I can remember hearing X’s growl and being hooked by his voice the first time I heard “Get At Me Dog” in 1998. “What must I go through to show you sh*t is real/And I ain’t really never gave a f*ck how n*ggas feel” sat in my chest, almost foreshadowing the years in front of me that would leave me traumatized from amerikkka’s War against African and other Indigenous People. What makes X one of the most beloved artists of his era was Earl’s ability to stay gritty and true to the streets while sharing his spirituality. In the history of The Continent, music serves a spiritual role and I believe Earl bore his soul and allowed the spirits of the Ancestors to speak to all of us through his music. The raspy bite of his cadence couldn’t drown out the pain X knew. His lived experience and subsequently his voice was a direct result of amerikkka’s War against African and other Indigenous People, and that’s what drew me to him; he was vulnerable. I had that same vulnerability and had perceived it as a weakness at such a young age but X gave me peace of mind that a loving heart wasn’t anything that made you weak but it made you real. X has always been loved by the people because he has always been one of us.
What we seeing is:
How can you tell me this doesn’t read like a political commentary on the conditions of our people trapped inside of the carceral system? How can these bars not push you to a level of political consciousness that moves you to fight to FREE EM ALL! It is our duty to fight for Mumia, Veronza Bowers, Ruchell Magee, Sundiata Acoli, Jamil Al-Amin, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, and countless other New-Afrikan Political Prisoners of amerikkka’s War against African and other Indigenous People. X’s lyrics introduced many to the harsh realities of this war depicting the pain and angst of surviving poverty, the police, and the politics of the streets. Through all this X was able to remind us of his humanity, that is what always impressed and captured so many fans.
Black students make up over 30% of school-related arrests and the world watched 6-year-old Kaia Rolle be terrorized and arrested at her elementary school in Florida. X’s songs serve as a historical record of amerikkka’s War against Africans and Indigenous People. The two-headed monster of victim-blaming (propaganda) and criminality are tactics these fascist oppressors use as a critical piece to justifying the carceral system to continue this genocide. Our pain and trauma is always met with continued state violence, from CPS to DOJ and public education. While our students should be receiving mental health services and love, our children are suspended, expelled, locked up, and criminalized for just simply existing as a human. This is what many attempted to do with X; blaming him for the trials and tribulations he faced as if his pain and grief are not justified.
Theamerikkkan War against Africans and other Indigenous People continues to cut our people down and the untimely passing of X is no different. This colonial empire’s white supremacist institutionalized racism has created serious adverse health conditions for colonized Africans; ranging from stress to hypertension resulting in Black men’s life expectancy being 6 years shorter than white men. Research has found that discrimination is linked to higher rates of smoking, alcohol use, drug use, and unhealthy eating habits. We see the difference in how addiction is handled in colonized communities compared to colonizer communities. According to a 2018 survey, 88.7% of Black clients diagnosed with a SUD did not seek out or receive addiction treatment, but this doesn’t take into account the treatment desert colonized communities face. All of these factors cannot be neglected while analyzing DMX, his art, or his life.
DMX and his art symbolize the most oppressed of us all, a reminder that amerikkka’s War against Africans and other Indigenous People cuts so much deeper than most care to acknowledge. X will forever be remembered as one of Hip-Hop’s icons, but what I hope is that we can see how violent this system is to have attacked such a bright light in the world. This is the reality that African and all other Indigenous People must live with under the amerikkkan imperialist empire. The empire hates us and seeks to destroy us all through the conditions they have subjected us to. It is because of love that I hurt for X, it is because of the connection to the music and my spirit that I ask us to honor X by working to undo the oppressive world that burnt out our Supernova. I leave you with the words of George Jackson “understand that fascism is already here, that people are already dying who could be saved, that generations more will live poor butchered half-lives if you fail to act. Do what must be done, discover your humanity and your love in revolution.”