*LA-based entertainment photographer, publicist and EURweb contributor Steven Williams, was a friend to recently deceased rapper Earl Simmons a/k/a DMX.
Below, he writes of the adventure he had meeting X at a Ralph’s Supermarket in Hollywood on a Saturday and inviting him to church that Sunday.
Also attached are photos of DMX that Williams snapped over the years.
Earl Simmons known as DMX was one of the few Rapper moguls in the music industry that made everyone a friend. When Earl walked into room everyone stood at attention. He was had the kinship of Tupac, they both were writers, leaders, and geniuses with a deep love for music, people and changing the world. “It’s not how you die but how you live.”
Working in music, television and film as a photographer, and publicist you meet all kind of people. When the music industry was hit hard by Napster my job like many others went south. I found myself working at Rocking Roll Ralphs on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. One day I looked up and there was DMX going through the check stand. We began to share and talk about life along with my one of my co-workers. I invited Earl to come with me to fellowship at the City of Refuge on Sunday, where the pastor is Bishop Noel Jones. Earl said, “sure let’s do it!” I met him Sunday morning at the W-Hotel in Westwood with my co-workers and her husband. I will never forget when I knocked on the door of his suite and he came out ready and with his gun in his right hand. He proceeded to bang on the doors of his crew with the back side of his pistol. I was hoping it would not accidentally go off. DMX shouted as he knocked “Let’s go we are going to church today.” When our caravan finally arrived in the city of Gardena, we were three streetlights from the church. We pulled into the gas station at the request of my co-worker’s husband. They told DMX, that God did not want him going to City of Refuge but to their church in Moreno Valley. I was shocked, surprised and saw the devil trying and to get him to deviate from going the City of Refuge. Everyone knows Bishop Jones does not play when it comes to preaching the Word of God. I started to pray, right then and there Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child was driving by. I waved at her and she made a U turn and came over to the gas station. I told her let’s pray the devil is busy. Kelly Rowland went right over to Earl and encouraged him to come to the City of Refuge.
We finally arrived at the City of Refuge, Earl sat on the front row and enjoyed himself. Bishop Noel Jones brought the Word, and we were all blessed. This drama reminded me of how the Lord is always encouraging us and when we are so close to our miracle, blessings, break through or deliverance, the distractions come to lead us astray. I was so blessed, and DMX told me he thoroughly enjoyed himself and would be back again.
I knew Earl loved the Lord and was called to preach and he took his music and used it to bring a message of empowerment, unity, and he uplifted people everywhere he went internationally. His voice was anointed when he spoke his words touched your soul.
Earl, you made the world a better place. You used your gift to embellish and empowered the downtrodden, the forgotten ones. Your voice lifted us out of the ashes of despair, God blessed us with you. Your music will live on and your love will remind us that we can do better, aim higher, love tighter and carry our burdens to the Lord. Rest in power and peace.