By: Michelle Coleman
I am a 32 year old ,what they call ,an Old Hip Hop head. I love the hip hop culture and have lived it since kindergarten . As someone who has paid the ultimate price for living the life style often associated and glorified with hip hop culture ; I had come to the place of being closed minded on today’s hip hop. Especially with my thirteen year old son. On the strength I don’t want my child making the same mistakes I did growing up. Rather we like to admit it art imitates life and life imitates art, it’s a never ending cycle.
I have never raised a teenager before, I can only be empathetic to my children based on how I grew up. To be real I have been finding more of a disconnect between me and my son as he is hitting puberty. When I would try to connect we would talk about hip hop or things going on in school. Other than that he stays in his room playing video games and listening to music. When we discussed hip hop in the past he would engage by talking about his favorite artist at the time. Lil Yachty, Lil Pump, and XXXTentacion. Me being an old hip hop head, I would tell him try to find artist with substance and depth in their music. Your generation’s hip hop is not “real” hip hop. Six months ago we had the same discussion this time he told me he doesn’t like Lil Pump any more because he doesn’t rap about anything other than Gucci Gang. I was impressed thinking to myself I broke through to him. Then I asked ” Who is your favorite artist now?” his response XXXTentacion. I gave him a confused look, he said “Mom, he’s trying to change. He makes music now for kids struggling with depression”. Due to my old lifestyle choices, having him young , he had to pay for my lifestyle choices when I had to do two years in prison, which attributed to his own depression. So I deeply respected that, but then when I started googling him wasn’t too impressed with the headlines. A month ago we reach this topic again, and he’s telling me all about his Helping Hand Challenge and again reiterating his change and music helping kids with depression issues . I thought to myself, ok I need to start following him so I can have a open dialogue with my child and because I myself have went through change over the past 6 years. 2 weeks ago I started following him on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram. Four days later he was shot in a robbery in Florida at a motorcycle dealership.
My son came rushing out his bedroom in disbelief screaming “Mom!! They shot him”, I replied “Who?” he said “X, they shot X”. I said “Calm down, make sure their not trolling for views, make sure it’s real”. Then I hopped on my social media, as I follow hip hop closely. Worldstar Hip Hop had posted the video of Xxxtentacion taking his last few breaths of life for everyone to see. My heart dropped thinking about his family, friends, and followers how they had to witness this. Thinking about how out of all the things someone could be doing to help him in those moments, how they decided to just pull out the phone and record. Not even 30 minutes later the post came from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office department stating he was in fact dead. I immediately ran to my son and hugged him. I didn’t know what to say, so I just hugged him in silence. He said he just wanted to be alone, I couldn’t do nothing but honor his decision and tell him “If you want to talk, I’m here”.
I went to my computer and followed XXXTentacion on Spotify and started listening to his music. It was deep, thought provoking, ground breaking, and crossing genres something no other hip hop artist has done successfully. Guilt immediately filled my soul for judging this man off headlines. I watched the video on Worldstar Hip Hop one more time and begun to cry. Then going through my Facebook and Twitter feed seeing all these people make post and comment saying how he deserved to die because of his pending court case . It immediately sent a wave of emotion over me and my thoughts came rushing in.
If you follow me on Facebook, you should know by now, I’m an empath ; my thoughts are often outside the box, rapid, and at times they can consume me. So with that said, my thoughts went to my own personal growth and change, what would have been said about me if I died before I started my process of change? The evolution of the music industry beginning with Elvis, to Michael Jackson, to Tupac, now Xxxtentacion , and how the older generation before each of these amazing and talented artist disliked them and was saying the same exact thing about the next generation’s music. The same thing I was barking at my son. I felt bad and immediately went to posting my thoughts.
The responses were eye opening. So many people lack the ability to be empathetic and show compassion for someone, that is what is wrong with the world today. Most of the negative comments were from people who don’t even listen to hip hop in the first place, people who go by headlines instead of digging deeper and researching, judgmental people, or very closed minded Old Hip Hop heads. I used to refer to myself as one , I used to be one. After this past week and a half, I will no longer refer to myself as an Old Hip Hop head. I do not want any of the new generation associating me with the ignorance a lot of grown people have shown this week. The same mentality most of the hip hop culture despises and protests against, was the same mentality that was given in the majority of these comments and posts( Total comments on combined post 730) .
Tuesday approaches ,Worldstar Hip Hop makes the announcement that XXXtentacion’s video of SAD will be uploaded to YouTube on Wednesday morning @9am. I recieved the notification from YouTube the video was uploaded . Anticipation ran through my bones as I clicked on the notification. XXXtentacion SAD video<<Click Here
Me and my son watched it together, within ten seconds of pressing play my eyes started to water. Everything I had been posting about and felt were in this video. It was very emotional,thought provoking, prophetic ,and foreshadowing . It captured his whole essence ,aura of freethinking , and creativity. In the video he is attending a funeral of the old him, which quickly escalates to a physical battle when his old self emerges from the coffin. The new him beating the old him with the power of his mind. In between the battle he is talking with his inner spirit he names Gekyume, which means next universe of thought. I’m going to write out the dialogue, because I feel in my heart that is the message his soul came to spread before it was taken and to reiterate the original message he wanted to share before his death.
” Why are you watching this video? Why do you Love ?, Why do you hate?, What is your Blood Type, What is your place of birth and age?”
” Here is your warning and soul’s demand by perceiving this video. If you are watching you are subjected to a segment piece of my creative aura and wishes. You are now in “my” world or a piece of my consciousness as one would say.”
” You will spread love throughout the world, change the overall cycle of energy we are digesting. The world is in need of change, humans must learn to love and compromise rather than destroy. Blessing’s be upon those who have come to the visual presentation with good energy rather than malice, and those with negative intent, thank you. Your energy has been transmuted in the amount of time that you have taken to give your energy.”
” The world will soon be more loving, you will see. They do not understand you. Do you not fear? Your worst enemy is yourself and you seem unbothered. Though you can not pretend you have walked through life unscathed,it is your memories that hold you to the person you were. To amount the light you can become, you must understand the power of your mind.”
These words are very powerful and should get everyone to think differently about life in general.
I can say if he hasn’t gotten anyone else to change their way of thinking, he has mine. Even though I have changed my life around over the past 6 years, my fear of my children making the same mistakes I have ,had me closed minded on some issues. I will no longer do that. Me and my son are now engaging in more conversations then ever and developing a stronger relationship because of this eye opening experience. For now on my post will be more thought provoking in effort to help open people’s eyes and minds, while growing more spiritually myself . Opening a dialogue to help expand each other’s point of view , you cant grow without dialogue and healthy debate. Do I think I can change the world, no. Negativity will always be here unfortunately, but I will play my part in helping with the growth of change and compromise . Even if it’s just one person who I can get to thinking differently on an issue. The world and Hip Hop needs it now more than ever. Regardless if you’re not feeling an artist music, you shouldn’t shut it down with negativity but with constructive criticism if you truly love hip hop and want to have an everlasting impact on it. It is growing and changing regardless of preference, being ignorant of that change won’t fix the problems you see in it. Guess that can be said dealing with world issues as well.
Gone but not forgotten,
Jahseh Onfroy aka XXXTentacion
Even after his death, he is still being charitable. Urging people to donate to the XXXTentacion Foundation. The proceeds will be given to different charities.