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DMX

Following the deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., DMX took over as the undisputed reigning king of hardcore rap. He was that rare commodity: a commercial powerhouse with artistic and street credibility to spare. His rapid ascent to stardom was actually almost a decade in the making, which gave him a chance to develop the theatrical image that made him one of rap's most distinctive personalities during his heyday. Everything about DMX was unremittingly intense, from his muscular, tattooed physique to his gruff, barking delivery, which made a perfect match for his trademark lyrical obsession with dogs. Plus, there was substance behind the style; much of his work was tied together by a fascination with the split between the sacred and the profane. He could move from spiritual anguish one minute to a narrative about the sins of the streets the next, yet keep it all part of the same complex character, sort of like a hip-hop Johnny Cash. The results were compelling enough to make DMX the first artist ever to have his first four albums enter the charts at number one.

DMX was born Earl Simmons in Baltimore, Maryland, on December 18, 1970. He moved with part of his family to the New York City suburb of Yonkers while still a young child. A troubled and abusive childhood turned him violent, and he spent a great deal of time living in group homes and surviving on the streets via robbery, which led to several run-ins with the law. He found his saving grace in hip-hop, starting out as a DJ and human beatbox, and later moved into rapping for a greater share of the spotlight, taking his name from the DMX digital drum machine (though it's also been reinterpreted to mean "Dark Man X"). He made a name for himself on the freestyle battle scene and was written up in The Source magazine's Unsigned Hype column in 1991. Columbia subsidiary Ruffhouse signed him to a deal the following year and released his debut single, "Born Loser." However, a surplus of talent on the Ruffhouse roster left DMX underpromoted, and the label agreed to release him from his contract. He issued one further single in 1994, "Make a Move," but was convicted of drug possession that same year, the biggest offense of several on his record.

DMX began to rebuild his career with an appearance on one of DJ Clue?'s underground mixtapes. In 1997, he earned a second major-label shot with Def Jam, and made a galvanizing guest appearance on LL Cool J's "4, 3, 2, 1." Further guest spots on Mase's "24 Hours to Live" and fellow Yonkers MCs the LOX's "Money, Power & Respect" created an even stronger buzz, and in early 1998, he released his debut Def Jam single, "Get at Me Dog." The song was a gold-selling smash on the rap and dance charts and paved the way for DMX's full-length debut, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, to debut at number one on the pop charts. Produced mostly by Swizz Beatz, who rode the album's success to a lucrative career of his own, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot earned DMX numerous comparisons to 2Pac for his booming, aggressive presence on the mike, and went on to sell over four million copies. Not long after the album's release in May 1998, DMX was accused of raping a stripper in the Bronx but was later cleared by DNA evidence. He went on to make his feature film debut co-starring in Hype Williams' ambitious but unsuccessful Belly.

Before the end of 1998, DMX completed his second album, and a pending buyout of Def Jam pushed the record into stores that December. Featuring a controversial cover photo of the rapper covered in blood, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood entered the charts at number one and eventually went triple platinum. The following year, DMX hit the road with Jay-Z and the Method Man/Redman team on the blockbuster Hard Knock Life tour. During a tour stop in Denver, a warrant for his arrest was issued in connection with a stabbing, of which he was later cleared; another incident occurred in May, when he was accused of assaulting a Yonkers man who'd allegedly harassed his wife (the charges were once again dropped). More serious charges were brought that summer, when DMX's uncle/manager was accidentally shot in the foot at a New Jersey hotel. Police later raided DMX's home and filed animal cruelty, weapons, and drug possession charges against the rapper and his wife; he eventually plea-bargained down to fines, probation, and community service. In the midst of those difficulties, the Ruff Ryders posse -- of which DMX was a core, founding member -- released a showcase compilation, Ryde or Die, Vol. 1. With contributions from DMX, as well as Eve, the LOX, and multiple guests, Ryde or Die, Vol. 1 debuted at number one in the spring of 1999, further cementing DMX's Midas touch.

Toward the end of 1999, DMX released his third album, ...And Then There Was X, which became his third straight album to debut at number one. It also produced his biggest hit single since "Get at Me Dog," "Party Up (Up in Here)," which became his first Top Ten hit on the R&B charts. The follow-ups "What You Want" and "What's My Name?" were also quite popular, and their success helped make ...And Then There Was X the rapper's best-selling album to date, moving over five million copies. During its run, DMX returned to the big screen with a major supporting role in the Jet Li action flick Romeo Must Die. In the meantime, he was indicted by a Westchester County, New York, grand jury on weapons and drug charges in June of 2000. He also entangled himself in a lengthy legal battle with police in Cheektowaga, New York (near Buffalo), when he was arrested in March for driving without a license and possession of marijuana. He missed one court date, and when he turned himself in that May, police discovered more marijuana in a pack of cigarettes the rapper had brought with him. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 days in jail, and his appeal to have the sentence reduced was finally denied in early 2001. After stalling for several weeks, he turned himself in and was charged with contempt of court. He was further charged with assault when, upon learning he would not be let out early for good behavior, he allegedly threw a food tray at a group of prison officers. He later bargained the charges down to reckless assault and paid a fine, and accused guards of roughing him up and causing a minor leg injury.

