It has been reported that rapper DMX (real name Earl Simmons) has died at age 50 of complications from an alleged drug overdose. Bleacher Report was one of the first to confirm the rapper’s death, after days of confusion over the rapper’s status. DMX was hospitalized on April 2 in New York, with numerous celebrities paying tribute to him, such as NBA superstar LeBron James, NFL star Julian Edelman, and fellow musicians such as Chance the Rapper and Missy Elliott.
DMX was born in Mount Vernon, New York on December 18, 1970, and underwent a rough childhood. His father left the family and he suffered abuse from his mother and her various boyfriends. DMX wandered the streets to escape his mother’s abuse and eventually met others over their shared interest in hip-hop music. He would also spend time in and out of prison in his youth before producing and selling his own mixtapes in the mid-to-late 1980s. DMX had also admitted to being addicted to crack cocaine during this time period and also claimed to have bipolar disorder.
In 1998, DMX released the album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, which debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and sold over five million copies. The album included the single “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” which became one of his best-known songs. Later that year, DMX released the album Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, which also debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and went quadruple platinum. In December 1999, he released …And Then There Was X, which also went number one on the Billboard 200. The singles “Party Up” and “What’s My Name?” were major hits from this album. …And Then There Was X went platinum six times.
While legal issues started to dominate DMX’s life in the 2000s, he continued to release albums that topped or nearly topped the Billboard 200 such as The Great Depression (2001), Grand Champ (2003) (which also made him the only artist in history to release five albums that debuted at number one), and Year of the Dog…Again (2006), which barely missed the top spot by a few hundred copies. During this time, DMX had also pursued a career as a preacher, having studied the Bible while in and out of prison in the 2000s. Unfortunately, during the 2010s, more legal issues began to overshadow his music career, including a stint in jail for federal tax evasion from 2017 to 2019.
DMX is survived by his 15 children from various mothers. We will miss DMX and his contributions to the hip-hop industry. May he rest in peace.