DMX shared his faith through his relationship with God and many lives were touched by it. He became the unsung priest of Hollywood, praying wherever he went… checkout the inspiring story of the faith of this legendary Hip Hop Icon.
Prayers are still pouring in for American Rapper/actor Earl Simmons aka DMX (Dark Man X) and family after the rapper passed on, following drug overdose.
Despite the controversies surrounding the rapper, including jailtime, drugs and more, in these times, many remember the giving nature of the rapper more than any other thing.
DMX, according to one of his major producers Swizz Beatz was one who lived his life for others. American actor Gabriel Union had the same thing to say about the rapper.
Perhaps, one thing that stood out most for the world was DMX praying life. The passion, zeal, knowledge of his relationship with God is not one to be pushed under the rug, despite his many vices.
Although flawed in more ways than one, DMX lived a life as opened as a book. He never concealed his pains, struggles and was apologetic about his relationship with God.
DMX prayed on his songs, he prayed in the studios, he prayed on set, he prayed during his interviews, he prayed for everyone, over 200,000 people at Woodstock ’99 concert. He prayed when there were cameras, he prayed when there were no cameras.
American singer Ashanti recounted a show she did with DMX in Africa. They were on a plane, DMX who sat close to her had asked if she writes her songs. When the plane landed, he held hands with Ashanti, his ex-wife and other members of their crews and prayed right there at the airport.
“…When we landed we’re all walking off the plane and he grabs my hand and says let’s pray… so my team and his wife (at the time) and his team formed a big circle in the airport… we all held hands… and he delivered the most powerful, raw, beautiful prayer… straight from his heart… There were African dancers and drummers celebrating and welcoming us… and after the prayer we all started dancing together.”
Like she rightly described. His prayers were powerful, raw, passionate and beautiful.
Often times on his records, he had deep conversation with God. “Ready To Meet Him,” off his second album, “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood” will always stand out as one of his most iconic, unapologetic moment when DMX shared his faith with the world. He prayed an heartfelt prayer on the track, then went on to have a conversation about his many struggles.
In Hollywood where being too Christianly can make you lose your career, DMX shared his faith and prayers with over 670,000 people. The album eventually went triple platinum.
Another highpoint in his life is his public admittance and acceptance of God’s love for him. His songs are very expressive of the fact that DMX does not often make the right decisions. He also emphasized how the absence of his father, the abuse of his mother and the eventual abandonment affected his psyche but he always recognized all that God did for him and felt a bit unworthy.
Producer Irv Gotti recalled in an interview how DMX broke down backstage after performing and screamed, “Why, why God, why me? I ain’t supposed to be [nothing].” This was after a show on the first Hard Knock Life arena tour in 1999.
DMX who suffered abused as a child owed his faith to his grandmother. He expressed this while sharing his grief with the world when she passed. “I Miss You” featuring Faith Evans was dedicated to his grandmother off the album “The Great Depression.”
Pitchfork speaking about his prayers said: “He made poems out of prayers, desperate pleas that felt brutally honest, even if they were tough to listen to. This was hardcore street rap at its most relatable, a reminder that no man is completely good or evil, and all are capable of both.”
Rapper Q-Tip while paying tribute to DMX said: “A Love filled praying child of God named Earl has been called on.”
Missy Elliott wrote, “Even though you had battles you touched so many through your music and when you would pray so many people felt that.”
Photographer Jonathan Mannion, who shot the artwork for his first 2 albums covers said about the Flesh cover, “Everybody instantly thinks violence and horror, but in my mind, why isn’t it a protection thing—covered in the blood of Christ? I went with the white [background] to evoke this peaceful, prayerful side of him, which speaks clearly to faith and his belief in himself.”
DMX’s mother was a Jehovah’s Witness, his grandmother a Baptist, and his favorite book while growing up was a version of the Bible for children. While later incarcerated, he would often remember his grandma’s words about how the Lord was always with him.
He said he felt the calling although he never formally became a pastor. He was however ordained as a deacon at an Arizona church. In 2019, he led a prayer at one of Kanye West’s Sunday Services.
In a Bible study he hosted on Instagram Live last year, he encouraged people to find themselves through Christ. “We’re suffering,” he said, “but as long as you got God, it’s gon’ be all right.”
DMX could have suffered a final blow from addiction which cost him his life but he was once again living his glory days with an album on the way, a movie as well. He was doing interviews again and was always sober. He had other projects in the pipeline as well.
He had been sober for 18month plus and has even moderately gained weight. Perhaps he relapsed and his body could not take the same amount of dosage as it used to. This led to the heart attack that ultimately took his life.