DRIP DROPS of HIP-HOP from CHATTANOOGA
by Julian Cuebas
On June 18th, 2018 our fellow man reduced the crime scene of rapper XXXTentacion to an archived commodity. Jahseh Onfroy was a 20-year-old, South Floridian rapper whom was shot in his car shopping for motorcycles this week. He was killed in a reported robbery; however, this is not the crux of this story. He was filmed unresponsive in the car he was shot in. Our society has placed such a regard in posting and sharing that it has dehumanized the experience of life itself.
I gazed at the video on my Instagram feed and in a tragic sans serif font I read the caption: “XXXTENTACION SHOT IN HIS CAR AND IS UNRESPONSIVE.” In the video I saw things that struck me to the core. Another victim of gun violence, a boy, barely a man lifeless in his car. I then took notice that only one person was checking Jahseh’s pulse. Relatively no one was running to his aid or pulling him from the vehicle to give him CPR. Most people simply stood there, holding up the newest smart phones, capturing the last moments of a young mans life. Nurses out-cried on the internet over the lack of assistance given to the victim, unfortunately there was no lack of coverage. Except where it mattered most.
In the police report, witnesses say they had seen two men in purple hoodies, one in a red face mask, leave a black dodge journey, and descend upon the rapper’s car. We have a viral video of a controversial rappers lifeless body, but we do not have a single Snapchat, Instagram, photo, or video of the assailants that murdered him. We cannot see the statures of the men who committed the crime, the specific shoes they wore as they paced maliciously to his car. But we do have eye witness recounts.. Where were the cell phones when they were walking up? Where was the footage that could’ve brought his perpetrators to justice? Why was no one helping this young man as he was being robbed?
How can so many witnesses be as passive as they were? But “active” after the events transpired? The answer to that is complex, and I don’t understand it as much as I would like. What I do know is that a young man was murdered, and his fellow man did nothing but idle until the most “newsworthy” and “controversial” moment happened. Their first instinct was not to check for his life, but to catalog his death. Why did no one help XXXTentacion? The honest answer is that we have become a society that is passive in helping when it matters most and the shooting of Jahseh Onfroy proves it.
From this archived piece of “news” has come outrage. People alleging that Drake sent the hit, or that other Floridian rappers rolled up and shot him for “clout” (respect on the internet). These flurries of allegations can interfere with capturing the men responsible for his murder, but people care more about the story, the legacy, and the conspiracy. If the internet makes a large enough uproar police could become pressured and scapegoat someone that everyone is pointing their fingers toward. We don’t even let the criminal justice system decide who’s guilty or not anymore. As soon as the finger is pointed, the truth is accepted, even if it is far from it.
The truth is that Jahseh Onfroy was on trial for 15 felonies, one including the battery of his pregnant girlfriend in 2016. There was a lot of violence and controversy around his name. As soon as the internet learned of his passing trolls and extreme progressives began to praise his passing. No fan of this young man has discounted what the rapper did, and the past he struggled with. But what they choose not to acknowledge is that another black man was killed today and didn’t deserve the atrocity of murder. There are celebratory whoops and cries across all social platform that an abuser was killed and it should be celebrated. This young man had a very troubled life from start to finish, but everyday he chose to better himself and learn from the mistakes he made.
The character he built from the ashes of his youth was admirable. The story on his Instagram read that he was organizing a charity event for suicide awareness, he was giving back to his community, and raising money for various domestic violence assistance programs. But the internet would rather troll those affected by his death. The internet has desensitized some people into believing life is black or white, not a complex shade of human nature. They condemn him and those mourning for him, forgetting he was a son, a brother, a friend, and most of all human. We all have one commonality that makes us the same, we are human. We are born into this world and we will be taken from it. The dead do not deserve desensitized, agenda driven trolls defacing the name of someone who sought to better themselves and others every day. Jahseh Onfroy is a name tied to controversy, passion, pain, depression, and self-improvement. If you know someone or are someone struggling with depression, please call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.
Tha Milk Drop is a site focused on highlighting the hip-hop culture in Chattanooga, Tennessee, but also taps into hip-hop worldwide. Each week we drop exclusive and new content from artists. Also catch the profiles and interviews of hip-hop artists and creatives.
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