As I glanced at the tracklist for Juicy J's Highly Intoxicated yesterday, I couldn't help but groan. There I was, confronted with a presence I had, naively, hoped would no longer present itself. XXXTentacion, as you likely know since I'm sure the tape will be released before this piece, is featured on 'Show Time'.

To be clear, I'm a long time fan of the one-time Three 6 leader and think his recent output is underrated, a near constant stream of reliable molly music, far more interested in the joyous side of the depravity, rather than Future and his ilk's desolation. He is certainly only a small part of the problem, as well. He's an ageing artist continuing to dig his feet into relevance through associating with the artists of the moment, whether through his ties with Wiz Khalifa's label, a Weeknd feature before it was the obvious choice; he even had a Kreayshawn feature back when that was somehow in vogue, and now, well, XXXTentacion.

If the audience and the industry weren't still propping up the beyond controversial young newcomer as an "it" figure, he wouldn't be here. We are to blame, but perhaps no more so than, yes, the era of Donald Trump.

He has normalized more than simply sexism and racism, and both the boldness in the message as well as the ability to endure for an artist such as XXXTentacion are a direct result of his legacy. If our President can boast of grabbing pussies and tweet (sigh) edited images of him beating up his opponents (whether Clinton or CNN) with impunity, where does culture draw the line? It's a desensitization, or worse, an opening of the floodgates.

I would never declare XXXTentacion a Trump supporter. I would wager with near certainty that he and his fanbase would be among the first to declare hatred for Trump and his little world, and yet, they couldn't be more akin to it. Nazis can go around threatening just about anyone (until they get punched), and the hottest rapper of the moment can be exposed as particularly sadistic breed of abuser, and seemingly continue on with his career.

This isn't anything new. The backlash grew louder after the recently-revealed statements, but the likes of Pitchfork were writing about the fledgeling star's alleged abuse from the moment he started claiming Drake to be a (content stealing) fan.

Many are trumpeting, "Separate the art from the artist!," and while this has long rung true, whether it be U2's self-importance or Kanye's various antics, shouldn't we draw the line before (yes, I am combining events to illustrate a point), "Yeah, he beat his girlfriend because she sang along to another person's part on his song...but that song's dope, though!"

Naturally, this is the moment in the conversation that a fan, or even just an individual determined to see due process, will declare "Innocent until proven guilty!". My responses to this are numerous. First of all, let's consider PWR BTTM. The queer group poised on the cusp of indie greatness saw their flame essentially stomped out after allegations of misconduct began to encircle them. There was a far larger and, more importantly, swifter reaction to these accusations. As has been discussed, this was in large part due to the way the artists themselves had wished to be viewed prior: as a safe place, as a beacon for the neglected and trod upon in an uncertain year. XXXTentacion, on the other hand, has obviously offered anything but a safe place for his fanhood, seeming instead far more interested in creating a volatile, spewing maw of raw energy. He has, employing the apathy and fear of the Trump era, created his own world in which he can remain both blameless and unaccountable.

Beyond even his own guilt or innocence, then, is perhaps a greater concern: the obsessive army of fans he's inspired, and the lengths they will go to defend him and ensure his continued relevance. Arguing against him around various corners of the web, I have seen pure denial, vile victim blaming, and (hopefully only in troll speak) outright approval. Granted, many of them are likely young enough to be sadly impressionable, but they've contorted the reality of XXXTentacion's 'Staind' meets Lil Wayne's 'Rebirth' crapshoot into some pinnacle of art it surely, well, isn't.

Many of his fans are more willing to point to his victim's potentially not having been genuinely pregnant or claim that she used makeup to exaggerate her injuries, rather than simply acknowledge "damn, that's pretty messed up" and move on. This willingness to dismiss such things is also kin with the Trump years, as Marc Maron recently joked about his supporters that a statement such as "I really hate Jews, though" has somehow become politics. It'd be laughable if it weren't real; what should simply be reprehensible has increasingly become an actual viewpoint to be contended with. The same can be said of XXXTentacion's actions and general conduct.

Of course, this brings us to XXXTentacion's own behaviour in his recent "defense". Seeming to deny everything and take on an OJ Simpson "what if I did do it" attitude all at once, in a long diatribe intended to deny abuse he managed to threaten much of Reddit's community's sisters with sexual violence. Brilliant. This is your idol.

Finally, in reference to his potential innocence, to some extent: I agree. Freddie Gibbs, for one, recently was vindicated on a rape charge. However, his behaviour before and after his jail time never showed a man so willing to stoop to any level to smear his accuser, he was never so blatantly, transparently ugly. Should XXXTentacion somehow be proven completely blameless, I will eat my words. However, I choose to side with the accuser, as well as the already numerous others confirming aspects of her story. Addressing him begins to feel more and more necessary. After all, most of us griped and stood by repeating "this will be the scandal that sinks him" time and again as Trump slithered all the way into the Presidency. I truly thought the recent damning court documents would have at least given XXXTentacion's career real pause, but he is beginning to look similarly, wearisomely unsinkable.

As of today, even Kendrick Lamar still has a XXXTentacion cosign sitting on his Twitter page, and he should be embarrassed. He may well be right, the younger artist's new album may well be honest, and a release for some. The fact remains. XXXTentacion, it doesn't matter how many emotional depths your songs reach into. You have come to represent - and likely are yourself - something truly vile, and you stand arm in arm with Donald Trump in commanding the absolute worst of what's happening in today's America. Shame on you.

You can find Chase tweeting over here: @ChaseCataz