With five consecutive #1 albums, over 75 million records sold worldwide and a legitimate Hollywood movie career, DMX is one of the most successful emcees in history. Tragically, his drug addiction derailed it all. Thank you to Russell Simmons for providing insight into X’s cultural importance and what he brought to Def Jam Recordings.   

“[DMX] is one of the best vocalists, if not the best vocalist Def Jam ever had,” Simmons told HipHopDX exclusively. “I love DMX. I think he’s one of the greatest artists we ever worked with. Unfortunately, the streets got the best of him. Some people can’t get rid of them demons. They can’t escape… DMX did hurt his talent, destroyed his career.”

More than just DMX, this week’s Breakdown opens a conversation on mental illness. According to drugabuse.gov, drug addiction is considered mental illness because “addiction changes the brain in fundamental ways, disturbing a person’s normal hierarchy of needs and desires and substituting new priorities connected with procuring and using the drug. The resulting compulsive behaviors that override the ability to control impulses despite the consequences are similar to hallmarks of other mental illnesses.”

Legendary music manager, Sophia Chang touched on the topic of mental illness during her recent speech at MIT. A portion of her commentary is included in this week’s episode as well. Thank you for highlighting this topic, Soph. View Chang’s MIT speech, Raised By Wu-Tang.

Join the discussion on all socials #DXBreakdown and leave your thoughts in the Community Section below.

Written, Hosted & Produced By: Justin Hunte (@TheCompanyMan)

Shot, Edited & Produced By: James Kreisberg (@Ex_James)

More Breakdowns

Kendrick Lamar: The Greatest Rapper Of All Time

Breakdown Rebuttal: Mumble Rap, Eminem & Tupac Vs. De La Soul

How Nas Went Platinum

Beef With “The Game”

Does Eminem Consider Himself The G.O.A.T?

Hip Hop Hates Mumble Rap

Why Isn’t Tech N9ne The G.O.A.T?

How To Beat Drake In A Rap Beef

How Lupe Fiasco Defeated Atlantic Records… Twice

Tupac & De La Soul’s Forgotten Beef

Redman: The Greatest Rapper Of All Time

How Bone Thugs-N-Harmony Beefed With Nelly

Quincy Jones Breaks Down Prince & Michael Jackson’s Feud

Is Lean Killing Lil Wayne’s Career