Monday evening, june 18th, XXXTENTACION was brutally murdered at the age of 20. The internet erupted. The youth was stanning for him and was even calling him the 2pac of the new generation. Others were condemning him for his questionable past. What we do know is that nobody deserves to be shot and killed at the age of 20, but what can we learn from XXXTENTACION death and the immense internet reaction that followed?
A week ago my timeline flooded with images of a young boy in his car, seemingly not breathing. His head hanging and his eyes looked closed. Around him people buzzing and snapping, taking pictures and making video calls: ” is that him? Is that really him? Yo, is he dead?” Later we find out it is XXXTENTACION and yes he is dead.
I’ve seen the images, the video’s the comments and more and you know the first thing I did? I started to cry. Tears were streaming down my face, because I just realised that the world has become worst than ever. As technology grew, we failed to keep our humanity. We have become so desensitized that bloody and deadly images of a person on your screen, on social media, does nothing to you. Even so, we find the comments sections a place to say what ever we want, because of “freedom”. These internet rappers or troll rappers that grow up in this generation use this platform exactly for that. Say whatever, be whatever and act whatever. What should have been a good thing, has turned into something extreme as we have seen by the events of last week.
I remember a time where we were shocked when hearing someone died. We were crying for people across the world because we felt it! We were taught to care. Now though, we stand aside a car, look at a dead boy and start taking pictures. It’s all about who gets the scoop first. Who can make it on to TMZ or the Shaderoom. We want the thousands of views in a quick sec instead of saving someone’s life. We want to be the “first” commenter. We want the likes and the shares, but for what though? To be cool?
Last week a guy on twitter even went that far to claim the murder on XXXTENTACION. You know what the internet did? They rewarded his profile with 10.000 more followers. Is this where we are now? We reward boasting, trolling, “realness“, because this is considered truth, honesty? Fuck that! If this is the future we are moving towards to, I do not want to be a part of it. I don’t want to be part of a world that can easily say: “he deserves to die” or “they should have shot so and so ” after seeing images of someone shot dead in a car. It’s sick and inhumane. Social media has made it easy for us to connect while being miles away, but has also made the wrong people bold and loud. Voices with vile things to say are being applauded and enhanced by virtual microphones through likes and shares. Slowly, but surely we are losing the ability to care.
XXXTENTACION is dead, no I never listened to his music. His music was not my cup of tea. Yes, I heard all about his past and that made me even more reluctant to push play on his music. No, I don’t think he deserved to die. Also, I don’t believe his mother, father or any family member or friend earned it to see their loved one’s dead body on social media first before actually hearing it from the police. Could you imagine if this was your brother?
My take away on this is, we as a community have failed the youth, who seek attention through social media as their idols did and still do including XXXTENTACION. Secondly we failed as a society to teach our youth that these images, black brothers dying on the streets, police brutality, gang violence and internet trolling is not a game you play like Fortnight. Nah. It’s for real, so come correct. That’s all