The Vermont Cynic

Hit rapper deserves criticism

Dahlia Maleh, Staff Writer

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Music media and its consumers are facing a moral dilemma:  whether they can continue to separate artists from art.

XXXTentacion’s 2018 album title, “?” fits for how he should be looked at as an artist:  with question and caution.

To call the Florida rapper problematic is an understatement. In October  2016, he was arrested on charges of domestic battery, false imprisonment and aggravated battery of his then-pregnant girlfriend.

In September 2017, Pitchfork, an online music publication, got a copy of the victim’s 51-page medical record, which contains horrifying details and pictures of the abuse.

Despite his dangerous actions toward women, his fame has suffered no consequences. His new album debuted at No.1 on the Billboard 200 and he rose from No. 22 to No. 1 on the Billboard Artist 100 chart.

The songs from his album feature lyrics about his battle with depressions and continuous suicidal thoughts, almost providing fans with excuses for his violent actions.  

His lyrics could easily be seen as a poetic testimony to the world: he tells everyone that he is a broken soul looking for love and sanity. The narrative he creates, no matter how relatable, is no excuse for the violence he has committed.

Not only are fans giving him support, but multiple music media outlets are still publicizing his success and not reporting on what the artist has done outside of the studio.

Complex is one major music publication that has consistently published articles praising XXXTentacion’s music, yet they’ve written very little about his actions of abuse.

XXXTentacion is not the only abusive rapper that gets publicity and spots on the charts. Kodak Black was charged with sexual assault of a minor, yet no radio station stopped playing “Tunnel Vision.”

These rappers are our generation’s R. Kelly because of our reluctances to shun “good talent” from the despite heinous wrongdoing.

Despite it all, R. Kelly’s “Ignition (Remix)” and now XXXTentacion’s “Look At Me” will still be playing at frat parties, clubs and even Bar Mitzvahs.

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Hit rapper deserves criticism