Inside the Beef That Lead to XXXTentacion Getting Knocked Out

During the San Diego stop on his Revenge Tour, 19-year-old Florida-based rapper XXXTentacion got knocked out mid-song while performing at The Observatory. The assailant, who's identity has not been confirmed, is said to be an associate of Rob Stone, a 22-year-old rapper from San Diego who made some noise with a song “Chill Bill” but has been connected to XXXTentacion through a beef that's been stirring since April of this year.

With XXXTentacion's name being in the news circuit for most of 2017, and a flurry of theories regarding what happened in this altercation (which someone who may or may not have been the person who attacked XXXTentacion being stabbed), the question on everyone's lips is “what the hell happened?”

Let's walk back to the beginning of the beef, which reportedly features everything from grabbing mics, more violent attacks, and a rapper named Ski Mask The Slump God. Here's a look at Rob Stone and XXXTentacion's beef.

April 9, 2017: Ski Mask the Slump God escorted off stage during Rob Stone performance

To understand how XXXTentacion and Rob Stone started beefing, you have to understand Stone's beef with Ski Mask the Slump God, another Florida-based rapper who is down with XXXTentacion. According to reports, Ski Mask was escorted off the stage at a show at The Observatory on a San Diego date for Desiigner's Outlet Tour.

As the story goes, Ski Mask tried getting on the mic as Rob Stone was getting on stage to start his performance. Ski Mask got frustrated over the ordeal and decided to not leave the stage. Footage shows that he ended up getting walked off the stage by a number of unidentified men.

When word got to XXXTentacion about what happened at the show to Ski Mask, he took to Twitter to vent. The tweet, which has since been deleted, said, “Let them know whoever the fuck that is getting fucked in they mouth when I go on tour for putting their peasant hands on my brother.” Rob Stone wasn't here for it, and let it be known in his own tweet.

To which Ski Mask sent his own tweet, insinuating that there was more to the growing friction between himself and Rob Stone.

April 10, 2017: Ski Mask gets jumped

The very next night on Desiigner's Outlet Tour found Ski Mask and Rob Stone getting into it at the Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles. At the start of Ski Mask the Slump God's set, a pair of individuals are jumped him from behind, causing the three of them to fall into the crowd. Ski Mask is said to have then jumped back on stage, and was chased by a whole squad of people.

April 11, 2017: Two sides of the same story

In two separate conversations with XXL, both Rob and Ski Mask laid out their sides of what happened in Los Angeles. Stone likened Ski Mask's set in L.A. to being the “third strike” of disrespect. Strike one was said to have been an incident where Ski Mask ran out during Rob's set in Seattle to interact with fans mid-song. Stone says, “The nigga was ruining my spot. So that was the first strike and I told the nigga, ‘Don’t do that. If you’re gonna run on my set, come on ‘Chill Bill’ at the end.’ So he was like, ‘Aight, cool’ and it was straight.” Stone said strike two was at the San Diego show. According to him, Ski Mask's lateness forced set times to be pushed back, with Ski Mask being told he's go on at 9 p.m. Around 9:25, Stone says Ski Mask finally showed up, and took to the stage as Rob Stone was about to go on. When Stone's DJ wouldn't hand Ski Mask the mic, he got aggy and stood his ground.

Stone said that after the back-and-forth with XXXTentacion and Ski Mask on Twitter, as well as seeing XXX on Instagram Live “talking about Ski Mask gonna slap the shit outta me,” Stone decided he'd approach Ski Mask at the L.A. show, but Ski Mask showed up and hopped right on stage. “I wasn’t even trying to run onstage and do bro like that. I was supposed to get at bro behind the scenes, but he wanna run onstage and not holla at me like a real nigga, so I run onstage and take the mic from blood and then we beat his ass from the stage to the street. And that’s how it goes. And I left his ass out in the street with his ass out and his underwear. And that’s exactly what happened, from beginning to end.”

Ski Mask saw things differently, saying that AEG (who was putting on the Outlet Tour) was trying to get Rob Stone off of the tour. “Statistically, I shouldn’t even perform before him. Looking at numbers, I shouldn’t have to perform before him because it doesn’t make sense. My numbers are way higher than his in general. Then performance wise, this nigga is ass. He doesn’t do good in general in performance. So they were trying to throw him off [the tour] and he was angry as fuck.” Ski Mask also stated that the San Diego date was supposed to be his last date on the tour, but he says he might not have been getting paid.

