American rapper XXXTentacion has been gunned down north of Miami while shopping for a motorcycle.
The 20-year-old, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was shot in broad daylight near the motorcycle store in Deerfield Beach, the Broward County sheriff’s department said.
Videos taken at the scene on Monday and shared on social media showed the rapper’s slumped body in the driver’s seat of a black BMW sports car as a bystander attempted to take his pulse.
A Florida native identifiable for his spiked-up dreadlocks, XXXTentacion found a wide following by uploading songs on sharing site SoundCloud, with a dark, often muffled style of hip-hop full of lyrics about his depression and past crime.
Without any promotion in traditional terms, his second album, entitled “?,” debuted at the top of the Billboard album chart in March.
In early 2017, “Look at Me!” became the first breakthrough hit of the so-called “SoundCloud” movement.
XXXTentacion’s success triggered controversy due to a past that is violent even by the standards of the rap world.
Around the time of his latest album’s release, he was being released from house arrest as he awaits trial on charges of beating up his pregnant ex-girlfriend.
Spotify last month singled out XXXTentacion alongside R. Kelly as part of a policy not to promote songs by artists known for “harmful or hateful” behaviour, but the leading streaming service backed down after charges that it had overstepped its role over vague criteria.
Kanye West paid tribute to the young star on Twitter shortly after the news was announced, thanking him for existing and inspiring him.