DMX has always been a friend to the youth, specifically young black men growing up in the age of Hip Hop who needed someone to help explain the daily pain that they were experiencing. They had X in his edgy brilliance. He didn't walk around pretending to be someone he wasn't. He was someone who we’ve watched soar to the highest of heights and fall just as fast and hard.
Before DMX I don't think there was any rapper who had explained the pains of feeling abandoned better. He resonated with a generation of black males who were born in the '80s, '90s
, and 00's UNLOVED. Our community often grazes over young black men in this way. Supported by no one but themselves. He touched them, and he also touched the women and men who understood this type of pain.
His lyrics were true to who he was and who he would always be. A real ass dude trying to figure it out. Trying to understand the pressures of his celebrity. Navigating through The agony of those who’d done him wrong and manipulated him. Further, he was honest about the damage that his addiction and lack of support within his childhood affected others.
“I’m slippin, I’m falling, I can’t get up. I gotta get back on my feet so I can tear shit up.”
This is why his death hurts. The diaspora has seen this story play out many times, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve seen DMX like men, all throughout your life. Uncles, Brothers, Cousins, people who had no idea exactly how special they were, who would win, lose, win, lose and conquer. We’d always have a hope that one day, winning would be the thing that stuck. Not the pain, the joy. Often times it didn’t. This is why his death feels like a personal pain.
It’s indicative of how truly impactful nature vs. nurture can be. IF you don’t nurture a king, will he believe you if you tell him he is one?
So this post, however challenging it is to write is very necessary. To acknowledge the perfection in the imperfection of a King who struggled and fell, and can finally rest.
I want to dedicate this post to him, and the many people we’ve lost who we rooted for, but didn’t know how to help. The people we lost who never quite found their way, to the people who are gone from us in the present and not in spirit.
Prayers up to the family and friends who loved this man. Prayers up to all those who he reached.