While performing at the BET Awards, Meek Mill honored the slain rapper by wearing a hoodie bearing XXXTentacion’s image. Jamie Foxx also mourned, saying that black men dying in the street is unacceptable.
Less than a week after XXXTentacion was gunned down, Meek Mill, 31, made sure to honor the slain 20-year-old rapper at the BET Awards. Meek, who made his first post-prison award show appearance during the June 24 broad, debuted a new song detailing the struggles of black people in America — specifically how black men and women are disproportionately imprisoned. That alone would make Meek’s performance noteworthy, but as he rapped about the struggles, fans saw that he wore a hoodie bearing XXXtentacion’s face. Without saying a word, Meek paid tribute to the young rapper, whose life was cut short.
Later in the show, host Jamie Foxx also weighed in on XXXTentacion’s death after he was featured in In Memoriam segment, saying that people shouldn’t get desensitized to the fact that a 20-year-old black man was gunned down. “We don’t even trip anymore. We don’t even adjust our satellite just a bit…If you can in your music, if you can in your entertainment, sneak a message in there…We all have to figure out a way to not get used to [this],” Jamie said, after telling the audience that “no matter where you start, you have an opportunity to change.”
XXXTentaction, born Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, was shot and killed on June 18 outside Riva Motorsport in Deerfield Beach, Florida. He was leaving the motorcycle dealership in his BMW when allegedly, two men approached him and “demanded property.” After a struggle, Onfroy was shot in the neck. He was rushed to the hospital, but it was too late. He was pronounced dead at 5:30 PM ET, less than two hours after the alleged incident. Authorities arrested Dedrick D. Williams, 22, and charged him with murder. There are reportedly warrants out for three more suspects involved in Onfroy’s murder.
Shortly after the news of his death broke, tributes from XXXtentacion’s fellow hip-hop stars came pouring in. “rest in peace,” Kanye West tweeted, while including a picture of Onfroy. “I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here thank you for existing.” “This got me f*cked up,” J. Cole tweeted. “RIP X. Enormous talent and limitless potential and a strong desire to be a better person. God bless his family, friends and fans.” R.I.P @xxxtentacion,” Jidenna tweeted. “No one can be so self-righteous that they are happy when a youth dies. The young still have the capability to reform. God bless the kids. #xxxtentacion.”
— Ya fav 🌹 (@amourmaddii) June 25, 2018
— Gerrick D. Kennedy (@GerrickKennedy) June 25, 2018
Jidenna caught flak for his support, as he seemed to be uplifting XXXTentacion, a rapper who once said he almost killed a cellmate at a juvenile detention center because he was “looking at me” and XXX “thought he was gay,” according to the Daily Beast. In addition to the homophobia, XXXTentacion has been accused of domestic violence. In 2016, he was arrested with aggravated assault and battery and false imprisonment of his then pregnant girlfriend, Geneva Ayala. In October 2016, he allegedly assaulted Geneva for fifteen minutes straight, according to a Miami New Times report about his violent history. He allegedly punched, slapped, elbowed, strangled, and head-butted Geneva in a jealous rage. When she begged onlookers to take her to the hospital, XXXTentaction allegedly forbade it and held her against her will for two days. She escaped on Oct. 8, 2016 and he was arrested shortly afterward. XXXTentacion was awaiting trial over these charges at the time of his death.