To say that rapper Earl “DMX” Simmons has had a troubled past, would be quite an understatement. The Yonkers, New York native has admitted several times in past interviews that his adolescence was spent in and out of jail–a trend that has followed the gruff-voiced rapper well into his adulthood. Battling with drug addiction and the law has become the hallmark of Simmons’ career, and yesterday X joined mild-mannered TV personality and addiction specialist Dr. Drew on his daytime program Lifechangers, to discuss his legal issues and personal woes. X even took the time to mentor a youth heading down a similarly violent path.
DMX walked out to raucous cheers from the studio audience, looking fit and trim for his 40 years of age, soaking in the adoration from the crowd. DMX pensively answered Dr. Drew’s questions about his past but he didn’t flinch under the glare of the hot lights. X addressed the host’s question about being done with his former criminal ways. “I’d like to be done with the legal system,” said a serious DMX. “One thing that people don’t really understand is that as celebrity you rarely get fair treatment. You either get love or hate. It’s never really fair.”
X also revealed that he and another inmate escaped from an upstate New York prison in 1988 during a wicked winter spell. He told Dr. Drew that he survived the bitter cold after being inspired by the Oscar-nominated 1985 thriller Runaway Train featuring actor Jon Voight. DMX also admitted that he couldn’t recall the number of arrests on his record, saying that his charges could stretch across the entire half of a courtroom. (video via WSHH)
In a touching moment, DMX and his producer Caviar helped to guide a troubled youth by the name of Ra’Von away from a similar criminal path, offering him an internship and studio time with DMX, with his tearful and appreciative mother looking on. Ra’Von, overcome with emotion himself, took on the challenge presented by DMX.
During his appearance on also performed his new Hip Hop Gospel single “Keep Your Head Up” for the studio audience.