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DMX means a lDMX, the iconic American rapper, died on April 10, 2021, after spending a few days on life support due to a suspected opioid overdose and heart attack.

Encomiums have poured in since then for the mysterious rapper, who wore his heart on his sleeves and publicly shared his suffering. Subwoofers will blast DMX’s music from Harlem to Lagos and then Timbuktu through many Hip-Hop-loving plains. His music was as well-known as his dark-colored T-shirt face in the late 1990s.

As the tributes pour in, hotjist brings you ten perspectives from ten Nigerian hip-hop artists on what DMX means to them.

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Music Executive Excel Joab

He taught me that it’s alright to be vulnerable. To wear your suffering on your sleeve, to confront your demons, and to be motivated by them. The truly great musicians are those who can bring heavy emotions like pain into music and deliver them in a way that anyone who hears it can relate to. To me, that’s who DMX was.

Rapper Barzini

DMX, to me, reflects the right to describe yourself as you see fit and be content with the results. Despite not fitting the industry stereotype, the man exuded optimism and greatness. He was also known for his showmanship at the height of his career. That man knew how to rock a crowd, as shown by his appearance at Woodstock in 1999. DMX is the true god of electricity. “I used to be terrified of performing on stage.” I spent a lot of time watching DMX and how he interacted with the audience. That’s how I gained the courage to perform in front of a crowd the way I do. Even when I record music and want to embody energy, I can feel the man’s spirit with me. Words alone are insufficient. X feels like a close friend to me, and I can’t describe it in words.

Lawyer Kwame

He was three things at once:

  1. DMX was an anthem-maker, creating songs that represented real-life mental health issues before they were “hip.” We used to rap along to those songs, not realizing how meaningful they would be years later.
  2. He exemplified crossover success from rap to Hollywood when he was younger.
  3. There’s an amusing story about how after we got our LLB, my course mate Richard Mordi played X’s “One more road to cross” in reference to how Law School was the final obstacle (one more road to cross) on the path to being a lawyer. It’s been 7 years since that time, until now When I have one more obstacle to overcome before reaching a target, I play the song frequently. So when I say X created anthems, I really mean it.

Journalist, Steve Dede

My first vulnerable rapper, who spoke openly about everything. He was the first rapper to explain to me what it meant to be insecure, and that it wasn’t just a female trait.

Journalist, Ayomide Tayo,

X embodied Hip-underdog Hop’s spirit as well as its victorious fire. He was a man who straddled human nature’s duality: his gravel voice twisted Hip-Hop culture to his will, and his vulnerability melted even the toughest hearts.

“DMX is a deity in the Hip-Hop pantheon, but he was a guy who battled demons his whole life. His legacy was that, despite his shortcomings, he never gave up and was the grand champion at one point in human history.

Rapper iLLBliss

In 1999, he released two albums that forever altered my perception of hip-hop. Flesh of My Flesh! IT’S DARK AND HELL IS HOT! My blood, my blood. Beats, energy, and a wide variety of themes influenced my rap style.

The Ruff Ryders movement gave rap a new sound, one that was raw and street. His transition to film and television through Belly, Romeo Must Die, and other projects demonstrated to me the importance of diversifying my hustle.

DMX was a mentor, a coach, and one of the most reliable and entertaining emcees in history. He will be greatly missed, and his legacy will live on forever.

Engineer Tochi Emmanuel

You must be very unique if Jay Z boycotted the Grammys for four years because of you. His desire to convey discomfort was also against the grain. I recall Irv Gotti saying that DMX cried after a performance and said that he wanted pain and wondered why he was so effective.

Tersoo Abagu, Music Exec

X was a mysterious figure. Battle-hardened and battle-scarred. The epitome of a man’s life’s extremes…on top of the world one minute, rock bottom the next. He gave me some of the best soundtracks of my late adolescent years… he’ll be remembered forever!!!

Journalist, Ehis Ohunyon

I wouldn’t call myself a DMX fan, but I was a listener, and songs like “What’s My Name” were the soundtrack to my adolescent rebellion and hunger. I grew up listening to a lot of his music and was inspired by him to become a rider.

DMX introduced a new form of rap to me, and he will be remembered as the iconic rapper who left behind not only incredible music but also a fearless personality.

Temi Gomez is a music executive.

His music served as a soundtrack to a portion of my rap career. I recall a two-year stretch in 1998/1999 when he completely dominated the scene. Since it was right in the middle of the Bad Boy era, it was insane.

Smooth Yonkers flows, sparkling videos, and gleaming ads were the order of the day before X arrived with his grimey videos, gully beats, and untidy flows. For the inside band, the guy started making us bark like dogs [laughs].

It was stunning despite the fact that it went against the grain. Even after that period, his message of “non-conformity, originality, and success” stayed with me for a long time. ‘Be yourself, everybody go dey alright,’ I think that’s what he’s saying to me.

DMX wasn’t your typical rapper. The entire planet should be ecstatic to have seen his brilliance.

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