Lil Uzi Vert, PnB Rock, Family Gather to Mourn the Death Of XXXTentacion
Family, friends, artists, and fans alike congregated inside an arena for an emotional memorial for the slain rapper.
As she approached to the entrance of the BB&T Center in Sunrise on Wednesday (June 27), Cleo Onfroy passed by the front of the humongous line of fans waiting to see her son Jahseh Dwayne Onfroy, a.k.a. XXXTentacion. Upon recognizing her, a few fans got out of line to personally give her flowers and handmade posters dedicated to him. The crowd erupted into cheers and began chanting “Long Live X!”
All Onfroy could do was erupt into tears and accept their comforting hugs and deepest condolences.
Throughout the day, prominent rappers like Lil Uzi Vert, PnB Rock, Lil Yachty and more joined other downhearted fans to pay tribute to XXXTentacion, who was murdered during an attempted robbery last Monday (Jun 18). In lieu of a traditional funeral, the 20-year-old’s family and friends arranged a public, open-casket viewing for anyone who wished to see him one last time. Hours before the viewing, the line was congested with an overabundance of grieving fans that stretched from will call all the way out to the arena’s street entrance, standing peacefully.
Once the doors opened at noon, fans were led across the arena and down to the stage floor. As they stood in line, a special tribute video featuring a combination of footage from his most recent shows, interviews, and family photos of him as a child played on the Jumbotron. Meanwhile, his DJ Scheme provided the ultimate Triple X playlist. His memorable melancholy songs like “Save Me” “Numb” and “Alone Pt 3” echoed throughout the arena. In between each track, fans got to hear his motivational words from his past viral videos.
“It was the most perfect thing for Jah,” Scheme told Billboard. “It described everything he was perfectly. These fans are our family so it’s nothing to show them his body. He would want that. I promise Jah was looking down at that event today with a huge smile.”
XXXTentacion wore a denim button down jacket and burgundy pants, with his signature braids still intact. His immediate family, such as his mother and sister Ariana, close friends and label reps like Ghazi of Empire got to have their own private moments before they allowed fans and the rest of the family to approach the casket.
Fans young and old got to walk on stage to get their final glimpse at XXXTentacion’s uniquely tattooed face and say goodbye, before walking out in an orderly fashion. Among the 20,000+ attendees of all ages, colors and religious backgrounds, there were parents, women with babies, children, teens, college students, and select few senior citizens in the line. There were no cell phones or recording devices allowed inside the arena. The line remained eerily silent throughout the majority of the viewing. However, when songs like “Look At Me!” and “Take A Step Back” came on, the line nearly became a mosh pit.
Periodically, Cleo would halt the line for a few of her son’s famous friends to have their own time with him. Ugly God was visibly heartbroken as got closer to the casket, and eventually became inconsolable. Lil Yachty entered the arena wearing a black hoodie and had his head down in sadness as he gazed upon his friend for the final time. Denzel Curry, Robb Banks, PnB Rock, Ronny J, and Zoey Dollaz were all able to connect with XXX’s mother to say their final words with her blessing.
Lil Uzi Vert also made his way to the arena to pay his respects. Recently, Uzi announced his plans to launch a foundation for XXXTentacion’s future child and family, which his mother Cleo confirmed days after his death. So far, he’s gotten support from Nicki Minaj, A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, Desiigner, Kyle and of course Ski Mask and Lil Boat. As soon as he arrived, he met with Cleo and mourned alongside her as they viewed the casket.
The future of XXXTentacion’s remaining catalog doesn’t appear too grim at the moment. Before his death, Onfroy confirmed that he was planning to release two albums to follow-up his ? album called Bad Vibes Forever and Skins. There are no confirmed release dates for either project yet, and it will depend on the family's wishes. However, according to DJ Scheme, they’re definitely “dropping all that shit.”
It seemed as though the last thing anyone wanted to focus on at the memorial was XXXTentacion’s controversial past, but it’s impossible to ignore. Before his death, Onfroy was facing charges of false imprisonment, domestic battery, witness tampering, and aggravated battery against his pregnant ex-girlfriend. Prior to that, he was charged with armed home invasion robbery and aggravated battery with a firearm. Although he was on house arrest and waiting for his day in court, fans didn’t let his criminal record block them from mourning his death.
“What I love about him is that he was motivational,” said Kasie Cornish, 42, who was in line with her son to see Triple X. “I started seeing how he was reaching the children, and I found out that he was like a mental health advocate as an artist. So when I heard about his death, it really broke my heart. It really tore me to pieces. I want them to stop killing our youth. I don’t care what they say about him. Everyone has a past, but he had a great heart. I could feel it and to me he feels like family.”