By Prudence Minayo
Earl Simmons, popularly known as DMX, is an American singer whose songs have gained a lot of popularity worldwide. Most of his albums have received much critical acclaim with his best selling album being “And Then There was X.”
Simmons has also featured in a number of films including Last Hour and Romeo must die. He also started a reality show back in 2006.
He was born on 18th December 1970 in Mount Vernon, New York.
The rapper was born to Arnett Simmons and Joe Barker. He was brought up by his mother who practiced Jehovah witness faith. At one point, he was hit by a drunk driver and he claims the family could have gotten up to $10,000 in legal settlement but his mother refused to pursue legal action as it went against her faith.
A young DMX suffered from bronchial asthma and had to be taken to the emergency room almost every night. His childhood was not a bed of roses as he suffered abuse from his mother and her numerous boyfriends. This resulted in him having cuts and other physical wounds.
He was kicked out of school and ended up at Julia Dyckman Andrus Children’s Home for 18 months. At 14, he roamed the streets as an escape from his mother and eventually landed at a boys home. At the home, he made friends who also loved hip hop and encouraged him to continue writing.
Later, he would choose the name DMX as his stage name. The name came from an instrument he had used while at the boys home called the oberheim DMX drum machine.
In 1984, he became part of the music world and worked for a local rapper named Ready John. Between this time and 1988, he went to prison twice and began writing his own lyrics seriously.
In 1988, after being released from prison the second time, he began producing and selling his own mixtapes where he would rap over instrumentals from other songs and sell them on street corners.
In 1991, he recorded his first demos, unstoppable Force and Three a little pigs.
In 1993, he finally got signed by a label called Ruffhouse, a subsidiary of Columbia Records. He recorded his first single Born Loser. The song did not receive massive air play and the record released him.
From then to 1997, he remained unsigned but made a name for himself by making a number of appearances.
In 1994, he released another single named Make a Move and in 1995 made a guest appearance on the track Time To Build on Mic Geronimo’s debut album alongside Jay Z, and Ja Rule.
In 1997, he appeared on LL Cool J’s single 4,3,2,1.
In February 1998, he released a major-label single called Get at Me Dog. RIAA certified the single gold. The same year, he released his debut album called It’s Dark and Hell is Hot. It became number on at the Billboard 200 and sold over five million copies.
In December 1998, he released a second album: Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of My Blood. The album was number one on Billboard 200 for three conservative weeks and was certified platinum four times.
On December 1999, he released his third album, And Then There Was X. It debuted at number one on Billboard 200 and was certified platinum six times.
In 2001, he released his fourth album named The Great Depression which also deputed number one at Billboard 200.
His fifth album, Grand Champ also deputed number on Billboard 200. This made him the only musician to release five consecutive albums that debuted number one.
In 2006, he signed with Columbia Records and released Year of the Dog…Again.
In 2009, he completed a gospel album before being incarcerated.
On October 2011, he performed at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards. A video for a new song called Last Hope was released on the internet in 2011. His seventh album was titled Undisputed was released on September 2011.
Seven Arts Music, released, DMX’s label released a music album titled Redemption of the Beast.
In June 2016, he released a song titled Blood Red.
In 2017, he released another song titled Bain Iz Back. It was announced that he had signed a new record deal with Def Jam.
The well known musical artist has found himself in numerous altercations both before and after embarking on his musical journey. On a number of occasions, after joining the music industry, he has been involved in a number of cases including:
- In 1988, he was sent to prison for carjacking.
- In 1999, he surrendered to the possession of weapons charges.
- In 2000, he served a 15-day jail sentence for possession of marijuana.
- In 2001, he served a jail sentence for possession of marijuana and driving without a license
- In 2003, he pleaded guilty in New Jersey to 13 counts of animal cruelty, and one count each of disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia.
- In 2004, he was charged for possession of cocaine, criminal impersonation, criminal possession of a weapon and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- On 31st January 2009, he was sentenced to 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to charges of drug possession animal cruelty and theft.
- In 2011, he was arrested for speeding, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license.
- In 2013, he was arrested four times on different occasions for a number of charges including driving without a license, and not having a licensed vehicle.
- In 2015, he was arrested for failing to pay child support among other charges.
- In July 2017, he was charged with 14 federal counts of tax fraud.
In 2018, he was remanded after leaving a drug treatment program ordered by the court and relapsing with cocaine and oxycodone.
On 2nd April 2021, he suffered an overdose at his home in New York and was rushed to a hospital in White Plains. He was said to be in critical condition from a heart attack resulting from an overdose.
On 3rd April, Murray Richman, his attorney confirmed DMX was on life support . Later that day, he stated he was off life support, but he clarified that evening that he was mistaken and had been given wrong information.
DMX married Tashera Simmons in 1999 and their separation was announced in July 2010. In the course of the married, he had a number of extra marital affairs that resulted in children. Altogether, he has a total of 15 children.
The rapper died on 9th, April 2020.