Now, even though he says he wasn't going to perform if he wasn't going to get paid, he did indicate that he would be telling his fans “'on the mic that I'm not performing.' Because they're gonna think I didn't even pull up and they're gonna be mad.” According to Ski Mask, that's when the footage starts, where he's on the stage not being given a mic, but not wanting to get off the stage.

In the case of the Los Angeles tour date, Ski Mask said he only went there because he “didn't want to seem pussy,” indicating that he “didn’t think, even if he was gonna jump me, he was gonna do it like that, by jumping me on the stage and not even give me the heads up that he’s about to jump me or wait until I’m done performing.” As you can see in the above video, that wasn't the case. Ski Mask also alleges that around eight people attacked him, and at some point, knives were drawn and his friend was stabbed.

They both indicated to XXL that they were no longer a part of Desiigner's Outlet Tour.

May 1, 2017: Rob Stone replaced by Ski Mask the Slump God at Rolling Loud Festival

After their very public scuffles on the Outlet Tour, Ski Mask and Rob Stone would spend time clapping back and forth at each other, but the next real issue was Stone's claims that he was removed from the Rolling Loud Festival in Miami. According to a tweet of his on May 1, Stone says he was paid in full in advance “not to show up at the festival,” saying that “the promoter is their boy.”

The “their” is in reference to XXXTentacion and Ski Mask the Slump God; XXX was already on the bill, and its said that Ski Mask ended up taking Rob Stone's slot. Stone later spoke out on the situation, reiterating that he was paid not to go “for 'safety & security,'” and spoke on how his issues with XXXTentacion was the cause of him being let go.

 

#robstone says he was paid NOT to attend #rollingloud because of issues with #xxxtentacion (part 1)

A post shared by DJ Akademiks (@akadmiks) on May 8, 2017 at 6:26pm PDT

 

#robstone says he was paid NOT to attend #rollingloud because of issues with #xxxtentacion (part 2)

A post shared by DJ Akademiks (@akadmiks) on May 8, 2017 at 6:30pm PDT

June 7, 2017: XXXTentacion gets suckerpunched

It's hard to tell if XXXTentacion was worrying about any flack from his shared beef with Rob Stone when hitting The Observatory during his Revenge Tour, but knowing what has gone down between Ski Mask and Rob Stone, it's hard to be surprised. During his set, someone ran onstage and knocked XXX out with a blow. The individual was immediately bumrushed by security, with a major scuffle ensuing both on stage and behind-the-scenes.

It appears that many in the building started screaming “Fuck Rob Stone.” After the incident, when XXX came to, he hit Twitter to not only say he was set up, but to throw a threat for the next time someone attacks him.

Fox 5 San Diego reports that at some point during the incident on stage, a 19-year-old was stabbed. They also indicated that, at the time, there were no reported arrests.

At the time of this writing, there's been no comment on social media from Rob Stone, though the Slump God did share a couple of tweets.

Sadly, this doesn't seem like it's going to be over any time soon. Maybe Rolling Loud had the right idea; the heat between these factions is too great to have them near each other. If someone doesn't step up to mediate the situation, this could go from bad to worse very quickly.

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Rich Chigga on XXXTENTACION, Rolling Loud, and Fidget Spinners

After amassing millions of fans and followers online, Rich Chigga finally made it to America. The Indonesian rapper had a packed schedule, from performing at the Rolling Loud in Miami to dropping “Gospel,” a collaboration with XXXTENTACION and Keith Ape that may be his biggest song to date. 

Before heading home, Rich Chigga swung through the P&P offices to tackle some trending topics as part of our new series. Check out the video above to hear what he had to say on the recent collabs, his arrival in America, and of course, fidget spinners. 

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Travis Scott Gifts Ring to Fan Who Knew All His Lyrics to “3500”

A Travis Scott fan earned himself a new ring at the recent Rolling Loud Festival in Miami. As seen in tweeted footage, Scott gave one of his rings to the fan after he accurately rapped the words to Scott's 2015 collab with Future and 2 Chainz, “3500.” The ring, Scott tells the fan before handing it over, is a favorite:

During a show at Terminal 5 in New York last month, Scott gave another a ring to a fan who was allegedly injured after jumping from the balcony:

In a statement to Complex following widespread media coverage of the show's balcony-jumping moments, a representative for Scott said they were investigating the reports. “The safety of everyone is held in the highest regard and we are currently conducting an internal investigation to ensure that this does not happen again,” the rep said. “We are deeply concerned about the guest who was injured and intend to offer him our support.”

Scott has been teasing imminent new music in recent days. On Instagram, he captioned “💿💿 soon” on a post of his upcoming tour dates with Kendrick Lamar. At a recent Birds Eye View stop, Scott got a little more specific by telling the audience he'd be “dropping new music in a few days.”

