Earl “DMX” Simmons has always been open about his battles with substance abuse. Those personal struggles led to the creation of classic records but also put him in troubling situations that caused the Hip Hop legend to face numerous judges in court.
While appearing on the People’s Party with Talib Kweli podcast, DMX discussed his rap mentor playing a role in him discovering crack-cocaine before he was old enough to legally drive. After Kweli mentioned Ready Ron, the Dark Man briefly halted the conversation before going into the story of his first time smoking crack.
“S### just got real. I was in Yonkers. I’d just come from being in institutions from the age of 7 to 14. This guy, Ready Ron, he was like an older brother to me. He would rap, and I would do the beatbox. I loved this guy like an older brother,” said DMX as he fought back tears. “This guy, he introduced me to what would be the best part of my life which would be rap… the theme of my life is being blessed with a curse.”
The 49-year-old emcee added, “Me and my man did a robbery one night. It was his birthday. We split the money up. I said, ‘Here, go get something nice for your birthday.’ He came back with a blunt rolled up. As I’m counting the money, he passed the blunt around… It just f##### me up. I later found out that he laced the blunt with crack. Why would you do that to a child? He knew I looked up to him… A monster was born.”
DMX went on to say that childhood trauma can resurface in destructive ways as an adult and one of the bravest things a person can do is talk about their mental health complications with the right person. He also offered that drug use was never a problem but actually a symptom of a bigger problem. The full episode of People’s Party with Talib Kweli featuring DMX is scheduled to be released on Monday, November 9.