DMX (rapper)

DMX (rapper)

Earl Simmons (Mount Vernon, New York, December 18, 1970 – New York, April 9, 2021), known by his stage name DMX, Dark Man X or The Divine Master of the Unknown, was an American rapper and actor, who rose to fame in the late 90s. He is characterized by violence in his lyrics and dark matter, making him one of the most acclaimed artists by fans of rap, punk and heavy metal. He starred in his own television series ” The Reality of a Man’s Soul in America” through the cable television network BET. In 2002, DMX wrote an autobiographical book titled EARL: The Autobiography of DMX. He also had an extensive arrest file.

Personal Information
Birth name Earl Simmons
Birth December 18, 1970
Birthplace Mount Vernon, New York (United States)
Death April 9, 2021 (age 50)
Death place White Plains, New York (United States)
Cause of death Acute myocardial, infarction
Tomb Oakland Cemetery
Nationality American
Native language English
Physical characteristics
Height 1.80 m
Spouse Tashera Simmons (1999-2014)
Children 17
Professional information
  • Rapper
  • Songwriter
  • actor
Active years 1992-2021
  • Dark Man X
  • The Ruff Ryder
  • Hip hop
  • East Coast hip hop
  • gangsta rap
  • Hardcore hip hop
  • Horrorcore
Instrument Voice
  • Ruff Ryders Entertainment
  • Columbia Records
  • Bloodline Records
  • Hypnotic Records
  • Cleopatra Records
  • Def Jam Recordings
Criminal Information
Criminal Charges theft
Signature DMX Signature

He is the 5th best-selling rapper behind Eminem, 2Pac and Jay-Z.

Biography of DMX

DMX Beginning

Earl Simmons Wallace finished growing up in the School Street housing complex in Yonkers, New York, following behavioral problems at Mount Vernon. He began rapping at age 13, amusing the crowd with rhymes he told by spelling words, a style he called “spellbound.” Finally, a local rapper asked Earl to act as a beatbox for him and Simmons accepted, taking the DMX name from a digital sound machine. In the end, he decided to seriously try to become a rapper and honed his skills. DMX was a fan of the Pitbull dog breed and had one of his deceased dogs tattooed.

At the time, he attended high school classes with Mary J. Blige, in Yonkers. He was also continuously involved in fights and it was easy to see him fleeing the police. During that period, he began having battles with other rappers and made a name for himself in the New York area. His initials were said to stand for Dog Man X, Dark Man of the Unknown, and Dark Man X. He released his first album, DMX: Unreleased and Unreleashed, being a hit on the streets of Yonkers.


In and out of jail continuously, DMX decided to focus on his career as a rapper and put aside once and for all his life as a criminal. He began to seriously seek a deal with a record label and connected with Irv Gotti, an A&R of
Def Jam at the time. In the end, he ended up signing with Ruff Ryders. They negotiated with labels Bad Boy Records which launched Biggie to fame and Interscope Records which had previously launched 2pac to fame, but eventually leaned towards Def Jam.

It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot

On the album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, DMX talks a lot about hell and rap, interesting both rap and punk fans. Prior to this album, DMX recorded the single “Born Loser”, which was banned by MTV due to the graphic images in the video. The rapper’s debut single was “Get At Me Dog,” which became an immediate hit. His critically acclaimed release, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, is often linked to the revitalization of hardcore rap in the mainstream scene, following the deaths of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G., and after Puff Daddy and Bad Boy Records dominated the charts with their pop rap.

In 1997 he appeared on the hit “4, 3, 2, 1” by LL Cool J, on “24 Hours to Live” by Mase and on “Money, Power, & Respect” by The LOX. In early 1998, he released his debut single on Def Jam, “Get At Me Dog”. The song was ‘gold’ and success on the rap and dance charts. This single paved the way for DMX to release their first album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, which debuted at No. 1 on the pop charts.

Mostly produced by Damon “Dame Grease” Blackman (also assisting in the production Swizz Beatz, who handled the track “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem”), DMX’s comparisons to 2Pac were inevitable due to its sudden prosperity and aggressive presence with the microphone.
It sold four million copies. Following the album’s release in May, DMX was accused of raping a stripper in the Bronx, though he would later be found not guilty. He made his film debut alongside Nas and Method Man in Hype Williams’ film Belly. Around this time (1998-1999) he formed the rap group Murder Inc., created by Irv Gotti, was integrated in addition to X by: Jay-z, Ja Rule, associated with Mic. Geronimo; although it did not last long there were good songs like:
Money, Cash and Hoes, Blackout, Murdergram, It’s Murda, Why We Die, etc.

Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

DMX released their second album before the end of 1998. On the cover of Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood featured a controversial photo of the rapper covered in real pig blood. The album debuted at No. 1 on the charts and went triple platinum. DMX accompanied Jay-Z and Redman & Method Man on the Hard Knock Life Tour the following year. During a travel stop in Denver, DMX was arrested for stabbing, though he would later be released. He was accused of assaulting a Yonkers man who allegedly harassed his wife in May. The rapper’s troubles continued unabated, as DMX’s uncle/manager was accidentally shot in the foot in a New Jersey hotel. Police searched the DMX home where they collected animal cruelty, weapons, and drug possession charges against the rapper and his wife.

… And Then There Was X

DMX released their third album, … And Then There Was X, towards the end of 1999, thus becoming their third consecutive No. 1 album on the charts. “Party Up (Up in Here)” was their most successful single since “Get at Me Dog”, being their first Top 10 single on the R&B charts. His next singles, “What You Want” and “What’s My Name?”, were also popular, and the album is DMX’s best-selling album to date, with 6 million copies.

The Great Depression

After finally resolving their problems with the law, DMX returned to the studio and completed their fourth album The Great Depression. But before he signed with Ruff Ryders he appreciated in several songs such as “Ruff Ryders Anthem”, a song recorded in 1993, showing his good relationship with Ruff Ryders Corp. The album, once again, became number 1 on the charts, quickly going platinum.

Grand Champ

Grand Champ was the fifth consecutive DMX album to debut at the top of the charts with many platinum singles such as “Get it on the Floor”, and the critically acclaimed “Where the Hood at?”, although most critics and fans were disappointed with this record. Following the album’s release, DMX informed the public that they planned to retire from rap games and that Grand Champ would be their last album. However, in 2006 he decided to end his brief retirement as he had plans to record a new album with one of his friends of Little Voodoo Revelry who despite his young age as he said ” already controlled this market too much”.

Rumors that DMX had signed with G-Unit 50 Cent were dispelled by the rapper himself at a press conference on Friday, January 13, 2006. DMX had signed for Sony BMG.

Year of the Dog… Again

Year of the Dog… Again, DMX’s sixth album, had had numerous problems and delays due to label changes and release dates. Some of the artists who collaborated on the album are the members of D-Block. In March 2006 it was announced that the name of the album had been renamed Year of the Dog , Again by Here We Go, Again. When DMX switched to Sony, Def Jam allowed him to keep all the songs he had created for the album. However, it is said that most of the songs are being remixed and with updated productions. Since 2006 is the year of the dog, August 1 is the date on which the album was released. DMX also appeared on Busta Rhymes’ “Touch It (The Remix)”, as well as recording a new single “Lord Give Me A Sign”, and a new video, “We in Here”.

The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter

The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter is DMX’s 7th solo album, a greatest hits album signed to Def Jam records. Def Jam still owns the rights to all DMX songs with the exception of the songs on Year of the Dog…, their latest album. This album was released on June 12, 2007. During that year, he was arrested for driving with an expired license and animal cruelty.


As its name suggests was a mixtape released in 2008, this mixtape features collaborations with JR Writer, Hell Rell, Rampage, Mobb Depp, Loon, G-Dep, AZ and Keith Murray.

Playlist Your Way

Playlist Your Way is the 8th album by Dmx. This album was released in 2009 and this album is about some popular DMX songs.
The companies that sponsor this album are Def Jam and Universal Records. This album was released on February 24, 2009.

Walk with Me Now and You’ll Fly with Me Later

DMX has recently signed to Bodog Music and said they will release their next two albums on the same day, “I’m grateful for the fact that Bodog believes in me, that we share the same vision and the fact that they see in me the same thing I see. So they have a dog for life,” DMX says, according to Yahoo.

It was first said that they would be released in 2008 but with the continuing problems with the rapper’s law a date was given to the spring of 2009, it is most likely that they will be put on the market the first months of 2010.

He has recently appeared in Who’s Real? (Remix) of Jadakiss along with the other Ruff Ryders.

2011-2012: Undisputed

On October 11, 2011, DMX performed at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards. He said he’s been working “nonstop, every day” on his seventh album, which was later titled Undisputed. A video for a new song titled “Last Hope” was released over the internet on September 24, 2011, and was then included on The Weigh In EP released digitally on May 5, 2012.

