Rapper XXXTentacion Signed $10 Million Deal Weeks Before He Was Shot and Killed

Rapper XXXTentacion (C) attends the BET Hip Hop Awards

Rapper XXXTentacion attends the BET Hip Hop Awards. | Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for BET

Just weeks before he was gunned down in South Florida, rapper XXXTentacion had reportedly signed a massive record deal for the distribution of his third album.

According to The New York Times, the hip-hop artist, whose real name is Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, inked the huge contract with Empire, which is the same label that released his first album titled 17. Sources told the publication that the new deal was reportedly worth $10 million.

The company’s founder, Ghazi Shami, said that the 20-year-old rap star had completed “a significant amount of material” for another album prior to his death and his new music could drop sometime in October. Streams of XXXTentacion’s tracks have spiked significantly since his death. His song “Sad” jumped from No. 52 to No. 1  on Billboard Hot 100 chart the week after his murder.

While XXXTentacion was quickly becoming one of the brightest stars in the rap game he was also no stranger to controversy and had plenty of legal woes. His ex-girlfriend, Geneva Ayala, accused him of abusing her when she was pregnant with his child.

In 2016, Ayala told law enforcement officials that he beat her regularly by punching her, choking her, putting scissors to her face, and even holding her head underwater. She also alleged that when he found out she was pregnant with his child, he threatened to kill her and their unborn baby. XXXTentacion was arrested and charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness tampering. At the time of his death, he was awaiting trial and facing more than a dozen felony charges. He was placed on house arrest, however, a judge approved a request for him to be let out so he could tour.

On June 18, the rapper was shopping at a motorcycle dealership in Deerfield Beach, Florida, when he was approached by two armed suspects as he was leaving. The Broward County sheriff department confirmed that at least one of the suspects fired shots and struck XXXTentacion before fleeing the scene in a black SUV. One witness said that by the time paramedics arrived, he didn’t have a pulse. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and pronounced dead.

Police later arrested and charged a 22-year-old man named Dedrick D. Williams with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting. Another man, Robert Allen, has been identified as a person of interest in the case.

After the news of XXX’s death broke, several other musicians paid tribute to him via social media.

“Rest in peace,” Kanye West tweeted. “I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here thank you for existing.”

“I’m at a loss for words… speechless #RIPXXXTentacion,” Blink 182 drummer Travis Barker wrote. “Loved collaborating with you. You were a true artist, one of the most f**king talented of our time.”

In addition, his fans held vigils in Los Angeles and at the location in Deerfield where he was shot. His public memorial service was held on June 27 at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida. Large crowds also gathered in London’s Hyde Park as well for a memorial on July 7.

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