. Although three of the men were charged with first-degree murder, Robert Allen managed to get his charge down to second-degree murder by promising to snitch on the others to reduce his sentence. 

Furthermore, the attorneys of Michael Boatwright contend that he cannot stand trial. This is due to incompetence that stems from an ongoing psychological review of Boatwright. 

The father of XXXTentacion called for the four men to be executed. In case you didn’t know, capital punishment is still sometimes used in the state of Florida. And because of this, it’s expected that the suspects will receive the maximum sentence for first-degree murder. 

Fan’s Response to the Murder of XXXTentacion

The murder of XXXTentacion was met with shock by many fans, who immediately set up a tribute area at the site of his murder. There was a lot of anger at the time from fans because the murderers hadn’t been caught in the days after. The perpetrators remained at large, and this really upset the general public. Fans tied to help the authorities by using social media platforms to track down the murderers. 

The owner of the RIVA store also set up a public memorial so fans could come and pay their respects to Onfroy. Hundreds of people lined the streets. As a result, the police had to come and close the entire street off from traffic. 

Many other memorials for XXXTentacion took place in his Florida hometown of Parkland. The fan tributes and memorabilia were very heartfelt and touching. These even included floral arrangements that used some of the rapper’s most famous lyrics. 

Chaotic XXX Memorial

Internet influencer, famous podcaster, and friend of XXX, Adam22, held his tribute and memorial at his Los Angeles home. So many fans turned up at Adam22’s memorial that it turned into total chaos. The police had to come to his home to disperse fans by force. And, apparently, it became quite violent. 

It’s been alleged that the police used tear gas and rubber bullets to get more than a thousand fans to leave the grounds. ‘Mosh pits’ and ‘riot gear’ are some phrases thrown around to explain what happened that day. XXXTentacion was still causing chaos and controversy even after his death. He would’ve been amused by the melee. 

How Did XXXTentacion Die? – Public Feuds and Conspiracy Theories

Everyone loves a good conspiracy theory surrounding a famous person’s death. It’s just the macabre nature of humankind. Unsurprisingly, there were loads of conspiracies being thrown about immediately after his murder. 

Many people started to talk about the public feuds he had with other rappers as a way to explain the murder. Onfroy was so controversial and always got into disagreements with other rappers. One of his most famous social media spats was with Drake, who XXX accused of plagiarizing some of his material. 

In 2017, XXX released a very strange statement that said, “if anyone tries to kill me, it was @champagnepapi,” which is Drake’s handle on Instagram. Afterward, XXX said that his account had been hacked, and he didn’t personally accuse Drake of these things. But, the truth is that after Tentacion was murdered the year after, Drake was asked to testify as a witness.

Calling high-profile witnesses…

Drake wasn’t the only celebrity or high-profile person that was called as a witness. However, we don’t know which celebrity witnesses have been subpoenaed. That’s because this info has been heavily guarded for security and privacy reasons.

At this point, we have to mention that Drake has not in any way been linked to the murder. And there is no evidence that he was involved in any way. Drake has never been tried or accused of having involvement, and the authorities believe these accusations are just baseless conspiracy theories from fans on Instagram and other social media platforms. 

XXXTentacion’s Music Career

Music Career

For such a young man, XXXTentacion had a very industrious musical career. He initially started writing raps in 2013 after being released from juvenile prison. He used experimental rap styles at the time that went on to become Trap-style and Lo-fi Subgenres and uploaded the tracks to Soundcloud. 

By the time of his death in June 2018, he had amassed over 25 million album-equivalent unit sales in the US alone. By December 2020, XXXTentacion had over 60 million unit sales in the US, which is a massive number.

During his career…

XXXTentacion released four studio albums as follows: 17 (2017), ? (2018), and Skins and Bad Vibes Forever, both released posthumously in 2019. He also released one compilation album, two mixtape projects, and four collaborative mixtape projects. He released seven EPs and 29 singles.

Some of the most famous XXXTentacion songs include “SAD!“, “Hope,” “Revenge,” “Moonlight,” “Everybody Dies on Their Nightmares,” “F*ck Love,” “Look At Me!” and many more. His musical style is essentially New Wave Rap and Hip-Hop. Although, the majority of his tracks are so unique and include subgenres such as Soundcloud Rap, Emo Rap, Trap Rap, and Lo-Fi.

In The Mood For Great Hip-Hop and Rap Music?

Well, then check out our thoughts on the Best 90s Hip Hop Songs, the Best 2000s Rap Songs, the Best Rap Songs About Money of All Time, the Best Sad Rap Songs, and the Best Hip Hop Songs Of All Time for more head-bobbing song selections.

How Did XXXTentacion Die? – Final Thoughts

It’s a shame when any young person who is just 20 years old dies. And when that person is so talented and loved by fans, it hits much harder. He didn’t particularly rap like a gangster, but his music did touch on many somber subjects and notes. It’s only natural that the general public assumes he was just another gangster rapper and street thug who was gunned down because of some gang feud.

But that couldn’t be further from the truth… 

The harsh reality is that famous rappers are public targets, especially for robbery and kidnapping. The unfortunate truth is that XXXTentacion was gunned down in a spur-of-the-moment situation born out of opportunism. He was recognized and got jacked in the harshest and worse possible way. 

Thankfully, XXXTentacion’s music will ensure he lives on in the mind of his fans. But it truly is a shame that it had to end this way. I feel sorry most for his family and friends. 


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