The 20-year-old was gunned down as he left a South Florida motorcycle dealership and rushed to hospital where he was declared dead.
Police confirmed the artist, real name Jahseh Onfroy, was approached by two armed suspects shortly after 4pm on Monday.
At least one of the suspects fired a gun which hit Onfroy before both fled in a dark-coloured SUV, cops said.
A statement released by the Broward County Sheriff's Department on Twitter said: "Investigators say it appears to be a possible robbery.
"Onfrony was transported to Broward Health North where he was pronounced dead."
Officers are offering a reward up to $3,000 (£2,260) for anyone who might have a tip which leads to an arrest.
According to the dispatch call, the gunmen were wearing hoodies and red masks and made off in a black Dodge Journey, with dark tint and black wheels.
According to TMZ, witnesses told cops a Louis Vuitton bag was stolen from the rapper's car where he was found with "no pulse".
Tributes have poured on social media from the music industry since the rapper's death was confirmed last night.
Kanye West expressed his sorrow, writing on Twitter: "Rest in peace I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here thank you for existing".
Blink 182's Travis Barker tweeted: "I’m at a loss for words… speechless #RIPXXXTentacion Loved collaborating with you. You were a true artist, one of the most f***ing talented of our time."
Hip-hop artist and record producer J. Cole wrote: "This got me f****d up. RIP X. Enormous talent and limitless potential and a strong desire to be a better person. God bless his family, friends and fans."
Singer Diplo posted a picture with the rapper and said: "Thanks for inspiring me."
The Florida rapper has more than 500,000 Twitter followers and 400 millions plays on SoundCloud.
He has also been feuding with Drake, claiming the Grammy-award winning artist has been ripping off his music.
In July last year, he was arrested and charged with robbery and assault with a deadly weapon.
He was awaiting trial for a string of domestic violence charges against his pregnant girlfriend.
Last year he sparked outrage after releasing a video showed him lynching a white child.
In shocking scenes the rapper could be seen leading a black child and white child up to a swinging noose in a blacked out room.
He could then be seen slipping the noose over the white boy's head.
He then pulls a rope and the boy is raised into the air as his legs can be seen twitching as he his lynched.
In June 2017 the rapper was knocked out on stage – reportedly by a rival's thug pal – sparking a mass brawl.
Dramatic footage shows a man suddenly charge towards the musician mid-way through his performance and deliver a huge leaping punch which sends the star flying.
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