El DeBarge‘s road to comeback has been littered with drugs, jail and loss. Now that he’s returned to the show circuit, the former DeBarge frontman recently revealed how his career had been derailed yet again and how 50 Cent and Baby Face helped get him back on track.
El DeBarge, who is now on the Funk Fest 2012 concert bill, explained why he fell out of the public eye some time after his comeback record, 2010’s Second Chance, was nominated for a Grammy.
“I was fumbling around in the land of relapse and I was sitting around for a month or so doing nothing,” he told Ryan Cameron, of V-103V-103 Atlanta. “I started getting these thoughts they were crazy. I was staying with my manager at the time he had me in a room in his house. And it felt like I was in prison… They were scared that I would relaps…But it kinda worked reverse.”
With the walls caving in on him and and feeling the itch to find and use drugs, he reached out to an unlikely source, 50 Cent, who was a featured guest on El DeBarge’s Second Chance.
“I called 50 Cent up and I said,’You guys gotta help me. I don’t like the way I’m thinking. I’m already on my way to do something wrong,'” he said. “50 came like five cars deep and picked me up right from where I was. We met up with Babyface, they took me to Interscope and we all had a meeting and they said, ‘Why don’t you go to rehab.'”
After the meeting, El took the advice to heart. He checked himself into the Harbor House in Jackson, Ms. He says he’s been clean and sober since.
“I said, ‘I don’t want this to be happening to me throughout the rest of my life.’ I don’t have the tools I thought I had to combat this relapse stuff.”
In March, DeBarge was arrested in Los Angeles when police reportedly spotted him and another man acting suspiciously. Officers recovered narcotics from an area where DeBarge had been and he was charged with suspicion of possession for the sale of drugs. Despite the arrest, El says he has been clean since returning from rehab.
“I t was a false charge,” he said. “I was standing outside with some relatives we were celebrating my aunt’s birthday. They targeted me…They locked me up and they released me. The charges got dropped. I want everybody to know that I’m okay.”
El Debarge will be performing at Funk Fest 2012 on May 19, with acts such as Erykah Badu, New Edition and more. To hear the entire interview, including El explaining his last meeting with Whitney Houston, go toV-103.
–Erik Parker, CBS Local