Murdered rapper XXXTentacion knew he had enemies and had taken steps to tighten his security in recent months, including never leaving home alone, DailyMail.com has learned.
The 20-year-old hip hop star, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was gunned down on Monday afternoon outside a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Florida.
Police say he could have been the victim of a botched armed robbery, after a Louis Vuitton bag was taken from his black BMW sports car as he lay dying.
But speaking exclusively to DailyMail.com, close friend and producer Zxflo said he doesn’t think the killing was a robbery gone wrong and believes the rapper could have been deliberately targeted.
‘Honestly, I hate to say it but I don’t believe it was a robbery,’ Zxflo, 27, said. ‘I don’t believe it was a robbery at all.
‘Through the years, he’s gained some enemies and it’s hard to speak right now but he didn’t travel alone. He was a very smart individual.
‘He did not travel alone, he never traveled alone – he knew that he has enemies, obviously. He would not go places alone.’
He added: ‘I know there were people who were very jealous and envious of him. He came from an area where not a lot of people make it out so…’
XXXTentacion had previously had public feuds with a number of other artists including Drake and south Florida rapper Ski Mask the Slump God.
Although he was not known to be affiliated with any gangs, XXX was said to have been in persistent trouble with the law over his regular substance abuse and aggressive behavior.
In particular over the treatment of his ex-girlfriend Geneva Ayala who, according to court documents, he regularly stomped on, strangled, kicked and punched.
He also repeatedly threatened to kill himself if Ayala left him, often coming close to carrying out the suicide in front of her.
After she became pregnant he continued to brutally beat her and was eventually arrested over the abuse and placed initially under house arrest and then in prison.
In the months leading up to his death, he was charged with witness tampering after trying to pressure his ex-girlfriend to drop the charges.
XXXTentacion, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was gunned down on Monday afternoon outside a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Florida
XXXTentacion – pronounced X-X-X Tentacion – was born in Plantation, Florida, and raised in Lauderhill, a small city approximately 31 miles north of Miami Beach.
His father Dwayne, 44, spent much of his childhood in and out of jail while financial circumstances meant his mother Cleopatra Bernard, 38, was largely unable to care for him.
Following the news of her son’s death, Bernard told DailyMail.com: ‘My son’s dead. I need some time. I don’t know what’s going on.’
He was raised primarily by his grandmother Collette Jones and struggled at school, including being expelled from Margate Middle School following a series of altercations with another student.
The 20-year-old had always loved music however, taking part in both school and church choirs and attempting to learn the piano and the guitar while studying at Sheridan House Family Ministries.
But he also had a series of run-ins with the law and served time in juvenile detention on gun possession charges after dropping out of Piper High School in Sunrise, Florida, in tenth Grade.
Zxflo told DailyMail.com that XXXTentacion had found it tough after his release, couch-surfing for months on end – including a six-month stint at his own home in Plantation in 2015.
‘A few years ago, he was pretty violent, I’m not going to lie,’ he said. ‘He was raised by his grandmother, never really had a home to go to.
‘He stayed with me for about six months, he stayed with [rapper] Denzel Curry – they really doing whatever they could to make it. He made it and now it’s just devastating.
‘It’s hard for me to talk about this right now to be honest. I just want people to know he is not what the media portrays him to be. He was an amazing, loving person.’
Despite his legal troubles – which included an arrest for robbery and assault with a deadly weapon in July 2016 and a pending trial on charges of domestic violence and witness tampering – XXXTentacion’s music career was taking off, propelled by the success of 2017 hit Look At Me which charted at number 34 on the Billboard Hot 100.
An eight-track mixtape Revenge followed and on August 25 2017, he released his first major album, 17, which debuted at number 2.
More recently, he released a song called Hope dedicated to the victims of the Parkland school shooting on Valentine’s Day via his SoundCloud account.
His most recent single, Sad!, released on March 2, debuted at number 17 – making it his biggest hit to date.
According to Zxflo, who like XXXTentacion is a leading light of the increasingly popular SoundCloud rap genre, the 20-year-old had been working on new music – some of which he hopes will be released posthumously.
‘He’s got a lot of work that’s in the vaults so his fans will continue to hear his music for some time to come,’ he said.
‘I know he’d been working a lot, I know his friends have some unreleased music from him.’
The rapper had also been attempting to change his image in recent months, focusing on community work and doing, Zxflo said, a 360 and turning his life around.
Zxflo said: ‘He was so loving and caring to his friends and the people who were around him supported him to the fullest.
‘A lot of people didn’t like him and they were jealous of what he was doing and how talented he was.
‘I’d say they tried to gain some clout by starting issues with him. As you know, he did have a temper but that was only towards people who were being very hostile towards him and wanted to harm him.
‘But as far as the people he was close with and cared about, he was the most genuine, loyal, loving person you can imagine.’
Just before his death, XXXTentacion had moved into an opulent $1.4million four-bedroom home in upscale Parkland, which he shared with his mother.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail – Ruth Styles, Jose Lambiet