Photo: Matias J. Ocner / Getty Images
  /  06.20.2018

XXXTentacion’s sudden death lit the match of an impending explosion. Gunned down at 20 years old after contemplating a motorcycle purchase, and while riding in a BMW I8 that, according to KBB, costs $165,000. The success that got him in the position to sit upon these expensive decisions ran parallel with a trail of alleged abuse, self-professed gay-bashing, and animosity that radiated from his body like a foul stench. But as horrendous as his past may have portrayed him , there were traces of light within the darkness. He’d been planning on instilling charity events in his city, this upcoming weekend actually. In a recently unearthed video from Instagram Live late last year, he relayed that, if he were to die, as long as he impacted millions of children’s lives to make the most of their existence, he’d be okay.

It may have been the prickly “Look At Me” that garnered him the attention that would put him on the fast track to success and its pitfalls, but this antagonistic sound wouldn’t define his aesthetic. He created unnecessarily violent records that spoke to the inner demons in his listeners, but he also crafted touching hymns that examined the relationships between mental health, heartbreak, and existence itself. He became a champion for the misunderstood and the troubled, carrying the weight of his actions unknowingly on his shoulders.

Despite his horrendous backstory and troublesome antics, hip-hop mourned for the loss of another soul destined for a bright future. That same day, Jimmy Wopo, a rising rapper out of Pittsburgh, also fell in a hail of gun smoke. It was a dark day in the midst of what should be a great month of June — no matter how many albums come out now, the stench of death will forever remain entrenched in it.

When it comes to media coverage, journalism has had a rough time deciding the proper course of action. It’s been extremely divisive. Websites that normally forbade covering his music because of his past have been eager to post thinkpieces about his career and the very music that they swore to be no parts of. New profiles and analyses of his career spend more time on his abuse than what came after, as if to define his entire life by it.

This air of animosity that’s covered both the music world and journalistic world has been inhaled by fans, so when a memorial in Los Angeles took hold of Melrose Avenue to pay respects to the fallen artist, all hell broke loose. On Tuesday night, fans stormed vehicles, sidewalks, and buildings, which they climbed and jumped off of. Police quickly became involved, treating the situation as a riot and fired rubber and pepper bullets into the crowd once mourners began throwing rocks. Almost two hours after it began, the situation devolved into anarchy. Police regained control, but the message had already been implanted — authority and XXXTentacion fans don’t mix.

The arrival of the police on scene may have been the cause for such a violent kneejerk reaction. Do police officers show up at candle light vigils when others pay respects to recently deceased individuals? XXXTentacion’s fans were already upset at his passing. Adding a police presence, especially in hip-hop where the profession is endlessly frowned upon, created the necessary environment for violence to thrive. That’s probably not what he would have wanted either.

But then again, when you paint an image of conflict such as his, this kind of response would be absolutely necessary. His career had a schizophrenic streak to it. It was necessary to prepare for the worst of the worst. As fires blazed on and blood boiled on Tuesday, I can only wonder if, at the root of the situation, XXXTentacion didn’t bring on this kind of energy to his fans through his life.

Yet while the media rushes to cover his death from every angle, those left to mourn his passing are subjected to the same treatment as protestors. Thus, when reported, the vigil looks animalistic and uncivilized. Quite the recipe for continued disruption since the public already views fans as this. But the entire situation throws me off, making me see both sides.

If anything, XXXTentacion has successfully achieved martyrdom. Inspiring a riot with his passing, and making outlets that forbade covering him rush to be the first to put something out about him, has only added fuel to the conversation of where he will go down in history. Some say that he’ll go a Tupac route, a gunned down iconoclast that was ultimately convicted of sexual abuse, yet still be seen as a revolutionary icon. Others believe that he’ll slowly fade from time since his antics have finally reached a close. But his last grand move came in death, sparking a fiery meeting of souls to enact the irate persona that manifested in his music.

XXXTentacion’s death sparked a much-needed conversation about how media coverage of death and its aftermath for rappers needs to be carefully handled to avoid creating inconsistencies. He was by no means a saint, but his death places the lid on a story that was growing and evolving. Now opens a new chapter in hip-hop where XXXTentacion’s influence on coverage remains fresh in the air. It’s safe to say I wonder how it will impact the troublesome artists that we currently have and will see in the near future.



View More



View More


Walmart has the home essentials for everyone on your holiday shopping list

Below, our gift guide highlights some of our favorite Walmart finds for anyone in need of a home refresh.

  /  11.24.2023

5 things you need to know about the 2023 Billboard Music Awards

“REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy Rue counts down the top five moments from the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, including surprising wins, historic firsts, and dope performances. Sponsored by Amazon.

  /  11.20.2023

Dig In & Drink Up | 'Bet on Black'

In this new episode of ‘Bet on Black,’ food and beverage take center stage as aspiring Black entrepreneurs from It’s Seasoned, Black Farmer Box, and Moors Brewing Co. present their business ideas to judges with mentorship from Melissa Butler. Watch here!

