“Don’t get a dog if you can’t take care of a dog.” – DMX
By Doni Glover, Publisher
I Am Black Wall Street
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
Thursdays at Midnight on WEAA 88.9 FM
(BALTIMORE – April 11, 2021) – For those unfamiliar with my story or those who didn’t read my autobiography, Unapologetically Black, there was a time when my life was consumed with cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin. It was an extremely dark time. No matter how much I tried to stop, staying stopped was seemingly impossible.
Addiction is full of self-centeredness, and no addict is immune. While I was making a pretty penny at a point waiting tables, it really didn’t matter much because most of it was going to the dope man anyway.
I vividly recall the day when I thought to myself that I would never be able to escape the plantation of addiction.
I also remember the day when, full of despair, I sincerely fell to my knees in the kitchen – asking God to free me. I could go on forever about those days – over 20 years ago now.
One thing addiction stole from me was music. I stopped buying music. After all, it was all about copping a hit. But as I turned the corner by way of grace (getting what we don’t deserve) and mercy (not getting what we do deserve), one of the first things I wanted back was my passion for music.
DMX was just hitting the airwaves and I was digging his flow, his lyrics, and the prayer. I could relate to him. And also, I cannot forget how he had a prayer on every album. That was different. It was visionary. It demonstrated that anyone can serve as a messenger of light. One Facebook post I saw really summed it up best. The lady wrote how DMX was a light and how the messenger does not always come in pretty packages. She wrote that he cussed and growled, yet, he was nonetheless a light for many of us.
Long story short, his song, “Slippin’” was my healing song. That, and “Ex-Factor” by Lauryn Hill. Believe it or not, I was overcoming drugs and a broken heart at the same time. Whew!
But “Slippin’” really spoke to my spirit. I could really relate to certain parts of the song, especially the lines about life as an addict, like not caring about his appearance. Addiction tends to be an addict’s everything. Nothing else matters, including the love of our family members who watch us as we slowly kill ourselves.
My dear friend, Darius George Hall (aka The Mayor of Sandtown) would tell me how DMX had Baltimore roots and how he had spent time with him. George blew my mind. I couldn’t believe it, but it was true. George said that DMX would be on Division Street all the time. That’s two blocks away, you know?!
I got married not long after, and my wife at the time bought me his autobiography. While she insisted I needed to listen to Jay Z and expand my horizons, she knew deep down inside Jigga didn’t have a chance. She knew I was one X’s biggest fans. One day, she called me with excitement. She said, “You will never believe who is in front of our door as we speak.” I asked who? She said it was DMX. I immediately left what I was doing and hauled tail uptown in a flash, but I missed him. He was on a 4×4 and probably headed to Druid Hill Park to shoot a video.
As a matter of fact, I never got to meet him. I did meet Jay Z down one afternoon down the harbor (he was kind and approachable; he even let me get a pic), but I never got a chance to see the X Man in-person.
So, now that our messenger of light has transitioned, I know that he probably touched people all across the globe in a similar fashion. Not that one had to be an addict to appreciate his work; not at all. However, those who have been to the deepest depths of hell, I think, can best appreciate the limitless heights of heaven DMX pointed us towards.
As it relates to Jigga Man and his wife, Beyonce, I was very touched that they bought DMX’s masters and shared them with DMX’s children. (Much respect!)
I have to add that one of my favorite video clips of all time was the free-styling one with Jay Z, DMX, and the Muslim brother. I think it is the most amazing display of the beauty of our people, the creativity that we have, and our ability to deliver such at the drop of a dime. I also kinda think the Muslim brother stole the show.
Dear, God – please welcome X into the kingdom. As stated last night on SNL, DMX was royalty. Plain and simple. More important to me, his music helped me when I was damn near hopeless and helpless. I pray heaven opens its doors for him and gives him a seat beside the King. Despite all he went through, his mistakes, his challenges – he survived long enough to help a lot of us see the light. And for these things we are grateful.