XXXTentacion has been in the news for all the wrong reasons lately. His shocking Instagram video, which featured a fake stunt of the rapper committing suicide by hanging, later forced him to (kind of) explain things away, but the fact that it occurred may still send a shiver down the spine of most casual hip-hop fans. Even with the release of his proper debut album, 17, the music community is still mostly focused on the young emcee’s public antics rather than his budding rap repertoire. Today (September 5th), there came yet another story that placed X in the middle of a controversy, this time surrounding his supposed lifting of artwork bearing his likeness for the purpose of merchandise sales.https://www.instagram.com/p/BT0BcLqBB3-
Instagram user @wehadnoidea initally shared the portrait in May, which led to a supportive comment from the rapper’s official profile on the social media platform to be shared with the artwork. Speaking with Spin on Monday, @wehadnoidea said that he and X began chatting via Direct Message. The alleged messages, which Spin has able to obtain, show that compensation was part of the conversation early on before the tone made a drastic change and went in the other direction. Later on, reports of the portrait being used for moneymaking purposes with the original artist’s consent or giving him credit surfaced online. The rapper has blocked @wehadnoidea on Instagram and the Revenge website wasn’t accessible at the time of this writing, but all signs point towards some barriers being put in place to avert the public’s eyes from the alleged theft. No official statement on the matter has been made by X or any of his representatives either.https://www.instagram.com/p/BXp1z6kh9A_
The artist responsible for the portrait, who hasn’t shared his real name in relevant reports for fear of online retribution from fans or the rapper himself, reposted a new version of the piece of art online recently, telling social media users to “fight for your work.” He continued: “I have countless of people who aren’t major artist that buy my work, and to them I thank you.” The snub, if true, is a cold one by XXXTentacion, but given his track record of being a public figure without much care for backlash of any kind, shouldn’t be all that surprising.