  /  11.15.2023

Walmart's HBCU Black and Unlimited Tour kicks off at Central State University

On Oct. 10, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University.

  /  11.14.2023

The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour visited Mississippi Valley State University

The Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour made its final stop at Mississippi Valley State University (MVSU) and left a lasting impact on students and alumni alike.

  /  11.22.2023

The Auditions | 'Shoot Your Shot'

The competition begins at REVOLT WORLD as rising rappers, singers, and musicians line up to audition for their spot on the main stage. Brought to you by McDonald’s.

  /  11.28.2023

Walmart continues HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour during lively Virginia State University stop

After unveiling their state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University, Walmart brought the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to Virginia State University (VSU) on Oct. 13.

  /  11.14.2023

Walmart HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour brings attention and wisdom to North Carolina Central University

On Oct. 17, Walmart brought the third stop of the HBCU Black & Unlimited Tour to North Carolina Central University (NCCU).

  /  11.15.2023

Walmart's HBCU Black and Unlimited Tour kicked off at Central State University

In October, Walmart unveiled a brand new, state of the art creative studio on the campus of Central State University. The HBCU located in Wilberforce, OH was the first stop on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited HBCU Tour.

  /  11.28.2023

Walmart brings in heavy-hitters for Black and Unlimited Tour panel

REVOLT is continuing its impactful partnership with Walmart by teaming up to showcase Black creatives at HBCUs all-across America. The panel consisted of three experienced, accomplished Black HBCU alumni: Actor and media personality Terrence J, entertainment attorney John T. Rose, and actress and “REVOLT Black News” correspondent Kennedy-Rue McCullough.

  /  11.30.2023

Dr. Jaqueline Echols' mission to cure environmental racism

The health of a community can often be traced to the health of the environment that surrounds it. In Atlanta, a woman named Dr. Jaqueline Echols has dedicated her life to helping ensure that people in economically underserved communities have clean rivers – for better health and for the joy of outdoor recreational space.

  /  12.01.2023

Investing in stocks in a recession | 'Maconomics'

Host Ross Mac provides useful advice for preparing your personal finances in the event of a recession. He emphasizes the importance of budgeting properly, building an emergency fund, and maintaining discipline when investing.

  /  11.21.2023

Walmart's Makers Studio at REVOLT WORLD transformed passion into progress

Take a look inside the Makers Studio presented by Walmart at REVOLT WORLD, a space where Black creators could hone in on their brand and see it come to life.

  /  12.04.2023

Pheelz talks expressing himself through music & his biggest inspirations | 'On In 5'

On this all-new episode of “On In 5,” multitalented Nigerian artist Pheelz opens up about waiting for his opportunity to fully express himself through music, his inspirations and emotions, and the musical icons he grew up admiring. Watch!

  /  07.11.2023

Walmart's Opportunity Center at REVOLT WORLD empowered HBCU students

Fly Guy DC taps in with REVOLT WORLD attendees to learn what the Opportunity Center, presented by Walmart, means to them and their futures.

  /  12.04.2023

Tiffany Haddish on therapy, wild fan interactions & the upcoming 'Haunted Mansion' movie | 'The Jason Lee Show'

On this all-new episode of “The Jason Lee Show,” the one and only Tiffany Haddish sits for a must-watch conversation about wild interactions with fans, her new movie ‘Haunted Mansion,’ bringing her therapist on dates, and being present. Watch the hilarious interview here.

  /  07.12.2023

16 best hip hop video games of all time

From Def Jam: Vendetta, Wu-Tang: Shaolin Style, DJ Hero and more, we list our favorite hip hop videos games of all time. Did yours make the cut? 

  /  11.06.2023

Kareem Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke & networking | 'The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels'

On this all-new episode of “The Blackprint with Detavio Samuels,” the host and REVOLT CEO sits down with Kareem Cook. Throughout the introspective episode, Cook talks growing up in The Bronx, studying at Duke and being nervous to be in the South at the time, network vs. education, taking advantage of your opportunities, and connecting with Debbie Allen. Watch!

  /  07.10.2023

DDG has his sights set on becoming a fashion hero & talks Halle Bailey being his "best friend"

In this exclusive interview, DDG opens up about his fashion inspiration, what drew him to girlfriend Halle Bailey, dealing with negative opinions about his relationship, and more. Read up!

  /  11.28.2023

BNXN talks leaving IT for music, linking with Wizkid, going viral & new album | 'On In 5'

For this all-new episode of “On In 5,” singer-songwriter BNXN discusses his journey from IT to music, finding his voice and originality, linking up with Wizkid for their hits “Mood” and “Many Ways,” and what fans can expect from him this year — including a new album. Watch the full episode here!

  /  08.08.2023
View More
Revolt - New Episodes