Rapper XXXTentacion is under fire after releasing a disturbing music video featuring a Caucasian boy being lynched on a stage as an African-American boy looks on.
The video “Look At Me!" debuted on Tuesday and features imagery depicting police brutality, violent protests, and the 19-year-old Florida-based rapper placing a white child’s head in a noose on stage in front of a crowded theater and then hoisting him up into the air.
The child’s feet are shown dangling and twitching and then they suddenly stop.
The casting director of the video LaShawnna Stanley told that finding parents who would allow their child to be hanged on stage was a challenge.
“We had to delay the video because the mom that originally agreed and said okay but when she got there she didn’t feel comfortable. We delayed for a week,” said Stanley.
“I called a lot of parents. It was a direct booking. No one was okay with their white child getting lynched,” Stanley said. “With all the racial tension in the world right out they were nervous.”
Stanley said the mother who finally agreed “was serious about acting and the message. The mother of the son is very serious about acting. She’s a stage mom. She has three sons and takes them to LA to audition. She understood the vision.”
That vision, according to Stanley, is that the “little white boy and black boy show innocence,” and that society has become desensitized seeing black men hung and shot, but the imagery of a white child being hung is shocking.
She explained that the rapper made sure to make both children feel comfortable on set.
“XXX was very lovely to the kids and hugging,” she said.
Not everyone on social media agreed.
A Twitter user questioned the use of the child in the video.
“I'm not sure if hanging a child in a music video is right, regardless of the message you send.”
A fellow follower agreed the video was going too far.
Another chimed in, “so x is saying to be ‘equal’ we must do what is being done? (Killing white people) which is creating more hate?”
But some argued the video’s message was powerful.
One YouTuber mentioned in the comments below the video that the shock value of the video was causing viewers to miss this point.
“THIS ISNT ANTI WHITE!!! When he hung the white boy I think he was trying to show it from a different perspective to show what would it be like if the roles were switched.”
Another wrote: “My summary and take away from this: Murder is murder as he said is awful. No matter what your cause is death is not something you should be able to inflict. If you do have a supremacist attitude realize that it is because you fear the opposition and that’s why you are weak. For the youth is impressionable and will repeat their environment.”
The video has been viewed over 5 million times on YouTube.