What a week it has been for the hip hop industry. The musical guest on Saturday Night Live rocked the spot wearing a dress to die for, while the No. 1 record on the Billboard Pop charts has a video where the star is thong clad with patent leather thigh high 4-inch heels literally dancin’ with the devil. Congratulations to those dudes. Welcome to hip hop 2021!
Any other time, the hip hop purist community would be chirping about the direction the music and culture is headed, but this week we got a somber reminder of the ills of passing judgement. That was one of the weightier burdens shouldered by Earl Simmons for the greater part of his 50 years on earth; and had it not been for faith, focus and an outwardly skill set he may have crumbled under the heavy load way sooner than the April 9th date where he transitioned. Life wasn’t kind to young Earl, but when he transformed to DMX, he changed his station in life and touched millions while doing so. When DMX touched down on the rap plains, only a select few were able to play in that playground. He had that innate ability to make people listen with their hearts as the music hit your ears and soul at the same time!!! Lyrical jambalaya wasn’t his forte, but he was slick with the words, what gave X his distinction was his CONVICTION. No one spit it like him, because nobody lived it like him. That perhaps was his blessing and curse. He seemed to have difficulty in separating the Dark past of Earl and the trappings afforded to DMX.
In a post on Instagram to memorialize his Brother, friend and co-creator, super producer Swizz Beats shared, “That man suffered every day. That man suffered from the day that I known him. He suffered. When y’all heard his first song he was suffering. Know why he was suffering? Because he took everybody’s pain and made it his.” Wish he could have believed that that wasn’t his cross to bear. Wish he could have believed that not only got had you, but so did every hood USA! We could have sincerely helped you get through whatever, without pacifying you.
In listening to an interview on the podcast People’s Party with Talib Kweli, X told us why he was apprehensive to accept the love as being genuine. How can you trust anybody when it was one nearest to you put you on a path of destruction when he was barely in his teens. “I didn’t smoke cigarettes; I didn’t smoke weed. I didn’t do anything—I’m 14 years old,” he said. On his birthday, his man chose to help him celebrate with a freshly rolled blunt. “I had never felt like this. It just f*cked me up. I later found out that he laced the blunt with crack. Why would you do that to a child? He was like 30… Why would you do that to someone who looks up to you? A monster was born. I wouldn’t wish that on my worst enemy.”
Then lyrics from “PAIN”:
I smoked crack at 14 for the first time/ Given to me by a nigga that I idolized/
My love is real but after that what I saw in his eyes/ Was a snake and who I loved was just a disguise.
Time to show and prove now! We need to hold down his principles, his morals and tenacity. DMX put in that pain for a reason.
Over and out, holla next week, til then, enjoy the nightlife,