XXXTentacion: Rapper's music video that shows him lynching white child sparks uproar

Roisin O'Connor

US rapper XXXTentacion has been criticised for a new music video that includes a scene showing him lynching a white child.

“Look At Me” includes scenes where the south Florida artist fits a noose around the child actor's neck and pulls on the rope, after which the child appears to be lifted off the ground.

Other shots show the child's feet twitching, which often happens when a person is hanged, before they go limp.

The video also features renactments of the racially-charged killings of Philando Castile and Emmett Till, the riots in Ferguson which took place after the killings, and a reference to the recent death of Heather Hyer: the anti-fascist protester who was killed after being hit by a car which was driven into a crowd at a march in Charlottesville, Virginia last month.

XXXTentacion said that his video speaks out against racial violence and the child lynching scene is part of that. He explained that he was attempting to demonstrate what the lasting effects on future generations will be if the violence continues.

He has been involved in several controversies with other artists, including J Cole, Drake - who he called a “pussy n***a” and a “bitch” - and with Migos' Offset, who was branded “irrelevant”, and a “pansy-ass, ballerina ass n***a.”

XXXTentacion is also currently facing a trial for domestic battery.

He was charged in 2016 with aggravated battery of a pregnant woman - his ex-girlfriend - domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness tampering.

While in jail earlier this year, he denied the charges in an interview with XXL, and claimed she lied about her injuries.

After Pitchfork shared the graphic details of testimony accusing him of battery and false imprisonment, he released a string of videos and social media posts mocking the idea that he was “insensitive” to victims of abuse.

He also mocked feminists, and threatened: “Everyone who called me a domestic abuser, I'm finna domestically abuse your little sister's pussy.”

Among the disturbing allegations by the ex-girlfriend is an account where he is accused of attacking her after she hummed along with a verse by a featured artist on one of his tracks.

“He was asking me why I was singing his friend's part of the song, if I like him, why do I like him, like to I ever look at his Twitter,” the woman said.

Then, when they were inside their home, she alleges he “head-butted her, punched her, stomped on her and put her in the bathtub, where he continued hitting and kicking her”.

“He also wanted to cut out my tongue because I was singing the song.” she said.

She claims she tried to run away down the street but he tackled her, causing to hit her head on the pavement. She suffered black eyes, bruises, scratch marks, and a lump on the back of her head.

His trial begins on 6 October.