The DMX tribute at the BET Awards 2021 ended with a prayer from the Ruff Ryder himself. After the performances of X’s hit songs featuring Busta Rhymes, Swizz Beatz, Method Man, Griselda, and Michael K. Williams, the tribute ended with X’s “The Prayer IV.” The track, a spoken word verse performed by X, was accompanied by a live violin.
Casual fans of X may have been surprised by the track, but the real ones know that X’s faith has been a large part of his career and personal life since the beginning. X’s first prayer track, “Prayer (Skit)” was on his debut album, It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, and he released three more prayers over the course of his career. X’s prayers were honest and sincere. Amid the hard raps that make up his albums are these humble pleas for God’s grace and direction.
X also had instances where he would pray with his hosts or guests in appearances, especially in recent years. In a 2016 appearance at The Breakfast Club, he made DJ Envy, Charlamagne tha God, and Angela Yee stand, hold hands and nod their heads as he prayed. He also started off his recent Verzuz against Snoop Dogg with a prayer. X even pursued the calling in his personal life. He was ordained as a deacon at an Arizona church, and in 2019, he led a prayer at one of Kanye West’s Sunday Services.
DMX made God a part of his rap career for over two decades, starting years before rappers like Kanye West and Chance the Rapper rapped about their faith. While X was still on life support in April, his label, Def Jam, released a short compilation EP called The Dog’s Prayer, with all four of his prayers. His prayers are as much a part of his career as “Party Up (Up In Here)” and “Ruff Ryders Anthem.” They’re a large part of the message that X left with us on the Earth.
Listen to them below: