Back in the late 90s and early millennium, one-time superstar rapper DMX was famous for verbosely asking, “Where my dogs at?” While it’s common knowledge that dog is used as a term of endearment, one might be hard pressed to believe that X has anyone other than a canine to rely on these days. If he did, the right friends would not hesitate to confront and advise him on being irrational.
The craziness surrounds reports that X has agreed to fight acquitted murderer George Zimmerman in a Celebrity Boxing match promoted by Damon Feldman, owner of the Celebrity Boxing franchise. X even availed himself to gossip news source TMZ to confirm this desire. Fellow rapper The Game also expressed interest, but his overtures were rebuffed when Zimmerman’s promoter chose DMX as the opponent. Now DMX’s representative, Domenick Nati, has told TMZ that while X did make a verbal commitment, he would like to see the terms of the contract before moving any further.
Initially, I had hoped X would come to his senses regarding this blatantly disrespectful display of demagoguery and coonery. But, alas, I was wrong.
Why is he doing this?
There are a few imagined possibilities. 43-year-old DMX, also known as Earl Simmons, has been on a stupidity streak for years. And I’m not even talking about his less than flattering appearances on VH1’s Couples’ Therapy or Iyanla Vanzant’s Iyanla Fix My Life.
Could I be talking about his storied history of incarceration? No. We in the media have sadly come to expect a run in with the boys in blue from X and rappers period. Besides, from assault charges, to drug possession, to parole violations, to impersonating a federal officer, DMX has seen more court dates than the average MC.
So perhaps his need to fight is based on a long and torturous struggle with crack cocaine?
Given the addictive properties of the drug, cocaine cooked with baking soda (at the minimum), I cannot say it is not understandable that he might succumb from time to time. Addiction is for life. Some of those who used in the 80s, still fiend and smoke the drug today. But he, like those still lost in pipe dreams, are weak for not staying clean long enough to recognize it as a lifelong addiction that should be avoided at all costs.
DMX’s ex-wife Tashera Simmons knows the truth. Last year, she released the tell-all book “You Think You Know, You Have No Idea,” highlighting her relationship with X. She tells tales of a once humble man who tumbled into drug abuse by a lifestyle that celebrates access to abundance without discipline.
“…the first two years after he signed was the best years of our lives–but as he got into the industry and the money, the fame, the drugs. He just turned into a monster. To be honest with you, I see it happen all the time,” Ms. Simmons said during an interview with Madamenoire.com. “You have to be very grounded, have a real good foundation not to get caught up. Because everyone’s saying yes, everyone’s praising you. It almost makes you feel like God. After a while, I watched him start treating people differently.”
DMX’s foundation was wobbly from childhood. Admitting on VH1 that his mother never once expressed love for him, he’s also been honest about being bi-polar in the past. These obvious mental and emotional issues are why he’s found comfort in hugging a pipe.
Perhaps accepting this fight is a subconscious cry for help. A silent shout for intervention in a time when no one seems to care, and most are used to seeing X at his worse.
But what if he’s clean? Imagine. Perhaps this need to fight is about business. Maybe X feels this boxing match will be a good look for any album he might secretly be working on. Maybe he needs the publicity?
Although our research shows that there is no word of an album in the works, with 2012’s Undisputed being his last (it debuted at #2 on the Billboard charts), his recent displays have made us wonder about the possibility of another project. Last year, a video surfaced on YouTube where the rapper was spotted running laps nude in a Detroit hotel. Although that stunt seemed more crack induced, a more, seemingly album-related, thirsty PR move was made last month when he crashed a wedding bus party and went into an impromptu and unsolicited live concert that was recorded by one of the passengers.
The questions I ask about X are, of course, all hypotheses. But one thing is apparent: This publicity and money desperate stunt via Zimmerman has set the blogosphere ablaze.
Blame the mastermind behind the fight, promoter Damon Feldman. He recently apologized for announcing it so close to February 5, what would have been Trayvon’s 19th birthday. He believes the fight will give the country closure.
“You know what, man, I didn’t even look. You know I’m a good-hearted guy. I didn’t know when his birthday was. I just wanted to get the news out there,” Feldman said during an interview with Phillymag.com. "It’s a good question. I had no idea that it was Trayvon Martin’s birthday. The event has nothing to do with that. I don’t want this fight to be about that. I would never do something like that. I’m not like that. I don’t think anybody knows my birthday. I didn’t know it was Trayvon’s birthday, just like no one knows my birthday. If I had known, I would have waited.”
But how would this give closure to us as a nation? Parading this miscreant, with a face that induces violent thoughts, in the limelight will do nothing of the sort. Zimmerman’s very freedom is the salt in the wounds of Martin’s family and progressive people across the country. And I believe Feldman is full of lies. How could he not know the significance of February to Trayvon’s family? The fact that it’s also Black History Month makes it even worse. But perhaps he’s lost in his head like DMX. Perhaps Feldman has a crack problem too.
And maybe X really thinks he’s doing the right thing. He says he's doing it for black people. According to DMX in an interview with TMZ, he’s considering it for, "every black person who has been done wrong in the system. I am going to beat the living f**k out him … I am breaking every rule in boxing to make sure I f**k him right up. Once I am done with him, I am going to whip my d**k out and piss on him ... right in his muthaf**kin face... Zimmerman is a piece of s**t and that’s what he needs to drink."
We can point fingers at DMX. But if we somehow stage a mass intervention and convince him to pull out, some other ass will jump in his slot. Remember, The Game wanted to do this too. The key to canceling this fight is stopping Feldman, a man who has no moral, legal, or societal obligation to give a damn. He’s about making money. But if this fight goes on, X will likely pocket the money and crawl on with his miserably sad, depressed life. Zimmerman will laugh at growing richer. Trayvon Martin will be kicked in the grave and his death will seem meaningless again. And we will all feel the same, heavy powerless sadness we felt the day Trayvon’s trial ended and Zimmerman walked free.