According to Rolling Stone, the performer, who has publicly struggled with substance dependency and mental health issues, was absent from several recent high-profile performances prior to the announcement about his return to rehab on October 13, which cited his “commitment to putting family and sobriety first” while also thanking fans for their support.
The rehab check-in is the second for DMX in the last two years, and comes on the heels of a productive year following his release from prison in January 2019. After serving a year for tax evasion charges, the 48-year-old launched a 32-city tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his debut album, It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, including a performance at Coachella in April 2019 before signing with Def Jam Recordings in September 2019.
Long-time producer Swizz Beatz, who reunited with DMX for recording sessions in March 2019, said, “It’s going to be a good year for him, God willing. I just want it to happen so he can go to where he been supposed to have went.”
Rolling Stone noted that DMX was slated to perform at the Rolling Loud festival in New York on October 13, but was not included on the list of performances when it was released that morning. He was also absent from a 35th anniversary party for Def Jam in Brooklyn for “personal reasons,” according to Page Six.
His Peers Speak Out
DMX’s announcement, which was posted on his Instagram account, was met with supportive comments from several of his peers in the hip-hop industry, including Def Jam co-founder and Rush Communications CEO/chairman Russell Simmons, who wrote, “Love you and always will Keep your head up,” while rapper Casanova wrote, “Prayers to you my brother.”
In an interview with GQ in September 2019, DMX (born Earl Simmons) spoke about his motivation after so many ups and downs in his career and personal life.
“I don’t need to have a goal in mind,” he said. “I just need to have a purpose. And I don’t even know that purpose, because God has given me that purpose since before I was in the womb, so I’m going to fulfill that purpose, whether I want to or not, whether I know it or not, because the story has already been written. If you appreciate the good, then you have to accept the bad.”