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Here Are Lil Uzi Vert’s Craziest On-Stage Moments

For some, the jury might still be out on Lil Uzi Vert being rap's next superstar, but trust us when we tell you that his single “XO Tour Llif3” is destined to be one of the songs of the summer. With festival season in full swing, you are bound to catch the Philly native live and in your face… no, literally in your face. A number of fans got a face full of Lil Uzi during his Rolling Loud Festival performance in Miami, when he jumped off what appears to be a 20-foot high part of the stage.

The internet has been going nuts over that clip since it dropped, but trust us when we tell you that this is just the beginning. Uzi's been living that tour life, and it seems that as the months go on, his live show gets wilder and crazier than before. To prove that, we've collected all of his crazy on-stage antics (well, at least those that were committed to tape) in an effort to highlight just how much of a rock star Uzi truly is.

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Watch Lil Uzi Vert Jump Into the Crowd at Rolling Loud

Lil Uzi Vert really doesn’t give a fuck.

Whenever we see him on a festival bill, you can always expect that he'll do something crazy. As history shows, the Philly rapper has an interesting relationship with his rabid fans. Sometimes they want to swarm him. Other times they want to tackle him. It gets to the point that Uzi has to hop a fence every once in a while to escape them.

Well, this time Uzi wanted to give back. At Rolling Loud Festival in Miami, Florida, he created one of those moments that you wished you were there to witness live. During his performance of “Money Longer” from his Lil Uzi Vert Vs. The World mixtape, he jumped off a very high stage (looks like 20 feet) into a sea of fans. It’s lit.

Uzi seems to be on his rockstar shit this weekend. During JMBLYA 2017 in Austin, he was getting just as wild:

Never stop defying gravity, Uzi.

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LeBron James Calls Out Local Brewing Company for Exploiting Him to Promote Beer

On Monday night, during the third quarter of Cleveland's Game 1 win over the Raptors in the Conference Semifinals, LeBron James was fouled as he was driving to the hoop. After his shot attempt bounced off the rim he had a dramatic reaction that culminated with him pretending to sip a beer before handing it back to the woman he snatched it from:

All in all, the sequence took like five seconds, but that didn't stop the company who made the beer (the Cleveland based Great Lakes Brewing Co.) from trying to milk that five seconds for some serious profit. Just a day after LeBron's stunt (or whatever the hell you want to call it) Great Lakes tweeted a cardboard cutout of him holding the company's Dortmunder Gold lager.

Not shockingly, the tweet has since been deleted:

A tweet from Great Lakes Brewing trying to capitalize off LeBron holding their bottle.
Image via Twitter

Another tweet, which has also since been deleted, said “G.O.A.T. with the G.O.L.D.”

Now, according to Cleveland.com, James and his associates are considering legal action against Great Lakes Brewing over the usage of his likeness. Cleveland.com further adds that LeBron's motivations appear to be personal in addition to professional. That's because when LeBron left Cleveland to go to Miami back in 2010, Great Lakes sold a beer called “Quitness,” which was described as a “dry hopped India pale ale that leaves a bitter aftertaste, perfectly describing the mood of Cleveland sports fans these days.”

After learning about the promotional stunt, LeBron made it pretty damn clear where he stands. “This is about the last thing I'm trying to worry about right now, my agent and my legal team will take care of it, but yeah I know (Great Lakes) is trying to benefit off of me,” he said. “And I heard they were the same company that made all those 'Quitness' beers, and now they're trying to benefit off me this way? Yeah, it's pretty funny.”

To further complicate matters, active NBA players aren't allowed to endorse alcohol brands. According to ESPN, tensions were calmed after Great Lakes deleted the pair of tweets.

In case you're wondering (like I was) sources near James said that the type of advertising the local brewers used would cost at least $2 million.

Actually sounds kind of cheap after hearing about the sum that crazy ass verdict ordered Dominick's to pay Michael Jordan.

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Rick Ross Addresses Birdman Beef, Talks Carmelo and La La Anthony Relationship Trouble

Rick Ross recently stopped by the Complex office for a session of Complex Live where he chopped it up with Speedy about plans for Port of Miami 2 and working with Chris Rock.

It sounds like those waiting on the sequel to Ross' debut album won't have to wait till long as the veteran MC said Port of Miami 2 may come this year, which could potentially mark the second time he's dropped two albums in one year.

