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Opinion June 27, 2018

Everything is forgiven after death

Everything is forgiven after death

This week XXXTentacion’s second album ? will leap back into the ARIA Albums charts, most likely in the Top 3, possibly to #1. The perhaps-fittingly-titled ‘Sad’ will do likewise in the Singles chart, reaching the top three, possibly hitting pole position. ‘Sad’ is currently #1 on the Billboard 200; eight other XXXTentacion songs are in the Top 100.

For those who are unaware of the 20-year-old rapper, he was gunned down nine days ago in Florida, during a robbery gone wrong. He was also awaiting trial for aggravated battery of his pregnant girlfriend domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment (for two days), and witness-tampering (for threatening witnesses with murder).

Her testimony included the following phrases: “I’m like scared”; “It’s like he’s going to like end up killing me or something”; “He broke a good 30 [white plastic clothing] hangers on my legs”; “Well, when we lived in Orlando, it was literally like every day [he threatened to kill her.”

Everything is forgiven after death.

On June 24, 2009, Michael Jackson was at best a laughing stock, at worst a pedophile who paid his way out of a jail term. On June 25, he was a martyr, the greatest artist of all time, a murder victim, a misunderstood angel whose life was cruelly destroyed my the media, the public, greedy lawsuit-hungry vultures. MTV and BET aired wall-to-wall video clips from him; 1.6 million people applied for tickets to his funeral. In the following week, he had the top three albums in America; 35 million further albums sold in the twelve months following his passing.

Everything is forgiven after death.

In September, 1996 Tupac Shakur was gunned down, and his legacy often speaks of his as a purveyor of women’s rights. In November, 1993, he and his entourage were charged with raping a woman, a crime that judge referred to as “an act of brutal violence against a helpless woman”.

Everything is forgiven after death.

Kanye West did a lucid, wonderful interview with New York Times recently, in which he spoke of his amazement that Ye debuted at #1 and was received so well by the public.

“Half that audience that was there last night, half the people that are listening to the album are supposed to not listen to the album right now”, he said. “I’m cancelled. I’m cancelled because I didn’t cancel Trump.”

Of course, he isn’t cancelled – he isn’t even sidelined. Kanye is enjoying an incredible chart run at the moment, and he is married to who is perhaps the most culturally-powerful business woman in the world.

XXXTentacion isn’t cancelled. Should Bill Cosby die soon (which he will), he won’t be cancelled, people will soften and reframe his horrendous crimes, as they have done countless times before. As they will do Woody Allen. As they are doing with Woody Allen right now.

Everything is forgiven after death.

This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.


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