In late February 2012, Seven Arts Entertainment Inc. acquired the musical assets of United Music Media Group (which included a catalog of DMX music), and signed DMX to a two-album deal. During a performance at the Santos Party House in New York City on December 25, 2011, DMX stated that the new album will be titled Undisputed and will be released on March 26, 2012. After numerous delays, the album was finally released on September 11, 2012, and featured production by Swizz Beatz and JR Rotem with a guest appearance by MGK.

2013-2021: Redemption of the Beast and other works

DMX announced that they had begun work on their eighth studio album. He has been seen collaborating 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, DMX’s Seven Arts Music label announced that DMX would release a new album next week titled Redemption of the Beast, but later in the day, a close personal friend and recurring collaborator, producer/rapper/entrepreneur Swizz Beatz confirmed that this was fake, DMX management would also confirm that it was also fake.

For their upcoming album, longtime collaborator Swizz Beatz stated that two of the collaborators on the album will be Kanye West and Dr. Dre. His 2003 song “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” was featured in the 2016 film Deadpool and its trailers.

On June 28, 2016, DMX released a new song produced by Divine Bars that was titled “Blood Red”.

On January 11, 2017, DMX released a new song produced by Swizz Beats titled “Bain Iz Back”.

On September 20, 2019, it was officially announced that DMX had signed a new record deal with Def Jam, reuniting with the label for the first time since their 2003 album Grand Champ.

Death of DMX

He died on April 9, 2021, at the age of 50 after spending five days at White Chains Hospital in New York, due to a heart attack, apparently caused by a drug overdose.

Musical collaborations

Dmx has collaborated on many albums including:

Year Title Interpreter(s) Album
1993 “Born Loser”    
1995 “Time to Build” Geronimo Mic, Rule Ja, Jay-Z The Natural
1997 “Usual Suspects” Geronimo Mic, Fatal Hussein, Ja Rule, Cormega How to Be a Player
1997 “4, 3, 2, 1” LL Cool J, Method Man, Redman, Canibus Phenomenon
1997 “Take What’s Yours” Mase Harlem World
1997 “24 Hours to Live” Mase, The Lox, Black Rob Harlem World
1997 “Usual Suspects (alternate version)” Geronimo Mic, Jadakiss, Styles P, Ja Rule, Tragedy Gaddafi Vendetta
1997 “Nothing Move But the Money (remix)” Mic Geronimo, Black Rob  
1998 “Money, Power & Respect” The Lox, Lil’ Kim Money, Power & Respect
1998 “We Be Clubbin’ (remix)” Ice Cube The Players Club
1998 “Murdergram” Ja Rule, Jay-Z Streets Is Watching
1998 “Shut ‘Em Down” Onyx (band) Shut ‘Em Down
1998 “We Got This” John Forté Poly Sci
1998 “Get Your Shit Right” Jermaine Dupri Life in 1472
1998 “Whatcha gonna do?” Jayo Felony, Method Man Whatcha Gonna Do?
1998 “Money, Cash, Hoes” Jay-Z Vol. 2… Hard Knock Life
1998 “Top Shotter” Sean Paul, Mr. Vegas Belly
1998 “Nowhere to Run” Ozzy Osbourne, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, The Crystal Method, Fuzzbubble South Park: Chef Aid
1998 “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem (remix)” DJ Clue, Jadakiss, Styles P, Drag-On, Eve The Professional
1999 “Dog & a Fox” Foxy Brown Chyna Doll
1999 “More Money, More Cash, More Hoes (remix)” Jay-Z, Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel The Corruptor
1999 “Ryde or Die (Turf Stories version)” Yukmouth, Drag-On Turf Stories
1999 “Life Is What You Make It” Nas I Am…
1999 “Ryde or Die” The Lox, Drag-On, Eve Ryde or Die Vol. 1
1999 “Bug Out”   Ryde or Die Vol. 1
1999 “Some X Shit”   Ryde or Die Vol. 1
1999 “It’s Murda” Ja Rule, Jay-Z Venni, Vetti, Vecci
1999 “The Story”   Black Gangster
1999 “I Can, I Can”   The Wood
1999 “Scenario 2000” Eve, The Lox, Drag-On Ruff Ryders’ First Lady
1999 “Dog Match” Eve Ruff Ryders’ First Lady
1999 “Catz Don’t Know”   Light It Up
1999 “We in Here (The Tunnel version)” Funkmaster Flex & Big Kap, Drag-On, Eve, The Lox, Swizz Beatz The Tunnel
1999 “Sincerity” Mary J. Blige, Nas Mary
2000 “Come back in one Piece” Aaliyah Soundtrack: Romeo Must Die
2000 “Tales from the Darkside”   The Murderers
2000 “Niggas Die 4 Me” Drag-On Opposite of H2O
2000 “Get It Right” Drag-On Opposite of H2O
2000 “Why We Die” Busta Rhymes, Jay-Z Anarchy
2000 “I’m going to Crawl” Dyme Nutty Professor II: The Klumps
2000 “The Great”   Ryde or Die Vol. 2
2000 “Fuhgidabowdit” LL Cool J, Method Man, Redman G.O.A.T.: The Greatest Hits All Time
2000 “Rollin’ (Urban Assault Vehicle)” Limp Bizkit, Method Man, Redman Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water
2000 “Who’s Next (X-Clue-Sive)” DJ Clue The Professional, Pt. 2
2001 “Scream Double R” Eve Scorpion
2001 “Doggz II” Redman Malpractive
2001 “Uh-Hunh!” Jadakiss Kiss tha Game Goodbye
2001 “Walk with Me” Big Stan Exit Wounds
2001 “Friend of Mine”   Ryde or Die Vol. 3: In the “R” We Trust
2002 “Most High” Jerzee Monet Love & War
2002 “Miss You” Aaliyah, Missy Elliot, Timbaland, Queen Latifah,… ”I Care 4 U
2003 “Deeper” DJ Envy The Desert Storm Mixtape: Blok Party Vol. 1
2003 “Go To Sleep” Eminem, Obie Trice Cradle 2 the Grave
2003 “Right/Wrong”   Cradle 2 the Grave
2003 “Getting Down” Big Stan, Kashmir, Bazaar Royale Cradle 2 the Grave
2003 “What’s Really Good” The Diplomats Diplomatic Immunity
2004 “Let’s Get Crazy” Drag-On Hell and Back
2004 “That’s Who We Be” Drag-On, Phats Bossi That Fire
2004 “Put Your Money” Ludacris The Red Light District
2005 “Get Wild” Jadakiss, Flashy, Kartoon The Redemption Volume 4
2006 “Innocent Man” Mark Morrison Innocent Man
2007 “going to Get Mine”   Smack: The Album Volume 1
2008 “Bad Boys” DJ GQ, J.R. Reid, Dawg E Slaughter Let Em’ Know
2008 “Intro” The Game L.A.X
2008 “Outro” The Game L.A.X
2008 “Uh Oh” G.A.G.E G.A.G.E
2009 “Who’s Real (Remix)” Jadakiss, Swizz Beatz, Drag-On, Eve, Styles P, Sheek Louch The Last Kiss

