Last summer, XXXTentacion made a serious splash when his 2017 XXL Freshman cypher with Ugly God, Madeintyo and Playboi Carti hit the internet. With the lighthearted tones of the latter three artists juxtaposed with X’s famously gruesome a capella verse, the video proved to be an instant viral sensation. A caricature of X as an emo rapper began to crystallize, but the thing is, X wasn’t actually all gloom and doom.
Earlier today, just three days after X was shot and killed on Monday (June 18), XXL unearthed outtakes from the cypher after fans requested its release in light of his tragic death. In these clips, X appears to be jovial, as he mimics Carti’s flow and gets some jokes off. Speaking with XXL, the rapper’s fellow 2017 Freshman Madeintyo recalls the moment.
“It was kinda [like] how the year before with the [2016 XXL Freshman cypher] everybody chimed in, everybody got to adlib and they were having fun,” Tyo says. “It wasn’t just one person. We all were kinda chiming in next to each other—like laughing, joking.”
Madeintyo, who remembers having several conversations about music with XXXTentacion before his death, notes that the vibe of X’s cypher outtakes was unlike that of the final-cut version. “X wasn’t super depressed or anything,” he recalls. “He was laughing and joking with all of us and we were adlibbing his verse. That was a moment that I will always remember.”
On Wednesday night (June 20), police arrested 22-year-old Dedrick Devonshay Williams for X’s murder, charged with first-degree murder, probation violation and operating a vehicle without a valid driver’s license.
See Behind-the-Scenes Photos of XXXTentacion at the 2017 XXL Freshman Shoot