After XXXTentacion was shot and killed in Florida last month, details have emerged that claim he signed a $10 million record deal with Empire weeks before his death. While XXXTentacion was always known for being a prolific writer, especially in the studio, the new information provided by Empire reveals he was already working on a third album.
Both XXXTentacion and Empire have been in business for a while, as Empire has backed the releases of his albums ? and 17. Even though he’s considered to be the most controversial rapper in recent years, he always had a great working relationship with his label. After Spotify took him off their playlists, he felt unsure if he was still wanted as part of the label. In response, Ghazi Shami, the founder of Empire told him: “I believe in you. I don’t believe in playlists… playlists are nice. You are a musical phenomenon.”
Hip-hop fans around the world have mixed opinions on XXXTentacion, and rightfully so. Even though the violent acts he’s committed in recent years will never be accepted, he was one of the most exciting, different, and thrilling forces in the game. In his last project ?, he stretched the boundaries of hip-hop out so far that some elements weren’t hip-hop at all. He demonstrated to all artists that it is healthy to try different sounds, but more importantly, for everyone to be themselves.
After his last release, he proved that his overall artistry and potential was just at the tip of the iceberg. After Empire has opened up about their agreement with XXXTentacion, the question of what would have been has gotten closer in reality. Due to certain stipulations with his contract, the label won’t be able to release his project until later this year.