Film career

DMX in 2001
DMX in 2001

DMX made his film debut in Belly, a film featuring other rappers such as Nas and Method Man. Although DMX was not famous for his performances in films such as The Jamaican BobSled Team, he returned to the big screen with a supporting lead role with Aaliyah and Jet Li in “Romeo must die,” where he played SILK, a nightclub owner.

Shortly after his release from prison, DMX appeared in Steven Seagal’s action film Exit Wounds, being No. 1 at the box office and contributing to the soundtrack’s hit single “No Sunshine.” Following the success of this film, he signed a contract with Warner Bros. DMX worked again with Jet Li on Cradle 2 the Grave. The film was number 1 in March 2003 and the soundtrack debuted in the Top 10. The rapper also appeared in Never Die Alone, a film based on the book by novelist Donald Goines. Bely hit theaters in the winter 2006, again with DMX and Nas. In 2007 he acted in a thriller called Marble City and has made other films such as: Death Toll, Father of Lies, Lords of the Street, Last Hour.

On television, he has participated in Third Watch in the fifth season episode In the Lieu of Johnson giving life to a rapper, and even appears singing.

DMX nominations and awards

MTV Awards

  • MTV Awards 1999

Best Rap Video: Ruff Ryders Anthem (Nominated)

  • MTV Awards 2000

Best Rap Video: Party Up (Nominated)

  • MTV Awards 2001

Best Video from a Motion Picture: No Sunshine (Nominated)

  • MTV Awards 2002

Best Rap Video: Who We Be (Nominated)

  • MTV Awards 2002

Breakthrough Video: Who We Be (Nominated)

Grammy Awards

  • Grammy Awards 2001

Rapper of the Year: Party Up (Nominated)

  • Grammy Awards 2002

Rapper of the Year: Who We Be (Nominated)


DMX with Jay-Z and Ja Rule
DMX with Jay-Z and Ja Rule

Ja Rule & Jay-Z

DMX began as friends with Ja Rule, as well as Jay-Z. They were all part of a group that at the time was called Murder Inc. (a name later used by Ja Rule for a record label). DMX and Jay-Z were guests on Ja Rule’s first album “It’s Murda”. Shortly after the release of this first album, Ja Rule began a long-running feud with 50 Cent. DMX went to the side of 50 Cent, along with Dr. Dre, Eminem, G-Unit and Busta Rhymes.

