The controversial South Florida rapper XXXTentacion is the subject of a new interview for the Miami New Times, in which he discusses his skyrocketing music career and his 2016 arrest for aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness tampering on then-girlfriend Geneva Ayala, who is also profiled in the interview. Much of the story reiterates information already publicly available via court documents, and while XXXTentacion maintains his innocence with regard to the charges, the real insight is gleaned from the aftermath of the case’s publicity on the alleged victim.
Since coming forward, Ayala has been subject to severe harassment by XXXTentacion’s rapidly growing fanbase, the Miami New Times’ Tarpley Hitt writes. Ayala says many friends abandoned her when she decided to press charges, save for one woman who witnessed an instance of alleged assault. Ayala also says that the rapper’s family and friends have called her to tell her to drop the charges. With regard to the fan harassment, Hitt writes:
“Much of the harassment often came online. Ayala’s Twitter account was hacked and taken over by an impersonator, who tweets often about [XXXTentacion]. Her Instagram account was deleted after too many fans ‘reported’ her posts.
But people tracked her in real life too. She took a job at a Dunkin’ Donuts but had been working there only a week before [XXXTentacion’s] fans found her. They began showing up every day, harassing her, taking photos of her, and trying to follow her home. Ayala quit after three weeks.”
The harassment has been so intense that Ayala intimates that she’s unable to go to out of her home “without being noticed and eyed down.” The severity of the alleged abuse, she says, left her with injuries including nerve damage and a fracture near the eye, which requires expensive surgery. Lacking medical coverage, she turned to GoFundMe seeking $20,000 for the operation. She was reportedly able to raise “several thousand,” including from XXXTentacion himself, but the funds were eventually frozen after GoFundMe “received reports from [XXXTentacion’s] fans claiming Ayala had misrepresented the cause of her injuries.”
A spokesperson for GoFundMe told Miami New Times the company “reached out to the campaign organizer to collect additional information. Sufficient information was provided, and the campaign has been reactivated,” nearly 18 months after it was first frozen.
In recent weeks, Spotify removed XXXTentacion’s music from its rap playlists as part of a new “hateful conduct” policy, which has since been discontinued. The action met blowback from industry figures, including TDE label boss Top Dawg, who threatened to remove TDE artists such as Kendrick Lamar from Spotify’s service in protest, saying he considered the company’s actions an act of censorship.