DMX Reflects On Sobriety

By Kelly Burch 03/01/19

In an interview from 2017, DMX got candid about addiction and rap's relationship with drug use.


Rapper DMX was just released after serving a year in prison, prompting the re-release of a 2017 interview from the radio show Big Boy's Neighborhood, in which DMX reflects on his sobriety from cocaine addiction and how rap glorifies drug abuse. 

In the interview, DMX discusses how rap glorifies drug abuse. 

"They're all promoting drug use," he said, according to HotNewHipHop. "If that’s what you wanna do, that's your business, but you ain't gotta promote it like it's cool and make it cool. Kids walk around like, I'm popping molly, I'm popping percs!" 

Rather than pills, DMX said that his main drug of choice was cocaine. "Cocaine. Crack. I think we kind of knew that was the problem. I would get in trouble. It wasn't worth it." 

Although the interview is from 2017, DMX said that at the time he was staying away from drugs. "I don't do anything. I have a drink now and then, but that was never the problem,” he said. 

On January 25, DMX was released from Gilmer Federal Correctional Institution in West Virginia, where he had spent a year in prison after being convicted of tax evasion.

At first, he was released on bail conditions that required him to stay clean and sober. He had told the judge that he needed to be able to keep touring in order to support his 15 kids. The judge, Jed Rakoff, said that DMX had promised to remain sober and travel with a sobriety coach, but that ultimately he wasn’t able or willing to do those things. The promise “was a great big lie, a repeated lie as it turned out,” Rakoff said.

After failing drug tests, DMX was put on house arrest in August 2017. 

Later that month he was spotted in New Hampshire, where he was apparently seeking treatment. However, he appears to have left that treatment facility in order to visit his daughter in New York, where he also visited bars, according to prosecutors in the tax evasion case. 

In January 2018, DMX again failed a drug test and was held in jail until his March sentencing. At the time, he tested positive for cocaine, opiates and oxycodone. 

Despite his claims of sobriety in the radio interview from around the same time, DMX’s lawyer said that his client wasn’t sober. 

“He deals with problems by drugging himself,” the lawyer said at the time. 

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.