Not long after DMX's release from jail, his latest movie, the Steven Seagal action film Exit Wounds, opened at number one in the box office. DMX also contributed the hit single "No Sunshine" to the soundtrack and signed a multi-picture deal with Warner Bros. in the wake of Exit Wounds' success. With his legal problems finally resolved, he returned to the studio and completed his fourth album, the more introspective The Great Depression. It was released in the fall of 2001 and became his fourth straight album to debut at number one. Although it went platinum quickly, it didn't have the same shelf life as his previous releases. In late 2002, DMX published his memoirs as E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX and also recorded several tracks with Audioslave (i.e., the former Rage Against the Machine). One of their collaborations, "Here I Come," was featured on the soundtrack of DMX's next film, a reunion with Jet Li called Cradle 2 the Grave. The film opened at number one upon its release in March 2003, and its DMX-heavy soundtrack debuted in the Top Ten. Grand Champ was released six months later, followed by 2006's Year of the Dog... Again. Just prior to that album's release, his revealing BET reality program made its debut. A compilation titled Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter was issued in June 2007. The artist was burdened by legal issues in the following years, serving 90 days in jail after pleading guilty to charges of animal cruelty, drug possession, and theft in late 2008, and 2010 saw a 90-day sentence for reckless driving turn into a full year after alcohol consumption triggered a parole violation. DMX returned to recording with 2012's Undisputed, an effort released by the Seven Arts label with production from Swizz Beatz and J.R. Rotem. ~ Steve Huey
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Redemption Of The Beast

Disc 1

1. Spit That S**t

2. Built Like A B**ch

3. On And On

4. Get Up And Try Again

5. Solid (Feat. Rampage)

6. I'm Gonna Win

7. It's A Problem

8. How's It Goin' Down

9. Shout It

10. One More Night

11. 56 Bars

12. Where You Been (Feat. Freeway)

13. Right Or Wrong (Feat. Jannyce)

14. Gonna Get Mine

15. We Gonna Make It

16. Love That B**ch (Feat. Jannyce) (Remastered)

Disc 2
Disc 3
x

Track List: Undisputed (Explicit)

1. Intro: Lookin Without Seein'

2. What They Don't Know

3. Cold World

4. I Don't Dance

5. Sucka For Love

6. I Get Scared

7. Slippin' Again

8. Prayer

9. I'm Back

10. Have You Eva

11. Get Your Money Up

12. Head Up

13. Frankenstein

14. Ya'll Don't Really Know

15. I Got Your Back

16. No Love

17. Already

x

Track List: The Definition Of X: Pick Of The Litter (Explicit)

1. Prayer III

2. Ruff Ryders' Anthem

3. Get At Me Dog

4. Stop Being Greedy

5. How's It Goin' Down

7. Blackout

8. What's My Name?

9. Where The Hood At

10. Party Up (up In Here)

11. X Gon' Give It To Ya

12. It's All Good

13. Who We Be

14. The Rain

15. Here We Go Again

16. No Love For Me

17. We Right Here

18. One More Road To Cross

19. Slippin'

20. Prayer (skit)

x

Track List: Year Of The Dog... Again (Explicit)

x

Track List: Grand Champ (Explicit)

1. Dog Intro

2. My Life

3. Where The Hood At

4. Dogs Out

5. Get It On The Floor

6. Come Prepared (Skit)

7. Shot Down

8. Bring The Noize

9. Untouchable

10. F*** Y'All

11. Ruff Radio (Skit)

12. We're Back

13. Ruff Radio 2 (Skit)

14. Rob All Night (If I'm Gonna Rob)

15. We Go Hard

16. We 'Bout To Blow

17. The Rain

18. Gotta Go (Skit)

19. Don't Gotta Go Home

21. Thank You

22. The Prayer V

23. On Top

x

Track List: The Great Depression (Explicit)

x

Track List: And Then There Was X (Explicit)

1. The Kennel

2. One More Road To Cross

3. The Professional

4. Fame

5. Alot To Learn

6. Here We Go Again

7. Party Up (Up In Here)

8. Make A Move

9. What These B*****s Want

10. What's My Name

11. More 2 A Song

12. Don't You Ever

13. The Shankdown

14. D-X-L (Hard White)

15. Comin' For Ya

16. Prayer III

17. Angel

18. Good Girls, Bad Guys

x

Track List: Flesh Of My Flesh Blood Of My Blood (Explicit)

