Rap legend DMX was born Earl Simmons in Mount Vernon, New York, on December 18, 1970.
During a childhood filled with challenges, he grew up in group homes in New York City.
Hip hop provided him with an outlet and he donned the name DMX from the digital drum machine, All Music reported.
His rap name has also been reinterpreted to mean “Dark Man X.”
The icon began to rise to fame in the rap battle scene before being signed to Ruffhouse, where he released his debut single, Born Loser.
He was released from his contract with the label and was convicted of drug possession in 1994.
In 1997, he earned a deal with Def Jam Recordings.
His debut album It’s Dark and Hell is Hot was number one on the pop charts and earned him comparisons to 2Pac. By the end of 1998, he completed his second album, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of my Blood.
After releasing this album, he hit the road with multiple artists, including Jay-Z and Method Man.
DMX released…And Then There Was X in 1999, his third straight album to debut at number one.
His fourth album, The Great Depression, released in 2001, also debuted at number one.
In 2002, he published a memoir titled E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX.
Aside from his music career, DMX appeared in multiple movies included Cradle 2 the Grave, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, Never Die Alone, Beyond the Law and Belly.
The rapper’s journey with drug addiction began when he was just 14 years old, Billboard reported. He revealed that his mentor gave him a crack-laced blunt without telling him.
He sought treatment for substance abuse several times, including in 2017 when he canceled multiple concerts to return to rehab.
Last week, he was rushed to a hospital in White Plains, New York, after a drug overdose that triggered a heart attack.
He was in critical condition for multiple days before his family announced his death.
On April 9, 2021, he died at the age of 50.
His legendary career had an outstanding impact on music, film and the Black community.
Def Jam Recordings released a statement about his passing.
Def Jam Recordings and the extended Def Jam family of artists, executives and employees are deeply and profoundly saddened by the loss of our brother Earl “DMX” Simmons. DMX was a brilliant artist and an inspiration to millions around the world. His message of triumph over struggle, his search for the light out of darkness, his pursuit of truth and grace brought us closer to our own humanity. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who loved him and were touched by him. DMX was nothing less than a giant. His legend will live on forever.
Radio show host Big Tigger joined BNC to talk about DMX’s impact on the world of hip hop and entertainment.
He said, “DMX MX left an indelible print on the world of hip hip.”
Many also expressed their grief and highlighted joyous moments from the rapper’s life on social media.
— Rex Chapman?? (@RexChapman) April 9, 2021
RIP DMX. No one radiated more agony, pain, and atomic energy. The Cerberus from Yonkers, who suffered for all of our sins and his own. Maybe the rawest rapper of all-time, no pretense or frills, just pure adrenaline, lawless genius, and reckless abandon. The struggle incarnate. pic.twitter.com/P80t1GQHEa
— Otto Von Biz Markie (@Passionweiss) April 9, 2021
DMX dancing & singing to Lisa Lisa’s “I Wonder If I Take You Home” is quite possibly my favorite video of X because of just how much joy he has pic.twitter.com/uhedRIU1gf
— Talia (@ESOTERICTalia) April 9, 2021
Man… R.I.P. DMX. ??
Was hoping he’d pull through, but when it’s your time, it’s your time.
Thanks for the decades of powerful, motivational music.
Set a lot of gym PRs to this man’s songs. And I know I’m not the only one.
— ZUBY: (@ZubyMusic) April 9, 2021