If you're even remotely familiar with hip-hop and do not live under a rock, I'm sure you've heard about the loss of Hip-Hop legend Earl Simmons, aka DMX (Dark Man X). DMX was one of the many New York rappers that had a profound impact on me, more specifically, when I was going through my own dark times. I always felt he had a gift of communicating what it felt like when being "off your path", using techniques such as intricately and creatively having conversations with both God and the Devil on numerous projects.
He obviously dealt with his own demons that ultimately got the best of him, but the bigger picture, to me, is unfortunately, an all too common issue that does not get spoken about enough. We turn a blind eye to the fact that for African Americans, the way he went out seems to be (one of three) intended outcomes of the invisible hand of the system that is so often spoken about. He just happened to be an incredibly gifted talent that was well known. I will always respect how he was authentically honest and himself no matter what platform he spoke or environment he was in, simply because he did not know how to be anything but! And thats beautiful.
I know there were some aspirations of him becoming a preacher, and if you've ever heard one of his prayers, I think its hard to dispute his ability to connect and communicate whats in his heart to the masses. Those who have been through the most trials and tribulations, I believe, adapt an elevated ability to communicate with others, simply because they are speaking from direct experience and not just what is known to be true.
I read a description of him I really resonated with: "Resilient. Fragile. Complicated. As Human as they come." Thats a fact.
Rest In Peace Dark Man, no matter how your story ended, your legacy will live on for generations. Thank you for sharing your gifts.