1. My N**gas - Skit

2. Bring Your Whole Crew

3. Pac Man - Skit

4. Ain't No Way

5. We Don't Give a F**k

6. Keep Your S**t The Hardest

7. Coming From

8. It's All Good

9. The Omen

10. Slippin'

11. No Love 4 Me

12. Dogs for Life

13. Blackout

14. Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood

15. Heat

16. Ready To Meet Him

x

Track List: It's Dark And Hell Is Hot

1. Intro

2. Ruff Ryders' Anthem

3. F**kin' Wit' D

4. The Storm (Skit)

5. Look Thru My Eyes

6. Get At Me Dog

7. Let Me Fly

8. X-Is Coming

9. Damien

10. How's It Goin' Down

11. Mickey (Skit)

12. Crime Story

13. Stop Being Greedy

14. ATF

15. For My Dogs

16. I Can Feel It

17. Prayer (Skit)

18. The Convo

19. N**gaz Done Started Something

x

Track List: I Don't Dance (Single)

Comments

Report as inappropriate
yuuuup zach
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The Reals!!!
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I miss you Dmx come back to us we need you
Report as inappropriate
I'm fallen and cant get up s**ts real this n**ga for resl wit this s**t get up and do what you do n**ga there is one way to do it and you know this so get up hit it up one love
Report as inappropriate
How's it goin down is my s**t. Absolutely loves it
Report as inappropriate
Facts ..
Dmx is one of the best to ever do it ..
Report as inappropriate
IT'S A BLACK THANG DMX I DON'T GIVE A F**K WHAT YOU GOING THROUGH NOGGA KEEP YA MUTHAFUCKIN HEAD UP N**GA MUCH LOVE FROM YA N**GAZ!
Report as inappropriate
cmcbride850
Who knew crackheads could rap so good? Lmao...what a fall from stardom
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Dog 4 Life
#GunzKnivesB a t s
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I don't listen to much rap, but when I do I listen to DMX.
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Always gansta. Always bringing back memories. .
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My favorite rapper crazy a**
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Can't trust no one but ur dog he got ur back to the end !!
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�������� I do have to say DMX this s*** and I've seen them in concert many times so are ya that likes DMX y'all some kick a** m*********** * so this is will from Rochester New York wish uou Pandora followers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Report as inappropriate
Killa b & b - more ride wit you all day homey
Report as inappropriate
Text..(617)8 2 9 - 3 5 1 2 (fritzchemsh o p @ g m a i l . c o m )
We sell weed strains like white widow,
Og kush,sour diesel,grand d a d d y purps,
afghan kush and Cannabis oil .
Help in pain relief and cancer.
Also got Actavis Cough Syrup and pills .
Report as inappropriate
Yo DMX is one crazy dude I got much respect for him
Report as inappropriate
conerhinman1 3
DMX what a f**king beast better then Eminem
Report as inappropriate
DMX was my Boy but could not stay off the Drug's I hope he make a come back one day I had his CD to
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Dmx the man...
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kkwolff
Nice
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kkwolff
Stop drop, shut em down low
Report as inappropriate
Remember me from way back, I'm the same cat, with a wave cap
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It's Dark and Hell is Hot is still my favorite album, and he needs a come back.
Report as inappropriate
I'm serious
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Follow for a follow

Report as inappropriate
Ruff ryders anthem best song
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Still on of my favorite m.c.s
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If DMX could just got he's s**t TOGETHER he can easily take the game back over
Report as inappropriate
Where it at doe
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I'm just here takin a poop
Report as inappropriate
That b**ch you were not you losing as s don't front like your were the first girl rapper she died a while ago don't fromt
Report as inappropriate
My baby daddy! he just dont know
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Love tha dark man x favorite rapper ever much love 4 da dogz n pups
Report as inappropriate
baxtylopez2
I was the first female rapper Ever back in 1980 is when i started out of Philly and i was gonna record in new york wit run dmc but GOD knew that road wasnt for me becuz he knew i would never sell my soul for money or fame im proud you were choosen to fight in the music industry for God ! Keep ut up
Report as inappropriate
baxtylopez2
Dmx i want you too know im with you 100% as far as the music industry lies and deceit you are carrying your cross and your doing it very well God bless you my brother see you in heaven one day your a true soldier
Report as inappropriate
Nothing but LOVE
DMX is BEST
Report as inappropriate
The realist n**ga to ever do it, will always be down wit X no matter what!
Report as inappropriate
Let me fly is a hit. ...grew up to this hits. ...west up G
Report as inappropriate
bstar405
DMX = King
Report as inappropriate
Thanks DMX
Report as inappropriate
West Kendall is the hood
Report as inappropriate
Love him. Stay up. Wish u wasnt locked up
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Keep your head up
Report as inappropriate
Grimey!
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marianopp1
stay strong brother ! we need you, not many of you left ! much lobe
Report as inappropriate
Keep your head up bra! Much props just always stay true to your fam. For they always have your back
Report as inappropriate
DMX THIS IS REAL S**T, ALL THESE NEW RAPPERS NEED TO SIT BACK AND TAKE NOTES. BUNCH OF STUDIO GANGSTERS, LAME A** CAKE A** N**GAS
Report as inappropriate
Yonkerz stand this f@ck uo
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My first comment on something is: ?
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