The story of the rise and fall and rise of DMX is riddled with tales of the rapper’s chart-topping triumphs and well-documented failures. When speaking about the New York emcee’s career, one can’t ignore the prison stints, drug offenses, and legal mishaps, but DMX fans and supporters are well aware that he encompasses so much more than controversial headlines. The rapper sat down for a virtual interview with People’s Party with Talib Kweli where he spoke about his introduction to the rap game, including how his mentor, Ready Ron, was also the person responsible for tricking him into smoking crack cocaine.

DMX, Ready Ron
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“Everything in my life is blessed with a curse,” said DMX. “I didn’t smoke cigarettes, I didn’t smoke weed, I didn’t do anything, 14-years-old.” He went on to say that it was his friend’s birthday and his friend received money as a gift. “He came back with a blunt rolled up. And as I’m counting the money, he passed the blunt.” DMX rejected it, so it went around the circle of friends and when it returned to him via Ready Ron, he decided to take a hit. “I was no longer focused on the money. I’ve never felt like this. It just f*cked me up.”

DMX struggled with telling the story because he became overcome with emotion. “Why would you do that to a child? He knew how I looked up to him. Why would you do that to somebody who looks up to you?” DMX paused and Talib told him to take his time. After a deep breath, DMX plainly stated, “A monster was born. That monster was born.”

Listen to DMX recount his emotional story below.