Whatever your personal views on XXXTentacion’s alleged routinely violent behavior may be, there’s still no denying the popularity of his music. In particular, the song “Look At Me” has been one of the bigger anthems of the calendar year so far, taking the Internet by storm in the early stages of 2017 and helping to launch the young Florida native into the pop culture discussion, for better or for worse. Earlier this week, X hit with a new music video for the track and, as one might expect from him, it was shrouded in incredibly dark subject matter. What starts off as kind of a funny romp, with an opening classroom scene that ends with him knocking a teacher out with a dildo, quickly veers into unrelenting social commentary, touching on issues such as police brutality, slavery and white supremacy. The content of the video, which XXXTentacion both wrote and directed, was so dark that it made casting some of the roles in the video very difficult. 

According to a report from TMZ, casting director LaShawnna Stanley says that getting two young male actors to partake in a scene where a white boy places a noose around his neck while a black boy watches in silence was next to impossible. She says that the touchy subject matter scared many parents off, with the common thread being that the script was too “dark.” One woman was even in the process of making arrangements for her son to participate in the shoot, but she ultimately backed out at the last minute citing similar concerns. In the video, the young white boy is in fact struck up by the noose while the rapper himself does the deed on the other end of the rope, fueling a powerful image that stays in the mind’s eye long after the video has run its course. 

With over 5 million views less than 48 hours after its release, it’s clear that the appetite for XXXTentacion’s creative output hasn’t ebbed in the slightest. There’s no telling whether or not his recent social media video responses to some of the haters online will impact him long-term, but as of this writing, it looks like full steam ahead for X and his music.