By Jasmine Williams
Florida rapper, XXXTentacion, was killed on Monday in his home state when a drive by shooter open fired on him outside of a motorcycle dealer. Born Jahseh Onfroy, the twenty-year-old music rose to hip-hop prominence, thanks in part to his popularity on streaming platforms..
His death leaves a wake of divided opinions and online debates. Facing accusations of repeatedly assaulting his pregnant girlfriend, XXX was one of the only musicians to be removed from Spotify’s playlists and other promotional content as a result of their recently rolled out and since repealed, “Hateful Content and Conduct” policy.
Immediately following his death news outlets such as Rollingstone began publishing articles that seemed to package XXX’s violent actions as just a controversial facet of a complicated personality while referring to his short-lived career as a “legacy.” Similarly, tributes poured in from music heavyweights such as Kanye West, Questlove, J. Cole, and Diplo. Understandably, their praise was matched by the dissent of those disappointed that such public figures would choose to honor someone with a storied history of violence against women.
XXX’s recent streaming numbers are indicative of the music industry’s complicated relationship with the #MeToo movement and pop culture’s fascination with celebrity deaths. Since the beginning of the week his single, “SAD!” broke Taylor Swift’s global single-day steaming record on Spotify with 10.4 million plays.
Celebrate Pride at Ladyland!
In much, much, happier news – New York City celebrates Pride this weekend! Kicking off the festivities is legendary party host, LadyFag. She’s throwing her first music festival, LadyLand at Brooklyn Mirage on Friday. The massive celebration of queerness features a killer lineup including Eve, SOPHIE, Cupcakke, and more.
For more Pride events, check out Brooklyn Vegan’s rundown.
That New New
This week musicians delivered on tunes worthy of the rainbow celebrations, starting with St. Vincent who transformed Brooklyn bar, St. Vitus, into a club full of gyrating leather daddies for her video, “Slow Fast Disco.”
Leon Bridges joined Dej Loaf for a celebration of self expression and happiness in Dej’s new single and clip, “Liberated.” The rapper started the love fest last weekend by paying for marriage license for gay couples. This week she also debuted the mini documentary, “Stories of Liberated People.”
Nile Rodgers & Chic picked perfect timing to release the debut single off of their upcoming album, It’s About Time. “Till the World Falls” features a bevy of collaborators including Mura Masa, NAO, and Anderson .Paak.
We don’t need to tell you this but Beyoncé and Jay-Z also celebrated love this week. They dropped the album, Everything Is Love, under the moniker, The Carters.
After playing the same setlist almost 150 times at his NYC residency, Bruce Springsteen deviated from his usual routine to voice his dismay about the Trump administration’s separation of migrant families crossing into the United States. He also expressed hope that the good would prevail and played the song “The Ghost of Tom Joad.”
Trent Reznor also talked politics this week, telling the New York Times that “It feels like a country that celebrates stupidity is really taking it up a notch.”