Earlier this year, Ross dropped Rather You Than Me, which featured a number of big name collaborations, none arguably bigger than Chris Rock. The legendary comedian popped up on two songs, and it turns out there's a lot more he said in the studio. “He went on a 20-minute rant,” Ross revealed. “I just took two lil' pieces out of it.” Definitely looking forward to what else Rock got off his chest.

Ross addressed his issues with Birdman, which he shared on wax in “Idols Become Rivals.” “A lot of people may have took that as a diss record, but for me, I hope homie took something from that, and I hope something good come from that.”

Rozay also made his bid for Carmelo Anthony to come to the Heat, and spoke on the relationship troubles between La La and the Knicks star. Check out the full video above.

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Kendrick Lamar Announces The Damn Tour

UPDATED 9:29 a.m. ET After seeing Kendrick Lamar perform at Coachella last Sunday night, we speculated about what his performance could mean for a potential upcoming tour. From the setlist to the stage design, we broke down what a tour to promote his latest album, Damn, could look and feel like. But as it turns out, we aren’t going to need to speculate about a Kendrick tour for very long, as early Monday morning the Compton rapper announced dates for The Damn Tour on Twitter.

As of now, the tour includes 17 dates and is set to kick off in Phoenix, Arizona on July 12 before making stops in Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Washington, D.C., Boston, Toronto, and a handful of other major cities in the U.S. and Canada. The tour will conclude on August 6 in Los Angeles.

Kendrick won’t be touring alone, either. In addition to taking his act across North America, Kendrick will also be bringing Travis Scott and D.R.A.M. along with him. You can check out the full schedule below:

Damn just hit a major milestone for Kendrick. The critically acclaimed album earned the best-selling Billboard chart debut of 2017 last week by moving more than 600,000 units, easily topping Drake’s More Life, which moved just over 500,000 units in March. Unfortunately for fans, Kendrick has debunked rumors about him possibly releasing a second project at some point in the near future, but The Damn Tour announcement should be more than enough to help them get their minds off it.

Tickets will be available for American Express card members from April 25 at 10 a.m. local time through April 27 at 10 p.m. local time. Tickets go on sale to the general public on April 28.

American Express ® is excited to continue our partnership with Kendrick Lamar on the heels of his sensational album release, providing our Card Members with early access to his North American tour before the general public,” Walter Frye, American Express' Vice President of Global Entertainment and Premier Events told Complex in a statement. “After two intimate Card Member experiences in Miami and New York last year, we are excited to help bring the memorable experience of Kendrick’s live show to fans around the country.”

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How to Start Your Own Sneaker Brand

“If you want to start a footwear brand and compete with Nike or Adidas, you’ll need the funding of a small country and an army,” says No One founder and designer Mark Gainor sitting in a small studio lined with cobbler tools, shoe-making machines, and work benches in Venice, California.

The 38-year-old Gainor, who’s spent over a decade in the footwear industry working for Adidas, Gourmet, and Creative Recreation, knows a thing or two about designing, manufacturing, and marketing sneakers, and now he’s setting out on his own to bring handmade shoes to the public one pair at a time. But he’s not the only person who’s living the dream of owning their own sneaker brand. There’s been a rise in smaller footwear brands recently that straddle the line between sportswear and high fashion, including No One, Sonra, and John Geiger’s eponymous label. What’s it like launching your own sneaker brand? What are some of the challenges these upstart companies face? We spoke to the brains behind some of these rising companies to find out.   

The thought of having your own shoe — designing it from start to finish — has likely crossed everyone’s mind who obsesses about sneakers, but it takes more than just a piqued interest in shoes to bring a piece of footwear to life. There’s sketching the design, sourcing the materials, creating the last (the mold that gives a shoe its shape), finding a place to manufacture the product, and then selling it to the public. And a lot of money.

No One LA's Bravo sneaker.
No One LA's Bravo sneaker. Image via brand.

“Sneakerheads think this is easy, but I was in the warehouses in Italy and they said, ‘If this was so easy, then everyone would do it,’” says 31-year-old John Geiger, who launched his own sneaker brand last year after working with Nike on Darrelle Revis’s first signature sneaker and creating a successful line of custom Air Force 1s with shoe customizer The Shoe Surgeon over the past few years.

Making shoes isn’t for everyone, even if they have an idea in their head that they’ve wanted to execute. “There might be 10,000 who can draw a really fresh sneaker, but only 10 people out of that bunch can go out and make that shoe,” Gainor says. “Doing that in the America, and it’s 10 times more difficult.”

