Why XXXTentacion's Posthumous Award Was So Controversial

Photo: AP Images
On Tuesday, murdered rapper XXXTentacion received a posthumous honor at the American Music Awards. The artist won the Favorite Album in the Soul/R&B, a prize which his mother, Cleopatra Bernard, accepted on his behalf.
"I am honored to accept this award on behalf of my son," Bernard said. "I would like to thank the AMAs, his fans and to everyone that made this possible."
Some people were not pleased with the win. The 20-year-old XXXTentacion (real name: Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy), who was killed in a Florida shooting in June, was an accused abuser of women. Prior to his death, he faced charges in Miami of aggravated battery of a pregnant woman, domestic battery by strangulation, and false imprisonment. In September of 2017, Pitchfork published the testimony of his alleged victim and ex-girlfriend, who detailed a pattern of alleged abuse.
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Despite these controversies, XXXTentacion's star only rose. In March of 2018, the one-time Soundcloud rapper had the best-selling album in the country.
When XXXTentacion was mourned publicly by celebrities after his death, some people were critical, stating that it was wrong to honor an abuser. Yet, clearly a lot of fans still voted for XXXTentacion to win his AMA — even though people like rapper Vic Mensa came out against the continued celebration of the late artist.
After criticizing XXXTentacion at the BET Hip-Hop Awards, Mensa said in an Instagram video:
"I vehemently reject the trend in hip-hop of championing abusers, and I will not hold my tongue about it."
It's clear that while this late star has legions of fans who are passionate about supporting him even after his death, not everyone is okay with a culture that allows abusers of women to be publicly celebrated.
If you are experiencing domestic violence, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224 for confidential support.
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