Just weeks before he was killed in a daytime shooting outside a vehicle motor sports showroom in Deerfield Beach, Florida, on June 18, rapper XXXTentacion signed a lucrative multi-million dollar deal with the label that released his first album, 2017's 17. According to the New York Times, the 20 year-old rapper born Jaseh Onfroy was on the phone with the label executive who took a chance on him several years ago, working on a contract for his next album in the weeks before his death.
The deal with independent music company Empire (which has released albums from Devin the Dude, Freddie Gibbs and Tyga) was for what would have been XXX's third album and according to three unnamed sources brief on the terms it would have paid him around $10 million. Empire founder Ghazi Shami said the rapper had finished a “significant amount” material for the new album, though there was no set release date for the untitled effort. A week after the rapper's death, his attorney, Bob Celestin, told Billboard that while he could not talk about how many tracks his client left behind, “there are recordings. X was always recording, creating great music, and when the estate is finally settled we'll be able to give some more information on that.”
XXXTentacion signed several different deals during his brief career, and the Times reported that due to a clause in his most recent one, with the Universal Music Group, a new album won't likely be released before October. XXXTentacion's weekly streams have quadrupled since his death and both his albums have jumped back into the top 5, while his single “Sad!” has posthumously gone to #1 and its video — released the day his funeral — has racked up nearly 60 million views so far.
After releasing the one-f 17 on Empire, XXXTentacion signed another lucrative deal with the Uinversal-distributed Caroline for a reported $6 million, resulting in March's #1 debuting album ?. At press time it was unclear what role, if any, Universal might play in XXX's posthumous career, with the Times reporting that in April Universal signed a deal for Empire to provide distribution services for unnamed “select artist projects” on Universal.
Empire's Shami and a Universal spokesperson told the paper that there have been no discussions about whether they would work together on a new XXXTentacion album. A spokesperson for Empire could not be reached for comment at press time.