Earl Simmons, the recently deceased rapper better known to most as DMX (Dark Man X) was… complicated. I won’t spend a long time in this post talking about his history or anything – others know that and have done a much better job presenting it than I ever could with more resources. Instead, I’ll share what little I can.
DMX Had Moments
DMX, like any musician, came with his set of issues. For some it was his eccentric personality, for others it was his ego, but for everyone who followed his story – it was his struggle with substance abuse that eventually overtook the narrative of his career.
All of his fans remember the infamous Iyanla interview moment where his son asked him to give up drugs, and DMX flat out told him, “That’s some bullshit.”
X just wanted to be X with no strings or conditions attached. In his philosophy, there were no conditions or demands that were acceptable. He wanted to be HIM.
That genuine nature of his was infectious & he was starting to see a resurgence in pop culture even though he was 50. Movies. TV Shows. Upcoming musical collaborations.
People cheered when they found out he was doing Verzuz (even if he looked different). It was like seeing an old family member and being happy to see them smiling.
An old classmate (Jasmine Taylor) described that experience much better than I think I ever could.
A Legacy That Lives On
DMX’s “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” was the first CD that I bought with my own money. I remember walking into Wal-Mart and happily picking up my edited copy. I thought that non-cursing state was how the album was supposed to be because it’s all that I heard on the radio, on TV. I learned nearly every word to every track and proudly stood by it even once I hilariously found out that there were curse words in the songs that I didn’t know when I got on the bus to school.
I don’t know where this image is from (and it’s not the best quality), but I saw it on Instagram a long time ago – and I thought it would bring a smile to his fans’ faces who get the reference…
DMX was a well-intentioned God-fearing person who came from a not so well-intentioned life and endured a struggle with a vice that sadly takes many all too often. He inspired me through a lot of my younger years and he’ll be missed by millions for the way he smiled and fought through all of his adversities.
It’s sad to write another one of these, but that’s life. People pass and all we can do is believe they move on to a more restful place.