As most may know by now one of the most iconic and recognizable rappers of an era has passed. The “Ruff Ryders” Anthem MC who crossed all the way over to the human sea of Woodstock fans suffered an apparent overdose and unfortunately was unable to recover.
Dark Man X was more than just a rapper he was also a breakout star on the screen. From Romeo Must Die to Belly. X was an unexpected phenomenon after the passing of Tupac & Biggie. And he would go on have a signature sound of rough and gruff that became embedded into pop culture.
But there was also a multitude of problematic behavior and unbecoming antics from him as well. And for some reason folx never want to really talk about it.
There’s this idea that we can’t talk about the totality of people when they transition.
It seems like an unwritten rule particularly in certain cultures that when a person dies somehow all of the bad things, the hurtful things, the problematic things that they’ve done are washed away.
DMX was well known to include anti-LGBTQ statements, rape, and misogyny in his lyrics.
Or this vulgar line about raping a 15 year old girl…
While these things don’t define him in his totality they are a part of it.
The father of 15 leaves his children and a complicated legacy behind. And it is OK to talk about it and it’s fullness.
We can celebrate the artistry of amazing artists and also hold them accountable for their problematic and hurtful behaviors. But what we cannot do is continue to normalize the Misogynistic and objectifying actions towards women in hip-hop music. We can’t sweep homophobia and hip-hop under the rug. We can’t demonize Lil Nas X For his creative expression and glorify DMX without question.
We can do BOTH!