Eventually, Ja Rule’s disputes with Busta Rhymes, Dr. Dre and Eminem ended. DMX with Ja Rule have also recently ended their feud in 2009 at VH1 Hip Hop Honors.

The Beef between DMX and Jay-Z is not over for the time being.

Kurupt by Tha Dogg Pound

DMX was starting its career, on the east coast they were beef against the west coast and vice versa, mainly between 2Pac and Notorious BIG. He was on the East Coast. Soon Kurupt of Tha Dogg Pound began lecturing to DMX for reasons of affairs with Foxy Brown. The dispute calmed down, but remains unresolved.

Criminal history

He was arrested several times in 2008 for possession of drugs, firearms, driving without a license and attempting to buy marijuana.

On July 2, 2008, DMX was arrested at Phoenix Airport after arriving from Miami on outstanding warrants and failing to appear in court. His bail was $1,075 for driving without a license and $10,000 for the previous drug charges.

Two weeks later, he was arrested at a shopping mall in Phoenix. He is suspected of giving a fake name and social security number to a hospital to leave without paying medical expenses. DMX is suspected of using a fake name, “Troy Jones,” and failing to pay a $7500 bill to Mayo Clinic’s Scottsdale in April. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said the DMX bond had not been established, and if he remains in the 4th Avenue jail he would be isolated from the rest of the inmates for his own safety. “They may not like their music,” he said. DMX was released on bail, although he had to appear in court, he was eventually sentenced to 90 days in jail on December 31, 2008.

He was released from prison on 22 May 2009, delayed by nearly two months due to alleged evidence of misconduct before an officer inside the prison.

He was re-imprisoned for a few months until 6 June 2010, when he was released.

On August 20, 2013, DMX was arrested again in South Carolina. The police say the 42-year-old artist, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was a passenger in a truck that was pulled over Tuesday night after making an illegal U-turn in Greer. Officer Jim Holcombe said officers arrested Simmons after learning he had an outstanding citation for driving on a suspended license. Police also found marijuana, and Simmons and the driver were charged with a simple charge of drug possession.

DMX discography

Studio albums

  • 1998: It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, #1 US (4x Platinum)
  • 1998: Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, #1 US (3x Platinum)
  • 1999: … And Then There Was X, #1 US (6x Platinum)
  • 2001: The Great Depression, #1 US (1x Platinum)
  • 2003: Grand Champ, #1 US (1x Platinum)
  • 2006: Year of the Dog… Again
  • 2012: Undisputed
  • 2015: Redemption of the Beast
  • 2021: Exodus 1:7


  • 2007: The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter
  • 2009: Playlist Your Way
  • 2010: The Best of DMX
  • 2011: Greatest Hits with a Twist
  • 2012: Icon


  • 2010: Mixtape


  • 2012: The Weigh In


Year Song List positions Album
U.S. Hot 100 U.S. R&B/Hip-Hop U.S. Rap UK Singles Chart
1998 “Stop Being Greedy” 79 45 8 It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot
1998 “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” 93 33 18 It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot
1998 “How’s It Goin’ Down” 70 19 It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot
1998 “Get at Me Dog” (featuring Sheek Louch)       It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot
1999 “What’s My Name?”       … And Then There Was X
2000 “What You Want”       … And Then There Was X
2000 “Party Up (Up in Here)”       … And Then There Was X
2000 “Do You”   Promo
2001 “Who We Be”   The Great Depression
2001 “We Right Here”   The Great Depression
2001 “No Sunshine”   Exit Wounds
2002 “I Miss You” (with Faith Evans)   The Great Depression
2003 “Go to Sleep” (featuring Eminem & Obie Trice)       Cradle to the Grave OST
2003 “X gon’ give it to ya”       Cradle 2 the Grave BSO
2003 “Where the Hood At?”         Grand Champ
2003 “Get It on the Floor” (featuring Swizz Beatz)         Grand Champ
2006 “We in Here” (featuring Swizz Beatz)         Year of the Dog… Again
2006 “Lord Give Me a Sign”         Year of the Dog… Again
2011 “Last Hope”         The Weigh In
2013 “I Don’t Dance” (featuring MGK)         Undisputed

References (sources)