Before Hitmaka secured his current moniker and even before we knew him as Yung Berg, Christian Ward was Iceberg—a budding rapper signed to DMX’s Bloodline Records in the early 2000s. The Chicago native made his debut on “Dog 4 Life” from the Exit Wounds soundtrack. However, despite his fame and talent, he was a young teenager experimenting with drugs, alcohol, and sex and was dubbed “Little DMX.” Though he doesn’t know for sure why, Hitmaka told the men of the My Expert Opinion podcast that at the height of his rising career, his mother shipped him off to a “concentration camp.”
As he recalled, after leaving a recording session in Toronto with X, he returned to Chicago to reconnect with his mentor, producer Boogz. His estranged mother reached out to meet with him at Red Lobster, but it was actually a ploy to send him to the now-closed Spring Creek Lodge Academy—a former juvenile placement and boarding school for at-risk youth located in Montana.
This also resulted in his departure from Bloodline. Hitmaka detailed the horrors of the boarding school, unbeknownst to his parents. The school ultimately closed in 2009, following allegations of “sexual abuse, physical violence, and psychological duress,” which stemmed from a New York Times exposé.
Later in the interview, Hitmaka reflected on one of his last interactions with X as a Bloodline signee and admitted being unaware of the full extent of DMX’s drug addictions.
Watch Hit Maka recall the moments below.