Lenard McKelvey, who goes by Charlamagne tha God, spoke out against conspiracy theories about 20-year-old rapper XXXTentacion’s recent death, saying that excessive screen time has made it difficult for many people to distinguish fantasy from reality.
On Monday night, police say XXXTentacion, whose real name is Jahseh Onfroy, was shot and killed during an apparent robbery in Broward Country, Florida. Conspiracy theories have abounded as people shared videos of the rapper, whom some say was seen walking around after the robbery — a narrative that contradicts police reports.
In a video obtained by TMZ, “The Breakfast Club” co-host said the eagerness to share conspiracy theories is because technology has warped our view of the world.
“We live in a society that can’t separate reality from fantasy anymore,” McKelvey said. “There was people saying that XXXTentacion faked his own death and that he’s still alive somewhere because they didn’t see no blood or they didn’t see no glass shattered.”
“This right here,” McKelvey said, holding up his cell phone. “We’re all slaves to this device. And we talk about living in a simulation, we’re living in a simulation because we’re all in this. None of us can understand the difference between reality and fantasy anymore.”
The radio personality added that young rappers should speak life instead of fixate on death.
“I would see him [Onfroy] say things like ‘Yo kill me so I don’t talk shit,” McKelvey said. “I saw him talking like ‘I might die tragically’ and stuff like that. It’s like, look man, I’m not saying that’s what caused his demise, all I’m saying is I want to encourage these kids to speak life.”
Before Onfroy was shot and killed during what police say was a robbery on Monday night, he talked in an Instagram live story about dying tragically.
— BUXI (@BuxiLife) June 18, 2018
The rapper’s short life was roiled in controversy and crime. He died while awaiting trial for allegedly abusing his pregnant ex-girlfriend. His alleged victim created a GoFundMe page in 2016 to pay for the medical bills to injuries she says her then-boyfriend inflicted on her, including a fractured nose and eye socket. In an Instagram post, the woman says she was kicked out of a memorial honoring the young rapper.
Onfroy was convicted of breaking into a home, robbery, and aggravated battery in 2015 and later talked in a podcast interview about severely beating a cellmate he suspected was gay and smearing the blood on his face. He also released a music video showing a young, white boy being lynched last September. You can read a timeline of the young rapper’s life and career detailing these and other instances of crime and abuse here.
A memorial for the rapper in Los Angeles ended in a riot on Tuesday night when some of his fans began leaping from buildings. Police responded to the chaos by reportedly firing rubber bullets at the crowd.