Controversial rapper XXXTentacion—commonly known as X or XXX, less commonly known as Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy—has boasted about his propensity for and history of violence, and is awaiting trial for charges related to an alleged 2016 assault of a former girlfriend who was pregnant, which he denies.
Now a disturbing video has emerged that appears to show him hitting a woman in the back of the head.
The video, which emerged on TMZ early Tuesday morning, appeared online shortly after XXX was released from house arrest so he can go on tour.
It shows a woman in the foreground shooting a selfie video, with XXX dancing in the background before attacking her.
WARNING: Graphic and disturbing content
Law-enforcement sources tell TMZ that prosecutors in his domestic-violence case are reviewing the video.
Meanwhile XXX’s lawyers told TMZ that it’s clear from the video that her client and the girl are friends and “the video was taken completely in jest.”
In fact, it’s far from clear that that is indeed the case.
XXX has a record of provoking controversy; on one podcast, he told a story about choking a prison inmate he believed was gay.
However it is the shocking allegations made against him by a former girlfriend that have provoked the most outrage.
As The Daily Beast previously reported, XXX was arrested in October 2016 on multiple charges, including false imprisonment and witness-tampering. Pitchfork published excerpts from the deposition of XXXTentacion’s accuser, in which she alleged: “He strangled her until she almost passed out. He took her to the bathroom and demanded one last time that she tell him everything or he would kill her in the bathtub. She couldn’t even recognize her face in the mirror—it looked ‘distorted’—and her left eye was completely shut and ‘leaking blood.’ She was losing vision. She vomited.”
XXX’s style is a far cry from traditional gangsta rappers. He is noted for a seductive vocal delivery that ranges from whispering to screaming, often combined with elements of rock, electronica, and even stripped-down acoustic guitar and classical piano.
XXX, 20, has been in trouble with the law from an early age; as a teenager he was detained in a juvenile facility in his native Florida for alleged armed robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.
Despite the horrifying allegations against him, XXX’s current single, “Sad,” is at No. 7 on the Billboard charts—his first top 10 hit.
He is still awaiting trial on charges of false imprisonment, witness-tampering, and aggravated battery of a pregnant victim.