Controversial rapper DMX opens up to Dr. Phil about his longtime battle with drug addiction, his erratic behavior and multiple headline-making arrests — so many, he admits he has lost count. How does he explain his most recent arrest for marijuana possession and a streaking incident in a hotel hallway that was caught on tape? Is he still using drugs? And, what — if anything — would he change about his past?
DMX says he wants to set the record straight.
Who Is DMX?
By the late 1990s, rapper DMX — born Earl Simmons — rose to the top of the hip hop scene, with several chart-topping hits, including “Party Up (Up in Here)” and "What's My Name?" In 2000, he won the American Music Award for Favorite Hip Hop Artist and later earned a handful of nominations for VMAs and Grammys. The rapper has even dabbled in acting, landing several film roles alongside some of Hollywood's biggest names.
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Despite his success, the multi-platinum artist says that much of the time, he’s still not happy. “It’s a lot of self-sacrifice … time away from your children,” he says. “If I have a bad day, I have to stay in the house, because once I walk outside my door, I belong to the world.”
What caused DMX to recently run naked through a hotel — an incident that was caught on video? And, why didn't he want his mother or estranged wife to appear on the show?
Does DMX have any regrets? And, the rapper opens up about his 11 children, including seven out of wedlock — and one on the way. “I love all of my children.”
DMX says he was introduced to drugs when he was about 8 years old, when a family member gave him marijuana. At age 14, he says he smoked a blunt that he later found out had been laced with cocaine. “That’s when it started,” he recalls of his addiction. “It was something that drew me in, and trapped me, and just had a hold on me for a long, long time.” The rapper confesses that he still smokes marijuana “every once in a while,” but he claims he hasn’t been high in “more than a year.”
“I’m always going to be an addict. I’m going to be an addict until I die,” he says, adding, “It doesn’t mean I have to get high.” He says he didn’t realize he had a drug problem until about age 19 or 20.
Does DMX worry that smoking marijuana and drinking alcohol will lead him back to harder drugs? And, Dr. Phil goes over the rapper’s timeline of 25 arrests.
“You have some charges here about animal cruelty. What’s up with that?”
DMX says he’s happiest when he’s performing. “Being onstage is, like, the best hour, hour-and-a-half that I get,” he says. “Best feeling in the world — being onstage.”
When asked if he loves himself, the rapper responds, “It took me a long time to get there, but yes, now I do love myself.” Dr. Phil asks what he had to overcome to get to that point in his life, and DMX replies, “Blaming myself for a lot of things that I had no control over; accepting responsibility for the things that I do have control over, and being willing to make adjustments.”
DMX critiques one of his mugshots. “That’s just what I look like without a haircut.” And, he explains his arrest for impersonating a federal agent.
A Concerned Friend
DMX’s music producer and longtime friend, Grease, says he’s concerned about the rapper’s well-being, especially with overcoming substance abuse and addiction. “I’ve known DMX for 20 years, and we’ve been working together ever since — and been just like family,” he says. Grease says there’s always an opportunity for DMX to be tempted by cocaine when they’re out at a club, so he’s concerned about his friend's ability to maintain sobriety.
Grease also says his friend needs to work on improving his relationships with his 11 children. “X is at the point in his life where change has to happen now,” he says.
DMX says he is currently divorcing his wife of 14 years, Tashera, with whom he has four children.
Why did DMX agree to appear on the VH1 reality show, Couple’s Therapy? And, what does he have to say about his estranged wife? Plus, Dr. Phil asks the rapper about his self-professed anger issues.
Dr. Phil asks DMX if there's anything else he'd like to discuss, and the rapper responds, “Whatever you don’t know about me, you won’t know about me.” He later addresses the audience, saying, “Pray for me, because I pray for you. Thank you.”
Dr. Phil reminds the rapper that he’s playing with fire by drinking and smoking pot. “I think it’s a danger to anybody who has been down that road,” he says.
DMX insists that he’s taking things one step at a time with his addiction. “You don’t just take everything away all at once,” he says.
Dr. Phil responds, “I have buried many-a-kid who has wound up down a dark road with drugs, because he’s just going to do a little bit here … and before you know it, it owned him.”