For Geiger, getting his shoe off the ground financially took drastic measures, and it required him to unload his love for other brands’ sneakers to create his own pair. “I funded it, I designed it, and the sole took a year because I wanted an air bladder in it,” he says. “Right before I moved from Pittsburgh to Miami, I sold my whole sneaker collection in bulk to make the sole mold. The sole mold was almost $15,000. A lot of people use pre-manufactured soles. They buy them from Margom. That’s the easier route. I went through, like, a million soles, but they’d send them with no air bladder. That’s not what I wanted.”

Although he didn’t provide an exact number, Gainor says that creating your own brand is going to cost much more than you’ve set out to spend. “You should do your research, talk to as many industry people as possible, then multiply that number by four [to find out how much it’s going to cost],” he says. “It is so expensive and so many things that can wrong. There are so many details that you’re going to overlook.”

Gainor and Geiger have both chose to manufacture their sneakers in the USA, and while it’s a more expensive process than making them in Asia, it gives them the quality and control that they’re looking for in their product. “I want to do something and be known for doing it in the USA, but I want it to have the quality of being made in Italy,” Geiger says.

John Geiger 001
John Geiger's 001 sneaker. Image via John Geiger

For Gainor, choosing to make his shoes domestically gave him the control and convenience that he didn’t have with previous companies. “I was flying [to China] 12 to 13 times a year. It got to the point where I was like, ‘Fuck this—if I could do this 10 minutes from my home, it would be a good thrill,’ he says. “You’re not going to get into high-quality facilities in Italy or China with the volume that we’re looking to create as a startup. If you’re able to produce your product domestically, it gives you the right amount of control. Unless you’re going to be a psycho and fly over to China to check on your shoes two times a month.”

Making shoes in the USA seems like a novel idea to some consumers, but they’ll also pay the price, literally, for buying domestically manufactured sneakers. “You’re going to pay so much to make a domestic product, you just have to make that back with marketing the product,” Gainor says. “It’s the only way you can justify making product here. It’s going to cost you two to five times more to make shoes domestically.”

Factories located outside of Asia, whether they’re in Europe or the U.S., aren’t able to pump out the same quantity of sneakers on a daily basis, which presents its own set of problems to those trying to start their own brand. Hikmet Sugoer, who founded German sneaker boutique Solebox and started his own brand after selling and leaving the business, has started his own sneaker line, Sonra, and makes premium running sneakers in Germany. “The biggest problem is dealing with a small factory, because they have a maximum that they can produce per year,” Sugoer, 44, says. “I forecasted a small quantity, and now there’s no possibility to [make more shoes]. You’re dependent on the factory, especially if you want to produce regionally, because there aren’t many factories around. If I were to produce in Asia, it would be much easier, but producing in Europe is much harder.”

Sonra's Proto sneaker in the
Sonra's Proto sneaker in the “Bae” colorway. Image via Hanon

Once the shoe is made, selling and marketing it is the next challenge that faces someone who starts their own sneaker company. And it can make or break the brand. The process, however, all starts with making a good shoe, as simple as it may seem. “Marketing and design impact each other. If you nail a design, it’s going to market itself. So the hard work is in developing or designing the shoe that’s truly innovative,” Gainor says. “There are so many silhouettes that look and feel the same that occupy the same space, so the marketing becomes much more difficult. If your product doesn’t stand out, then you’re going to have to put in a lot of work to make people notice it in today’s market, especially with big players like Nike and Adidas making shoes.”

Experience in the sneaker industry will help you launch your own sneaker brand, but having a recognizable name in that same space will get more people to pay attention at the start. Sugeor’s had his hand in some of the most coveted sneaker collaborations over the past decade and has built a cult-like following, where he’s applied his older colorways to his new shoes. The same people who craved his old sneakers wanted a pair of Sonras. “Without proving myself with my work in the past, this wouldn’t be possible,” he says. “It’s not easy to put your sneakers in top-tier stores. I sell my shoes at Hanon, 24 Kilates, and Patta. This wouldn’t be possible if people didn’t know me. It’s because they know me from my work that I did while I was at Solebox.”

Designing a great shoe, selecting the right materials, and finding the right marketing strategy are what it takes to make a successful shoe, as well as a little bit of luck, financial planning, and the right co-signs. But you’re not going to make it far within the footwear industry without hard work and, ultimately, a passion for sneakers. “If you work in this industry, it’s a given that you’re passionate about sneakers. To deal with everything that’s going to happen, you’re going to need a real love for footwear. The downside is that it might make you crazy, thinking you fucked up a colorway,” Gainor says. “I’ve learned to go through my design process and live with and accept my mistakes. I realize that we’ve made the very best shoe that we’ve made today. We can all make a better shoe tomorrow.”

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