In the hours since DMX’s death was announced, countless fans have taken to social media to honor the rapper’s life and career. One such fan was Sheila Matthews, who shared a heartfelt story about meeting DMX and the lesson she learned during their brief encounter.

Matthews, who owns and operates The Black Regina George website, said she had met the legendary artist back in 2017 in a hotel hallway. She said she had heard DMX’s voice while she was inside her room and immediately went outside to meet him. 

“It was all divine intervention,” she tweeted. “… We spoke for 15 mins.”

Although she kept details of their conversation to a minimum, Matthews said they had discussed her late dad, who died after years of addiction. She said DMX approached the topic with sympathy and encouraged her to forgive her “father for what he couldn’t control.” Matthews admitted she didn’t recognize the significance of the moment until much later.

‘He said ‘forgive him.’ I needed to hear that. Of all people, it came from someone I grew up listening to bc of my dad,” she continued. “Sometimes in the moment you don’t understand the significance of a moment until it’s passed. To this day, I credit X for helping me learn forgiveness. I am praying that he gives himself grace — in this lifetime and beyond. His words and impact have left a deep legacy.”

DMX’s family announced his death on Friday morning, exactly one week after he was hospitalized for a heart attack. His attorney Murray Richman told the Associated Press the rapper was placed on life support shortly after he was admitted; however, he did not confirm reports that a drug overdose caused the heart attack.

The 50-year-old entertainer had been fairly open about his years-long battle with substance abuse, which he addressed in interviews as well as his songs. He opened up about his crack addiction during a 2020 appearance on People’s Party With Talib Kweli, and how he turned to drugs as a way to cope.

“I learned that I had to deal with the things that hurt me,” he shared. “I didn’t really have anybody to talk to… in the hood, nobody wants to hear that…” he said. “Talking about your problems is viewed as a sign of weakness when actually it’s one of the bravest things you can do. One of the bravest things you can do is put it on the table, chop it up, and just let it out.”

DMX said he first consumed crack at age 14, when his mentor gave him a blunt without telling him it was laced with crack.

“He passed the blunt around and … I hit the blunt,” he said. “I never felt like this before it fucked me up. I later found out that he laced the blunt with crack … Why would you do that to a child? He was like 30 and he knew I looked up to him. Why would you do that to someone who looks up to you?”

Matthews went on to acknowledge DMX’s hard-fought battle against addiction, which hit close to home for many of his fans.

“He was the voice of a marginalized & often villainized community. We were rooting for him. Just as many families tirelessly root for their loved ones,” she wrote. “… God used him & his words as a vessel in this lifetime — words that will outlive his earthly existence. Prayers & light to his children and family. May he rest in the power that many of us found in his words & art.”

You can read Matthews’ tweets below.