XXXTentacion: The Bias of Human Judgement

Rap music is riddled with characters of chequered history. In fact, of all the genres in music, rap definitely has the most indicted people by the Law. Asides the incitement of violence, rap is the mouthpiece of meticulous crafted misogyny and it’s going to end soon. One of the legends of Rap music; 2Pac was a man with a long rap sheet of violence and control issues. But still, he’s got his fans.

About a month ago, XXXTentacion dropped his much awaited album 17 and I was particularly blown away by the vigorously canvassed boycott of this gem of a project, you’d think he was ’60s Virginia level white supremacist. DJBooth even went as far as put out a tweet to confirm their refusal to review his album

The reason was his history of violence, especially against women and I just call bullshit. It’s the cheapskate approach to lazy activism that’s punctuated our generation and threatens to further blur our line of sight as a people.

There will never be a good enough defence to absolve XXX of any of his wrongdoing, but is he the first in rap? No. Will he be the last? No. And I think he’s just easy target for political correctness; the Contemporary vehicle of hypocrisy. While I agree that there’ll be a first time for every positive movement, and arguments that the boycott against XXX’s art might be the first in a potentially long line of activist movement to curtail further wrongdoing by popular figures, I think these guys it’s not gonna achieve much.

Moreover, even though a person’s output/art is a usually representation of his image and personality, I think XXX should be chastised, not his music. Music is meant to be enjoyed and every arguments against his content being provocative are bias. Through rap as a culture has been filled with people of equally bad content and they’ve been hailed and supported. Most recently, Tyler The Creator has done everything from violent lyrics to violent homophobia, I don’t see anyone refusing to review his album or canvassing a boycott of his work. Once again, XXX is easy target of the wrongdoing of an entire culture and its just wrong. It’s like a game of “You’re angry at the ruling class, so pelt the one who walks in the rural, underprivileged areas”.

Am I supporting XXXTentacion? Not a chance. My argument is hate the man, not his music. What he’s done isn’t the worst in the long history of rap. Loads of rappers have done worse while their careers have gone from strength to strength. I’m quite amazed at how people seem to have bought into this shameful boycott. It shows the fickle propensity of our generation to a sense of belonging, without careful examination.

Like I always say, anyone who’s motivated by violent rap or any other genre of music content to some orchestrate sole dastardly act was mentally disturbed way before he played that music, it’s never really been about the music. People have some latent, undiagnosed psychosis, it’s time to stop blaming every wrong act on music. There are enough environmental, motivational factors that incite more wrongdoing than music. Like XXX, music is another easy target.

We shouldn’t all sleep and snore the same. XXXTentacion has a long rap sheet, but it’s not enough to canvass a boycott of his music. Correct him, chastise him, but don’t hate his music. He’s not the first rapper with such, he won’t be the last. If we want to be activist, let’s tackle violence as a phenomena without fingering people like XXXTentacion. We’re victimizing them, and we’re not doing anything different from the scourge we’re rooting against.

Personally, I think XXX is a scumbag. Anyone who beats a woman, let alone a pregnant woman deserves all the crap in the world. But I enjoy his music, 17 is one of my favourite releases of 2017.

I say enjoy the music, don’t project hate onto the art. Art is a medium of expression, like he said in his music, “Save me”. We’re not saving him by this questionable boycott, we’re victimizing him and it’s probably not gonna achieve a thing. If you play his music, it doesn’t mean you’re supporting him. His music might represent him, but it’s not the offender. Music is meant to be enjoyed, especially when it’s good music, XXXTentacion made good music on 17.

By PennedMusingsNG for Urban Central. Follow his escapades on Twitter @Weird_Liberal

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Urban Central is the Internet Magazine for the millennial mind, focused on the issues that matter for an evolving generation. Do follow us, Urban Central.