While many of us are still shocked by the passing of one of the greatest MCs of all time Earl "DMX" Simmons, what's even more shocking is the everlasting impact he had on so many of us. For me personally, DMX was an artist whose music I enjoyed but I never really got deep into it. I was really enthralled with X's Great Depression album and a bunch of cuts from that project and I remember finding a bunch of tracks from him when looking for songs to keep me pumped whenever I worked out. Of course, his standout performance in Hype Williams' only movie Belly and the "Top Shotter" track he did with Sean Paul and Mr. Vegas is one of my favorite hip-hop-dancehall crossovers, if not my number one favorite.
I wanted to remember X though by the many quotes he used to speak life into his audience, whether it was on stage, in song, or at an interview. Here's five that hits real deep:
1. “We’re just children that act grown” - This is something that I’ve noticed a lot in my travels, in that many of us have merely aged, but not as many have matured. We’ve all had situations where we were acting childishly, and many let age blind them from the occurrence of this immaturity. X had a great affinity with children, survived by 15 of his own. He was able to resonate with the innocence and wonder of them as we saw during his Christmas special with Complex:
2. “Give To The Needy” - DMX is the only rapper to ever get a crowd to say this. Apart of the hook of his haunting robbery anthem “Stop Being Greedy,” I’ve recently seen a show X did at the Apollo where the crowd readily responded with this line. It shows how much power he possessed, and how much people resonated with him as an artist. I doubt we’ll ever see a crowd screaming “give to the needy” ever again.
3. “To Live Is To Suffer, But To Survive Is To Find Meaning In The Suffering” - This was a very Zen opening to DMX’s iconic hit “Slippin” It is a poignant proclamation of the true meaning of life, echoing the teachings of Buddhism. DMX had a life filled with suffering, yet he survived and thrived from it. It’s safe to say that at the end of his life, he found meaning in all of the sufferings he experienced in his youth.
4. “Always Trust Everyone To Be Themselves, But Trust In The Fact You Can See Them Well” - This was a quote that went over my head at first, but made much more sense when I wrote it down. Essentially it means to trust that people are showing you who they really are, but trust, even more, your ability to see through them. Many of us have the issue of seeing what we want to see and not seeing the truth about people when it’s in our faces, and it makes perfect sense why DMX said this in his 2nd time on Drink Champs:
5. "We Each Have A Star, All We Have To Do Is Find It. Once You Do, Everyone Who Sees It Will Be Blinded" - This is such a powerful quote and something that reignites that hope for humanity that many of us are losing. Within us all is the ability to be the greatest versions of ourselves possible, we just have to make it a reality. And once we do find it, nothing anyone says or does can stop it. We’ll keep shining brighter and brighter and the doubters will grow smaller and quieter as their negativity fades exponentially.