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Slain rapper XXXTentacion breaks Billboard record

About one week after Florida rapper XXXTentacion was shot and killed in Deerfield Beach, Florida, he scored a posthumous No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

» RELATED: Arrest made in death of rapper XXXTentacion

The rapper’s song “SAD!,” which previously peaked at No. 7 in March, overthrew Drake’s “God’s Plan” on the top singles charts.

It’s the first posthumous No. 1 knockout for a lead soloist since 1997, when Notorious B.I.G.’s “Mo Money Mo Problems” topped the charts following his murder on March 9, 1997.

“Our research indicates death-related publicity serves primarily as informational advertising that informs new customers,” Leif Brandes, University of Warwick assistant professor of marketing, wrote in a blog post on the school’s website, which the Washington Post reported on. “But it “also triggers considerable nostalgic reactions” and “a feeling of their own mortality . . . from existing record-owners.”

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» RELATED: Who was XXXTentacion? 5 things about the late rapper

According to Nielsen Music, “SAD!” was streamed 48.9 million times in the United States between Thursday, June 14 and Thursday, June 21, a 264 percent increase from the previous week.

Eight other XXXTentacion songs are also in the Billboard Hot 100, including “Moonlight” (No. 16), “Changes” (No. 18) and “Jocelyn Flores” (No. 19).

XXXTentacion also became the 12th solo rapper to chart at least nine hits on the Hot 100 simultaneously, Billboard reported.

XXXTentacion (real name Jahseh Onfoy) was shot outside a Deerfield motorcycle dealership, where deputies said he was approached by two armed people in an apparent robbery. Onfoy was shot by at least one of them and pronounced dead at an area hospital. He was 20 years old.

» RELATED: Lawyer: Police think slaying of XXXTentacion was random

One of the men arrested, 22-year-old Dedrick Williams, was charged with first-degree murder without premeditation, among other charges, according to the Palm Beach Post.

An arrest warrant showed Williams is believed to have had an “active part” in the rapper’s death.

Before his death, Onfoy was trying to turn his life around amid domestic violence allegations against a pregnant woman, his attorney J. David Bogenschutz told People. The woman, Geneva Ayala, identified herself as his ex-girlfriend and detailed her abuse accusations in a 2017 deposition, Pitchfork previously reported.

While awaiting trial earlier this year, Onfoy was released from house arrest to go on tour and support himself financially.

About the Author

Fiza Pirani is a web producer and writer for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She is also currently investigating immigrant and refugee mental health stigma and health care access as a recipient of the Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism.

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