The Soundcloud-made star, who was born Jahseh Onfroy, remains a controversial figure in music. Though he recently won a posthumous prize at the American Music Awards for Favorite Album in Soul/R&B, allegations of abuse, reported by an ex-girlfriend, clouded his legacy. (Onfroy denied such accusations.)
Prior to his death, Onfroy faced charges that included aggravated battery of a pregnant victim, false imprisonment, domestic battery by strangulation and witness tampering. He pleaded not guilty. In August of 2018, after the musician's murder by gun violence, his domestic violence charges were dropped by the judge in the case, per records from the Miami-Dade County Clerk of Courts.
Now, a new recording from around Onfroy's 2016 arrest has been released. In the tape acquired by Pitchfork from the Miami-Dade County state attorney’s office, Onfroy can be heard allegedly detailing violence against a former girlfriend to an unidentified group of people.
"I put my source of happiness in another person, which was a mistake initially, right? But she fell through on every occasion until now," Onfroy said during one part of the 27-minute long recording. "Until I started fucking her up bruh. I started fucking her up because she made one mistake."
In addition to discussing his partner, Onfroy shared details of other violence he seemingly witnessed.
"You ever seen somebody get their tongue cut out? … You ever seen somebody get raped? … You ever seen somebody try to kill your mom in front of you?" the rapper asked a man in the recording. "Every night you go to sleep and you remember what you seen and you remember how it felt and you remember that horrible feeling in your soul. Nobody can comfort you. It’s something I gotta deal with."
In a statement to Refinery29, the Miami-Dade state attorney's office said of the recording:
"The defendant makes admissions to multiple criminal acts in the recording. While both defense counsel and our prosecutor believed the tape had confessions of criminal activity on it, the tape would likely not have been admissible at trial because of the way it was recorded (without knowledge/consent of the other parties). The recording was made by [redacted] without anyone knowing and was obtained from [this person's] attorney."
Refinery29 has reached out to a representative for Onfroy for comment.
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.