One week after he was gunned down during a suspected armed robbery attempt in his home state of Florida, rapper XXXTentacion was being remembered with a vigil along the boardwalk in Mission Beach.
XXXTentacion, or X, or Jahseh Dwayne Ricardo Onfroy, made music about his troubled life, depression and insecurities and his fans say it was that realness that drew them to his music. And since the chance to ever tell him thank you in person was stripped from them last week, they came to the boardwalk Monday to do it from a distance.
They thanked him for the Billboard chart-toppers that brought them happiness, and also for songs like “Hope,” a tribute to the victims of the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which undoubtedly inspired and possibly saved the lives of some of his fans.
“Knowing he dealt with depression, it helped me move on with my life and stuff,” one fan said. “When I wanted to end it all, like, his music was there to support me and stuff.”
Poster boards with pictures and penned song lyrics were laid out on the boardwalk, flanked by burning candles arranged in x’s. Crowds sang and rapped along to his music playing on speakers, and fans one-by-one crouched by the candle arrangements and took photos with their forearms crossed.
“He made an impact on so many people. I just felt I owed it to him,” another fan said.
“Whenever I feel sad or like I couldn’t make it anymore, I just listen to his music and it makes me feel like I should be alive. There's a reason for me to be alive," another said.
X first rocketed to fame with his SoundCloud hit “Look At Me” in 2016, and his profile increased locally in 2017 when he was punched unconscious while performing on stage at the North Park Observatory.
Trouble seemed to follow the 20-year-old from South Florida, one reason why San Diego police were nearby watching the vigil crowds closely.
Last week, a mob took to the streets of the Fairfax District in Los Angeles and piled on the roofs of moving cars in his name only to be diffused by police in riot gear.
At one point a car with about a dozen people on top and a shattered windshield was driving through the crowded streets.
The rapper was facing felony charges for allegedly assaulting his pregnant girlfriend.
Months ago he seemed to foreshadow his death on social media, saying "If I'm going to die or be sacrificed I want to make sure my life made 5 million kids happy.”
A suspect in his death killing was arrested two days after the shooting.