On April 9th, 2021, the world of Hip-Hop lost one of its most revolutionary rappers to ever hit the mic. Earl Simmons best known as DMX, met his demise at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, NY after suffering a heart attack resulting from a drug overdose.
The NY bred rapper/actor came into his craft in the early 90’s when Hip-Hop began making its evolve from alternative to hard core during a time when East Coast rappers were in the element of spitting real life’s grit and grime.
DMX’s raw, uncut persona along with his rough-neck tone gave him his unique edge and patented dog growl causing intimidation towards anyone who looked his way at first glance but those who knew him would describe another side.
His infectious energy and genuinity radiated his love for all though the constant battles with the demons of his past gave way at times spiraling him to his darkest moments.
As a minor, Earl experienced the unthinkable, nothing of what a any child should bear. A victim of repeated child abuse at the hands of his mother and the men she was involved with, living in poverty sleeping on floors with rodents, suffering alcohol intoxication by way of an aunt and, being jailed for stealing all before the tender age of 8, issues that inevitably took a traumatic toll academically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
Having been betrayed by his mother, at age 10 Earl was left in a children’s home where his circumstances continued to worsen. Attempting to free himself from the toxicity, he turned to the streets of Yonkers ultimately being placed in a group home. There is where he discovered his talent for rap music, embracing it as an escape from his harsh reality.
After catching the eye of a local rapper, Earl began his musical journey naming himself after an Oberheim DMX drum machine he used at the group home. DMX was now known as Dark Man X, a name that controlled his unhinged alter ego.
His profuse flow and hieroglyphics led him to independently producing mixtapes hustling his clientele and being featured in The Source magazine’s Unsigned Hype.
In 1992, X signed to Columbia Records sub label Ruffhouse Records releasing his debut single “Born Loser” landing him a guest appearance on Mic Geronimo’s underground track “Time to Build” alongside fellow heavyweights Jay-z and JaRule but it wasn’t until he linked up with renowned producer Swizz Beats that gave X the breakthrough of his career.
Before signing to major label Def Jam Recordings, his bond with the Ruff Ryders squad was a true family affair, collaborating with some of the hottest names in the industry, Mase’s “24 Hrs. to Live”, The Lox’s “Money, Power, Respect” and LL Cool J’s “4,3,2,1” validated X’s potency.
From that pivotal moment, X went on to solidify his place in the rap game achieving immeasurable accolades, seven multiplatinum albums of which five debuted at #1 on the Billboard charts, countless Grammy nominations, wining an American Music Award and selling out arenas world-wide all while struggling with legal troubles and drug addiction.
Despite X’s fury and personal battles, his relationship with God was his solace within. You would feel it in every prayer, every live feed and every time he touched on the word, the abundance of peace that overcame him.
In October 2020, sadly what would be his last appearance on the Wendy Williams show, he talked about his upcoming movie “Chronicle of a Serial Killer” and new album, he stated with a joyous vibrant glow, “Its the tough things that we go through, its the hard things that we go through that, that get us to that point where we’re better and stronger than we’ve ever been so let’s thank God for that”. We thank you DMX for the blessings you gave us all during your time on this earth, rest easy legend.