Director James Cullen Bressack reminisces about the late DMX [Exclusive]

Photo by John Mueller/Wikimedia Commons

Legendary rapper DMX, who tragically passed away earlier this year, is fondly remembered by one of his late-career collaborators.

In addition to coming out with some of the most critically acclaimed and best-selling rap albums of the late ’90s and early 2000s — such as 1998’s It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot and ’99’s … And Then There Was X — the artist also starred in a number of films over the year; usually crime dramas and action films, such as Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, and Cradle 2 the Grave.

But it may surprise you to know DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, also starred in films in just the last few years. One of the artist’s frequent collaborators of this latter part of X’s movie career was James Cullen Bressack, who remembers the artist as “an amazing person” in an exclusive interview with We Got This Covered.

Bressack, who directed X in the 2019 film Beyond the Law co-starring Exit Wounds‘ Steven Segal, even said the pair became “good friends after working together.”

“Him and I just got along really well. He was funny, and he was gracious, and he was kind, and he was brilliant,” Bressack said.

The director explained that he went on to produce, but not direct, a couple of other movies starring X and that whenever the rapper was in LA, they would hang out together.

Bressack said one of the first times he met X was at a restaurant where the director was stunned at how insightful the rapper was.

“He was just so nice and gave some of the best advice,” he said. “The second I walk in, this was right before we were going to do a movie, and he goes, what do you want to do with your life?”

After Bressack explained he thought he was already doing his calling by making movies, X continued to engage in a back and forth with the director, culminating with the rapper asking Bressack: “who do you want to be?”

“I was like, well, I want to be, you know, the next Robert Rodriguez or, like, you know, Steven Spielberg,” Bressack said. “And he goes, that’s beautiful, dog, but how about you just be the first you?”

The director said he was blown away by the “truth bombs” X was dropping on him so shortly after meeting him. “He gave me such different perspective.”

Bressack went on to say that despite X’s seemingly gruff voice and exterior, anybody that knew him found him to be “one of the sweetest human beings ever.”

“I was like, X, what are people going to do when they find out how nice you are? And he’s like, don’t tell anybody,” he recalled with a laugh.

DMX‘s songs have resonated with millions of people worldwide, to the point that he was the first artist to ever debut an album at number one on the Billboard 200 charts five times in a row.

However, his life was marred by many legal troubles and drug addiction, the latter of which sadly claimed his life in an overdose back on April 9, 2021.

“He was the number one proponent of, like, you know, build your own way, build your own path, and people that struggle in life can pull themselves out of it and succeed,” Cullen said. “I’m very sad that he passed away.”

Note: This is the third article in a series from our interview with James Cullen Bressack; check back for more installments in the coming days.