Long Live Jah.
It’s been about three-and-a-half months since the tragic passing of XXXtentacion. While his physical being has been erased by the hands of murderers, XXXtentaction’s presence still pulsates vibrantly to the beat of his progressive music. With the help of his loyal team, X, born Jahseh Onfroy, continues to grace us with his brilliance through posthumous releases–like the recently-released “Falling Down” with fellow prematurely deceased artist, Lil Peep. The most recent evidence materializes as the music video for his omnipresent song, “Moonlight”, off of the acclaimed ?.
The final album before his passing, ? showcased X’s impressive musical command through an eclectic sonic and conceptual employment, ranging from painful deep cuts to catchy earworms. One of the album’s most popular tracks, “Moonlight”, with over 370mm Spotify streams to date, acutely depicts this diversity by weaving tortured lyrics into a dynamic, head-bumping production. A genuine artist, X’s talents exceeded his musicality by entertaining outside artistic mediums–one of which was his creative direction that ushered his songs into the visual realm.
Written and creatively-directed by X himself, the “Moonlight” video complements the song’s dissonance by manifesting his affliction through a macro dark aesthetic that blankets his reclusion. While the video shows Jah’s friends–like fellow Floridian rapper, Kid Trunks–celebrating and partying beside a campfire under the moonlight, X is seen attempting to mitigate his emotional wounds through offering forced smiles and pleasantries to friends as he makes his way through the crowd, ultimately finding himself surveying the gathering from afar by himself. It is in this isolation where X confronts his demons; it is also the ironic bedrock for his creative transcendence.
A polarizing visionary whose ingenuity was countered by defamatory accusations, X toed the line between reverence and condemnation. However, his musical brilliance garnered respect from his contemporaries and legendary figures alike–he secured a feature on Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter V; J. Cole recently recalled the lasting impression X left on him through a protracted FaceTime conversation. Talent recognizes talent, and X was seen with 20/20 vision.
XXXtentacion’s untimely departure left a hole in our hearts and a void in the music world, but through resolve, his presence can still be felt–his energy will never die. Long Live Jah.
Watch the JMP-directed “Moonlight” video below: