|Birth name||Earl Simmons|
|Also known as|
|Born||December 18, 1970|
Mount Vernon, New York,[a] U.S.
|Origin||Yonkers, New York, U.S.|
|Died||April 9, 2021 (aged 50)|
White Plains, New York, U.S.
Earl Simmons (December 18, 1970 – April 9, 2021), known by his stage name DMX ("Dark Man X"), was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. He began rapping in the early 1990s and released his debut album It's Dark and Hell Is Hot in 1998, to both critical acclaim and commercial success, selling 251,000 copies within its first week of release. DMX released his best-selling album, ... And Then There Was X, in 1999, which included the hit single "Party Up (Up in Here)". His 2003 singles "Where the Hood At?" and "X Gon' Give It to Ya" were also commercially successful. He was the first artist to debut an album at No. 1 five times in a row on the Billboard 200 charts. Overall, DMX has sold over 74 million records worldwide.
DMX was featured in films such as Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 the Grave, and Last Hour. In 2006, he starred in the reality television series DMX: Soul of a Man, which was primarily aired on the BET cable television network. In 2003, he published a book of his memoirs entitled, E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX.
Earl Simmons was born on December 18, 1970, with various accounts giving his birthplace as either Baltimore, Maryland or Mount Vernon, New York. He was the son of 19-year-old Arnett Simmons and 18-year-old Joe Barker. Earl was Simmons' second child; she had given birth to a daughter, Bonita, two years prior, and later gave birth to one daughter, Shayla, and two stillborn sons. His father, Barker, was an artist who painted watercolor paintings of street scenes to sell at local fairs. Barker moved to Philadelphia and was largely absent from his life.
As a child, Simmons suffered greatly from bronchial asthma, being taken to the emergency room almost nightly due to him waking up unable to breathe. He was raised as a Jehovah's Witness but became disillusioned with the faith after an incident where he was hit by a drunk driver while crossing the street. A month later, an insurance representative went to his house to try and reach an agreement to prevent his family from suing. Simmons claims he was told that his family could have been awarded a settlement of $10,000 and possibly even more for the injuries he sustained but that his mother rejected the settlement as she claimed that Jehovah's Witnesses are taught to be self-sufficient although the group's official doctrine at the time did not prohibit suing or receiving settlements.
Simmons went through a disjointed childhood that included being beaten by his mother and her various boyfriends so badly that he lost teeth and sustained numerous bruises and cuts on his face. Due to poverty, he slept on the floor with roaches and mice crawling over him in the night. When Simmons was five years old, his family settled into the School Street Projects in Yonkers, New York. When he was six years old, his mother knocked out two of his teeth with a broom after he innocently erased something in her notebook. At school, he threw chairs at teachers and stabbed another child in the face with a pencil. When he was seven, an aunt got him drunk on vodka. The same year, he was jailed for stealing cakes from a market. One summer, his mother locked him in his bedroom, allowing him to only exit for trips to the bathroom. At the end of the fifth grade, at age 10, Simmons was expelled from school and sent to the Julia Dyckman Andrus Children's Home for 18 months. In what he described as a defining moment of betrayal, his mother tricked him by telling him they were just visiting the home, then she enrolled him there. A few months later, he was arrested for arson in an attempt to burn the school down. He nearly killed his co-conspirator.
When he was 14, Simmons began living on the streets of Yonkers to escape his mother's abuse, sleeping in Salvation Army clothing bins and befriending stray dogs.
Shortly after he began doing this, his mother once again sent him to a group home. During his stay, Simmons bonded with other students from New York over their shared love of hip hop music. After performing for his friends, they encouraged Simmons to continue writing music at the behest of his teacher. When he returned home, Simmons met Ready Ron, a local rapper, who was impressed with Simmons' beatboxing skills and asked him to become his partner. Simmons chose the name "DMX", which came from an instrument he had used at the boys' home, the Oberheim DMX drum machine. It later was also interpreted as "Dark Man X".
As a freshman at Yonkers Middle High School, DMX was the second-fastest on the track and field varsity team. However, he had bad grades and a sparse attendance record. He turned to robbery as a way to get out of poverty: his first was a purse snatch theft in Yonkers that netted him $1,000, which he used to buy a new leather dog collar and dog harness for his dog, and a pair of Timberlandboots for himself. By the end of the year, he attended school just to rob people and was robbing 3 people per day. He then turned to carjacking.
DMX got his start in the music industry at age 14, in 1984, when he beatboxed for Ready Ron. After serving time in prison for stealing a dog, he began writing his own lyrics and performing at the local recreation center for younger children. In 1988, while in prison for carjacking, he began dedicating almost all of his free time to writing lyrics and also meeting and rapping with K-Solo. When he was released that summer, he began producing and selling his own mixtapes where he rapped over instrumentals from other songs and sell them on street corners, which helped him build a local fan base all over New York. In 1991, The Source magazine praised DMX in its Unsigned Hype column that highlighted unsigned hip-hop artists. In 1992, Columbia Records signed DMX to its subsidiary label Ruffhouse Records, which released his debut single "Born Loser". He released his second single, "Make a Move" in 1994. He made a guest appearance alongside Jay-Z, Ja Rule, and Mic Geronimo on the classic underground track "Time to Build" on Mic Geronimo's debut album in 1995.
DMX recorded tracks from September 1996 to January 1998 for his debut album. During this time, his guest appearances on Mase's singles "24 Hrs. to Live" and "Take What's Yours", The LOX's single "Money, Power & Respect", and LL Cool J's single "4, 3, 2, 1" created a strong buzz for the then-unsigned rapper. In February 1998, he released his debut major-label single, "Get at Me Dog", on Def Jam Recordings. The single received an RIAA certification of gold. His first major-label album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, which included the single "Ruff Ryders' Anthem", was then released in May 1998. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S. and sold over five million copies. In December 1998, he released his second album, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and went multi-platinum. He released his third and best-selling album ... And Then There Was X, on December 21, 1999. It was his third album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200. Its most popular single, "Party Up (Up in Here)", became his first Top Ten hit on the R&B charts, and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 2001 Grammy Awards. The album was certified six-times Platinum, and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2001 Grammy Awards. In 2000, DMX also made a cameo appearance in the Sum 41 music video for "Makes No Difference".
After improving his legal situation, DMX returned to the studio to complete his fourth album, The Great Depression. Within its release on October 23, 2001, it was his fourth album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200, featuring the singles "Who We Be", "We Right Here", and "Shorty Was The Bomb". Despite the album's triple Platinum certification, its commercial and critical success was lower than his previous album. His fifth album, Grand Champ, released in September 2003, once again debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts, placing DMX as the only musical artist in history to release five consecutive albums (his entire album catalog at the time) that debuted at number one. Singles released off the album include "Where the Hood At?" and "Get It on the Floor". After its release, he informed the public that he planned to retire and that Grand Champ was his final album.
DMX signed to Columbia Records in January 2006. He recorded his next album, Year of the Dog... Again, while switching record labels, which caused numerous delays. It was released on August 1, 2006, and missed the number one Billboard spot by only a few hundred copies. He released two more singles, "Lord Give Me a Sign" and "We in Here". On June 12, 2008, Def Jam Recordings released a compilation of his greatest hits, The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter. In 2011, Def Jam released another compilation album, The Best of DMX, which features hit singles including "Where the Hood At?" and "X Gon' Give It to Ya". In 2009, DMX claimed he would pursue preaching in Jersey City, New Jersey as well as continue to produce music. He completed a Gospel music album prior to his incarceration. According to MTV, he had semi-retired to study the Bible more in an effort to give messages behind the pulpit.
On October 11, 2011, DMX performed at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards. He stated that he has been working "nonstop, every day" on his seventh album, which was later titled Undisputed. A video for a new track entitled "Last Hope" was released via the Internet on September 24, 2011, and was later included on The Weigh In EP released digitally on May 5, 2012. In late February 2012, Seven Arts Pictures acquired the catalog of DMX's music and signed DMX to a two-album deal. During a performance at New York's Santos Party House on December 25, 2011, DMX stated that the new album would be titled Undisputed and would be released on March 26, 2012. After numerous delays, the album was eventually released on September 11, 2012, and featured production from Swizz Beatz and J.R. Rotem with a guest appearance by MGK.
In 2013, DMX announced he had begun working on his eighth studio album. He collaborated with producers Swizz Beatz and Dame Grease. In December, after regaining his passport, he embarked on a world tour with performances in Bulgaria and Kosovo. On January 7, 2015, Seven Arts Music announced that DMX would be releasing Redemption of the Beast the following week; however, close personal friend and recurring collaborator producer/rapper/entrepreneur Swizz Beatz and DMX's management confirmed that this was false. On January 13, 2015, Seven Arts Music released Redemption of the Beast, without acquiring a legal artist contract. On January 15, 2015, it was announced by DMX's brother/manager Montana that DMX was no longer signed to Seven Arts Music and that they would be taking legal action against Seven Arts Music for the unauthorized release of Redemption of the Beast.
Long-time collaborator Swizz Beatz stated that two of the collaborators on the album would be Kanye West and Dr. Dre. His 2003 song "X Gon' Give It to Ya" was featured in the 2016 film Deadpool and in its trailers. On June 28, 2016, DMX released a new song titled "Blood Red" and produced by Divine Bars. On January 11, 2017, DMX released a new song produced by Swizz Beats titled "Bain Iz Back". On September 20, 2019, DMX signed a new record deal with Def Jam Recordings, reuniting with the label for the first time since his 2003 album Grand Champ.
DMX's eighth and first posthumous studio album Exodus was released through Def Jam on May 28, 2021.
DMX was a Christian, and stated that he read the Bible every day. While in jail, DMX stated that he had a purpose for being there: "I came here to meet somebody...Don't know who it was, but I'll know when I see him. And I came here to give him a message. And that message is Jesus loves them." DMX was a transitional deacon in the Christian Church and aspired to become ordained as a pastor, stating that he received this call in 2009. In 2016, he gave a sermon at a church in Phoenix, Arizona. In April 2020, he held an online Bible study and asked people to accept Jesus as their lord and savior.
DMX was the father of 15 children from 9 different women. He married his childhood friend Tashera Simmons in 1999 and they were married for 11 years. They had four children together: Xavier (born 1992), Tacoma (born 1999), Sean (born 2002), and Praise Mary Ella (born 2005). In July 2010, after his first of three incarcerations that year, Tashera announced their separation. They remained friends, although in 2016, Tashera accused DMX of missing his $10,000/month child support payment.
DMX had extramarital affairs during his marriage to Tashera, some of which produced children. He had a daughter, Sasha (born 2002), with Patricia Trejo. In 2012, Trejo sued DMX for $1 million in unpaid child support. The case was settled in 2013. DMX and Monique Wayne, a Maryland resident, fought over her claim that he was the father of her son born in 2004. She sued him for defamation and for child support. After genetic testing proved that DMX was indeed the father, in January 2008, DMX was ordered to pay Wayne $1.5 million, but a judge vacated the judgment in May 2008. DMX also fathered a child in 2008 and fathered two children with ex-girlfriend Yadira Borrego. In 2009, his daughter Sonovah Junior was born. In 2011, his daughter Aaliyah, named after his close friend, Aaliyah, was born. His fifteenth child, Exodus Simmons, was born to his fiancée, Desiree Lindstrom, on August 16, 2016.
DMX earned $2.3 million from his songs between 2010 and 2015.
He also filed for bankruptcy three times. His first filing was on July 30, 2013, citing his child support obligations as his priority claim. The filing was challenged by the United States Trustee Program and was dismissed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on November 11, 2013.
During the 1990s, DMX formed a close bond with fellow up-and-coming rappers Jay-Z and Ja Rule. The three collaborated many times and formed a group known as Murder Inc. The group was short-lived due to internal issues between DMX and Jay-Z. After the breakup of Murder Inc., DMX disparaged Ja Rule in interviews, accusing him of being a copycat, drawing comparisons between himself and what he saw as Ja stealing his signature "gruff" style of delivery.
DMX released a diss track, "They Want War", on a 2002 DJ Kay Slay mixtape; Ja Rule never directly responded. As time passed and the feud faded into obscurity, DMX said that he wanted to officially bring it to an end when he was released from prison in 2005: "Gotti came to me in jail and said I want to make peace with you and him. I was like, 'Alright Gotti, let's do it." Despite this, DMX and Ja Rule did not officially end their feud until 2009, at VH1's Hip Hop Honors.
When DMX partnered with Jay-Z and Ja Rule in Murder Inc., there was a feud between the two, which also contributed to the failure of the group and working together. According to reports, the feud started in the early 1990s after a rap battle between the two, which led to DMX's disdain for Jay-Z. Prior to DMX's death, the feud, although it fizzled out over the years, continued on when DMX said in an Instagram video that he wanted to rap battle Jay-Z on Verzuz.
DMX was in jail 30 times for various offenses, including robbery, assault, carjacking, animal cruelty, reckless driving, driving under the influence, unlicensed driving, drug possession, probation violation, failure to pay child support, pretending to be a federal agent, and tax evasion.
DMX was first sent to prison in 1986 after stealing a dog from a junkyard. He was sentenced to two years in the juvenile unit of Woodfield Prison in Valhalla, New York. However, just weeks after starting his sentence, he and his cellmate successfully escaped the prison and DMX returned home until his mother forced him to turn himself in and finish his sentence, which he did at the McCormick Juvenile Detention Centre in Brooktondale, New York. Simmons was sent to prison again in 1988 for carjacking, and was later moved to a higher security prison after attempting to extort a fellow inmate for drugs. He was released in the summer of 1988.
In July 2017, DMX was charged with 14 federal counts of tax fraud. Federal prosecutors charged him with failing to file income tax returns from 2010 to 2015 (a period when he earned at least $2.3 million). DMX pleaded guilty to a single count of tax fraud in November 2017. DMX was originally free pending sentencing but was remanded to jail in January 2018 after leaving a drug treatment program ordered by the court and relapsing with cocaine and oxycodone. In March 2018, Judge Jed S. Rakoff sentenced DMX to one year in prison followed by three years of supervised release. The court also ordered DMX to pay $2.29 million in restitution to the government. He was released from prison on January 25, 2019.
Simmons said he became addicted to crack cocaine when he was 14 years old, after Ready Ron tricked him into smoking a marijuana cigarette laced with the drug. He also said that he had bipolar disorder.
Simmons entered drug rehabilitation several times including in 2002, 2017, and 2019, when he cancelled concerts.
On February 10, 2016, Simmons was found unresponsive in a Ramada Inn parking lot in Yonkers, New York. He was resuscitated by first responders and intravenously given Narcan, an opioid-reversal drug; he responded quickly to Narcan and became semi-conscious. Simmons was subsequently rushed to the hospital. A witness said he ingested some type of substance before collapsing, but police found no illegal substances on the property. Simmons stated that it was from an asthma attack.
On April 2, 2021, at approximately 11:00 pm, Simmons was rushed to White Plains Hospital, where he was reported to be in critical condition following a heart attack at his home possibly resulting from a drug overdose. The next day, his attorney Murray Richman confirmed Simmons was on life support. That same night, Simmons suffered cerebral hypoxia (oxygen deprivation to his brain) as paramedics attempted to resuscitate him for 30 minutes. Simmons' former manager, Nakia Walker, said he was in a "vegetative state" with "lung and brain failure and no current brain activity". His manager, Steve Rifkind, stated Simmons was comatose and that he was set to undergo tests to determine his brain's functionality and his family will "determine what's best from there".
On the morning of April 9, 2021, Simmons lost functionality in multiple essential organs, reportedly his liver, kidneys and lungs, and was pronounced dead shortly after at age 50.
Upon DMX's death, The Ringer wrote, "Throughout his nearly three-decade career, DMX came to embody passion, rawness, and pure emotional honesty like few hip-hop artists ever have, barking his way through hits like "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" and "Get at Me Dog" one moment, and repenting and philosophizing on tracks like "Slippin'" the next. His was a decidedly anti-commercial approach, but it worked, and it made him the genre's first new superstar in the wake of the killings of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G. To this day, few have been able to reach the heights he did—he's the only rapper to have his first five studio albums debut at no. 1, and he was the first living hip-hop artist to have two projects go platinum in the same year."
Various celebrities paid tribute through outlets like social media including former NFL star Torrey Smith, LeBron James, Shaquille O'Neal, Gabrielle Union (who co-starred with DMX in the 2003 film, Cradle 2 the Grave, along with Jet Li (who also paid tribute), Swizz Beatz (who DMX collaborated with including on the hit single, "Ruff Ryders' Anthem"), Eve and Missy Elliott.
A “Celebration of Life” at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center took place on April 24, 2021, led by Kanye West's Sunday Service Choir. They performed several songs in honor of DMX. The memorial took place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. with a limited capacity of 1,900. It was livestreamed on DMX’s YouTube and Instagram accounts. On the way to Barclays, DMX’s casket was carried by a black monster truck with “Long live DMX” painted on the side. A procession of hundreds of motorcyclists, in homage to the hip-hop collective Ruff Ryders, rode from DMX's birthplace of Yonkers to Barclays Center. In between performances, people gave speeches including Eve, Nas, Swizz Beatz and Ruff Ryders founders Joaquin “Waah” Dean & Darin “Dee” Dean. Kanye West was also confirmed to be in attendance of the celebration, according to Variety.
DMX's funeral ("DMX’s Homegoing Celebration") took place in Brooklyn at the Christian Cultural Center on April 25, 2021. It was livestreamed on the BET Network and its YouTube channel. It lasted around five hours to a limited capacity of 2,000 people. DMX's casket was in the color red and featured the word, "FAITH", in large printing. It was featured in the front of the room. People who were attendance included Nas, Lil Kim, Alicia Keys & Swizz Beatz, as well as the pastor of the church, Reverend A.R. Bernard. Louis Farrakhan, a leader of the Nation of Islam, joined the service via Zoom. With the exception of Alicia Keys, Nas and Lil Kim, they all gave speeches. DMX's former wife, Tashera Simmons and Ruff Ryders founders Waah & Dee also gave a speech. There was some controversial testimonies like former Def Jam chief Lyor Cohen, when his video featured an overheard view of a beach and explained how Earl Simmons was a wonderful man while DMX was a gremlin. As well as Def Jam cofounder Russell Simmons, when he compared his own issues with drug abuse to DMX via video. The homegoing ended with DMX's obituary read on stage and a virtual performance from Faith Evans.
At the funeral, New York City community leader and peacemaker Erica Ford presented DMX's family several citations and proclamations from the New York governor's and Senate's office; including a proclamation from the New York state Senate declaring Dec. 18 — DMX's birthday — “Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons Day.” Additional citations came from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Mike Spano of Yonkers (the hometown of DMX). Cuomo had the flag flying over the state capitol on the day of DMX’s death presented to his family.
|2001||... And Then There Was X||Best Rap Album||Nominated|
|"Party Up (Up in Here)"||Best Rap Solo Performance||Nominated|
|2002||"Who We Be"||Best Rap Solo Performance||Nominated|
|2000||DMX||Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist||Won|
|2001||DMX||Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist||Nominated|
|1999||"Ruff Ryders' Anthem"||Best Rap Video||Nominated|
|2000||"Party Up (Up in Here)"||Best Rap Video||Nominated|
|2001||"No Sunshine"||Best Video from a Film||Nominated|
|2002||"Who We Be"||Best Rap Video||Nominated|
|Best Breakthrough Video||Nominated|
|2006||"Touch It (Remix)"||Best Rap Video||Nominated|
|Best Male Video||Nominated|
|1999||DMX||Top R&B Album Artist of the Year||Won|
|1998||Belly||Tommy "Buns" Bundy|||
|2000||Romeo Must Die||Silk|||
|2001||Exit Wounds||Latrell Walker|||
|2003||Cradle 2 the Grave||Anthony Fait|||
|2004||Never Die Alone||King David|||
|2006||Father of Lies||Paul||Direct-to-DVD|
|2007||Death Toll||The Dog||Direct-to-DVD|
|2008||Last Hour||Black Jack||Direct-to-DVD|
|Lords of the Street||Thorn||Originally titled Jump Out Boys|
|2009||Lockjaw: Rise of the Kulev Serpent||Nick||Direct-to-DVD|
|2013||King Dog||Terrell (TJ) Johnson||Direct-to-DVD|
|Blame It on the Hustle||—||Direct-to-DVD|
|2014||Top Five||Himself||Cameo appearance|
|2019||Beyond the Law||Detective Ray Munce|||
|2020||Fast and Fierce: Death Race||Davie|||
|Chronicle of a Serial Killer||Detective White|||
|2003||Def Jam Vendetta||Himself||Voice role and likeness|
|1998||The Chris Rock Show||Himself|||
|South Park||Himself||"Chef Aid" (season 2, episode 14)|
|2000||Moesha||Himself||"Gimme a Break" (season 5, episode 18)|
|2002||Half & Half||Himself||"The Big Sistah Sans Soul" (season 1, episode 7)|
|2003||Third Watch||Kandid Jones||"In Lieu of Johnson" (season 5, episode 92)|
|Eve||Xenon||"She Snoops to Conquer" (season 1, episode 3)|
|2004||Chappelle's Show||Himself||Music guest (season 2, episode 16)|
|Jimmy Kimmel Live!||Himself||Season 3, episode 57|
|The Sharon Osbourne Show||Himself|||
|2006||DMX: Soul of a Man||Himself||Documentary|
|2008||Big Pun: The Legacy||Himself||Documentary|
|2013||Iyanla, Fix My Life||Himself||"Fix My Rap Star Life" (season 2, episode 1)|
|2015||Fresh Off the Boat||Himself||Season 2, episode 9|
|2017||Black Ink Crew||Himself||Season 5, episode 14|
DMX – Teaneck: The Ruff Ryder rapper and sometimes actor faced charges of animal cruelty after police found 13 pit bulls at his Teaneck home in 1999
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Presented content of the Wikipedia article was extracted in 2021-06-13 based on https://en.wikipedia.org/?curid=168314