XXXTentacion: Skins review – a toxic legacy

Shot dead in June, the rapper has since stormed charts worldwide. This posthumous album reveals a maverick talent – and a grim contribution from Kanye West

Ever since the day in May 1958 when Jerry Lee Lewis fetched up for a British tour in the company of a 13-year-old girl who turned out to be his wife, rock and pop music has offered fans ample opportunity to consider the wisdom or otherwise of separating the art from the artist. Music’s history comes liberally sprinkled with paedophiles, murderers, racists, domestic abusers, homophobes and violent criminals, among them some figures of pivotal artistic importance. The question of how the listener deals with their personal lives hangs heavy. Ignore it entirely? Pursue a music collection entirely comprised of stuff made by people whose moral integrity matches your own? Take the fingers-in-the-ears approach and assume innocence? Develop a personal sliding scale, in which some terrible transgressions are more terrible than others?

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