American rapper XXXTentacion has been gunned down north of Miami while shopping for a motorcycle.
The 20-year-old, whose real name was Jahseh Onfroy, was shot in broad daylight near the motorcycle store in Deerfield Beach, the Broward County sheriff’s department said.
Videos taken at the scene on Monday and shared on social media showed the rapper’s slumped body in the driver’s seat of a black BMW sports car as a bystander attempted to take his pulse.
He was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Broward Counry sheriffs on Monday night offered a $3,000 reward for information about his murder.
XXXTentacion becomes one of the biggest names in hip-hop to be killed in recent years after a slew of murders in the 1990s.
A spokesman for the sheriff’s department declined to give further details and a representative for XXXTentacion did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The celebrity news site TMZ, quoting audio from a dispatch call to the sheriff’s department, said that two assailants in hoodies, with the gunman in a red mask, stole a Louis Vuitton bag from the rapper’s vehicle and sped away in a black SUV.
#BreakingNews The adult male that was taken to the hospital has been pronounced dead.
— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) June 18, 2018
A Florida native identifiable for his spiked-up dreadlocks, XXXTentacion found a wide following by uploading songs on sharing site SoundCloud, with a dark, often muffled style of hip-hop full of lyrics about his depression and past crime.
Without any promotion in traditional terms, his second album, entitled “?,” debuted at the top of the Billboard album chart in March.
In early 2017, “Look at Me!” became the first breakthrough hit of the so-called “SoundCloud rap” movement.
XXXTentacion’s success triggered controversy due to a past that is violent even by the standards of the rap world.
Around the time of his latest album’s release, he was being released from house arrest as he awaits trial on charges of beating up his pregnant ex-girlfriend.
Spotify last month singled out XXXTentacion alongside R. Kelly as part of a policy not to promote songs by artists known for “harmful or hateful” behaviour, but the leading streaming service backed down after charges that it had overstepped its role over vague criteria.
rest in peace 🙏🙏🙏 I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here thank you for existing pic.twitter.com/QU7DR3Ghbw
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) June 18, 2018
Kanye West paid tribute to the young star on Twitter shortly after the news was announced, thanking him for existing and inspiring him.