Rapper DMX has announced a “gospel rap extravaganza” church performance next weekend in Arizona.
According to reports, X will take center stage at the Morning Star Sanctified Church on Saturday (March 6).
TMZ has learned the oft-incarcerated rapper, real name Earl Simmons, agreed to perform at the Morning Star Sanctified Church for a fundraiser this Saturday — and he’s doing it for free. According to Pastor Barbara King, DMX and his family have been members of the congregation for eight months now and he really wanted to help raise money for repairs. We’re told the school holding the event is amping up security because they’re unsure of what kind of crowd the convicted felon will draw. Tickets are going from $35-$40 a pop. FYI — We’re also told DMX doesn’t swear anymore … so we have absolutely no idea what he’s going to perform. (TMZ)
While locked up in an Arizona prison last year on animal cruelty charges, X said he planned to take a more religious route upon his departure.
“I’m gonna start a TV show while I’m in here, ‘Pain and Perseverance.’ It’s about how I can reach people the average person can’t reach because I’m grounded,” he said in a January 2009 interview. “And then I’m going to give my first sermon in church, that’s gonna be like, incredible for me. I have actually just completed a gospel album. On every one of my albums, there’s been a gospel song and a prayer and of course with the image, they never made those into singles, except for my sixth album. They did “Lord Give Me A Sign” as a single.” (Fox 10 News)
After his release in May 2009, X spoke on being influenced by God to better his ways.
“I feel great man, I feel good man,” X said over the phone. “Doing a lot of praying, lot of people been praying for me. Wanna thank everybody praying for me, all the prayers worked. Yeah man, get back to this music thing. The movies, I got the industry waiting right now. But I gotta say it’s through the grace of God that I made it through this thing, because I’ve been to jail before, jail ain’t really nothing, but here in Arizona is a whole ‘nother situation man. They feed you two times a day, they got you wearing stripes in pink. It’s reckless man. I did some soul searching when I was in there, I actually read the whole Bible when I was in jail.” (“Strawberry In The Morning”)
Ruff Ryders producer Swizz Beatz recently spoke on trying to clock in studio time with the rapper.
“It’s still love [with DMX]. At the end of the day, it’s about scheduling, timing — if it was just about going in the studio, we would have 50 albums done. But it’s not about that; it’s about a lot of personal things. I’m on this side of the world, he’s on that side of the world.”