Rapper DMX took to Instagram over the weekend to share "something personal" — his faith. The rapper held a Bible study for followers on Instagram Live, reading Ecclesiastes on Friday night.
DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, first teased the livestream in a video on Instagram, saying he "feels like it's time to share something personal — live." Fans were at first confused by what he meant, with some expressing their worries in the comments. But at 7 p.m. that night, DMX went live on Instagram and showed fans what he meant.
"A time for crying, a time for laughing, a time mourning and a time for dancing, a time for throwing stones, a time for embracing, and a time for avoiding embraces," the rapper read from his Bible during the livestream. The last line gave him pause. "A time for embracing, and a time for avoiding embraces," he reiterated — a line appropriate for this unprecedented time of social distancing.
More than 14,000 people watched the livestream, which appears to have been conducted in DMX's backyard. Many fans recorded the Bible reading and shared clips on social media afterwards. "Who knew that DMX reading the Bible was exactly what I needed right now," journalist Phil Lewis tweeted, sharing a clip from the stream.
"That clip of DMX...full face and clear eyes...sharing the Word. Just made me so happy," another person tweeted. "He's been saying he feels called to ministry for a while (which I think isn't surprising). I'm thrilled he's in a good place and seeks to help others find a good place."
In 2016, The Christian Post reported that the rapper spoke about his calling to become a pastor during an interview with the Breakfast Club. "That's definitely the final destination. Or, a destination. You never know how far God is going to allow me to get or how many people He is going to allow me to reach," the rapper said on the radio show. "Before I go onstage I pray that I'm able to just touch one person. If I'm able to touch just one person then I've done something wonderful with my life, not just that moment."
Entertainment Tonight reports DMX even delivered a passionate prayer during Kanye West's Sunday Service performance at Coachella in 2019. He has also been in recovery for substance abuse and served time on tax evasion charges, according to ET.
The 49-year-old has also released several songs about his faith, including "Jesus Loves Me." In the 2008 track, he raps: "Jesus loves me, yes I know/ For the Bible tells me so (and I believe it in my soul)."
So while his faith shouldn't come as a surprise, it's not yet clear whether he intends to make virtual Bible readings a regular feature on his social media.