American rapper, DMX, remains a guaranteed rap icon and one of the biggest-selling rappers of all time with a long list of hits to his credit. His hard-hitting bars and beats were a big part of 90s music, and he is not likely to be forgotten anytime soon. After being away from the music scene for several years, in late 2019, he announced a come back in a new deal with Def Jam Records, the same label he debuted and made history with twenty years ago and this has got his fans very excited.
Besides rapping, DMX also ventured into acting, and through both streams of artistry, he made quite a name for himself.
DMX Had A Tough And Disjointed Childhood
When DMX was born in Mount Vernon, New York on the 18th of December 1970 he was given the name Earl Simmons. His parents, Arnett Simmons and Joe Barker, then raised their son in Yonkers, New York. DMX sustained physical abuse throughout his childhood; his mother and her many boyfriends hit him so hard that he lost his teeth and sustained numerous bruises and cuts despite his family’s deep religious background. He was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness.
By the age of 14, he was wandering the streets of Yonkers to escape his mother’s beatings and maltreatment. He soon became a drug addict and got into so much trouble with the law.
He Found Solace In Music
DMX got into music as a means to deal with he was going through at the time, as he rapped about everything including all that he had been through. While he began rapping early on, the beginnings of his career can be traced to 1984, when he began beatboxing for the local rapper – Ready Ron. He later began producing and selling his mixtapes on street corners by 1988. In 1991, a feature article about him was written by Gabriel Grenvenstuk for The Source Magazine. Grenvenstuk had been writing an Unsigned Hype Column where he would praise and highlight unsigned hip-hop artists that he considered good. Following the little publicity that the feature offered him, DMX recorded his first demos that same year. The demos were named Unstoppable Force and Three Little Pigs.
He got his stage name from an instrument – the Oberheim DMX drum machine – which he used quite well in the 1980s to help make his music. The meaning of DMX, however, later evolved on to mean “Dark Man X”. Dark Man X continued to move up in his career when in 1992 he was signed by Ruffhouse, which was a subsidiary label for Colombia Records. He released a debut single titled Born Loser, but it was unable to gather much airplay. After a while, the label agreed to release the rapper from his contract, however, it was not the end of DMX’s grind.
In 1994, he released a second single titled Make a Move and also rapped alongside Ja Rule, Jay Z, and Mic Geronimo on the track Time To Build.
In 1997, LL Cool J also gave DMX a verse on his 4, 3, 2, 1 song. In fact, DMX had quite a number of collaborations that were no doubt helpful to his career.
In 1998, DMX finally got signed to Def Jam Recordings and released a major-label single titled Get at me Dog. The single, which showed the magic of having the backing of a major label, went on to get certified Gold by the RIAA. His first album released with the label was It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, which included classics such as Ruff Ryders Anthem. It was released in May 1998 and managed to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S. It sold over five million copies.
His best selling album was, however, released a year later. Titled … And Then There Was X, it gave the audience hits such as Party Up (Up in Here).
To date, the rapper has released seven studio albums, but beyond the music, he has also appeared in films such as Romeo Must Die (2000), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003) and Last Hour (2008). He was a part of the reality TV series DMX: Soul of a Man which primarily aired on BET in 2006. He also published a book in 2003 that he titled E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX.
DMX Has Been In And Out Of Prisons
Following abandonment by his parents, he went to many group homes and was subject to many arrests. As a result, the rapper is not new to prisons and correctional facilities; in fact, DMX has been in and out of jail thirty times so far, but for different reasons. His prison experience began early as a result of his tough childhood. His first arrest was at the age of ten and since then, he has had numerous run-ins with the law.
While serving ninety days in jail in 2010, DMX claimed that he had a purpose, which was to meet someone and give them a message that Jesus loves them. He has always held tight to his Christian faith and so since leaving jail, he has had his eyes set on becoming a minister. He is a transitional deacon in the Christian Church still looking to become an ordained pastor after stating that he received his call to ministry in 2012. However, his ministry dreams were again interrupted by jail time when he was again sentenced, this time to one year in jail, for tax fraud. He was sentenced after pleading guilty to tax evasion the year before (2017). He got released in 2019 and is planning to get back into music.
His Big Come Back And Return To The Music Industry
DMX is currently making his way back to the music scene and according to the rapper, it will be a big come back. The rapper made the announcement in 2019 after being away from the music scene for several years. He revealed he will be making the new deal with Def Jam Records, the same label he debuted and made history with twenty years ago. The rapper recently went head-to-head with another legendary rapper, Snoop Dogg, on Verzuz’s “Battle of the Dogs” on July 20th, 2020.
Verzuz was created by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland in March 2020 amid the COVID-19 lockdown and it became a hugely popular live-stream series. The series, which is streamed live on Instagram and Apple Music, has featured Jagged Edge v. 112, Jill Scott vs. Erykah Badu, Ludacris v. Nelly, Lil Jon vs. T-Pain, Babyface v. Teddy Riley, Alicia Keys v. John Legend, and Beenie Man v. Bounty Killer.
DMX Has A Nest Full Of Children
Despite being married and divorced only once, the rapper has many children; fifteen of them actually. His eleven years of marriage with Tashera Simmons (1999-2010) produced four children. The rest, DMX had others with other women. His fifteenth child, Exodus Simmons came as recent as 2016 with girlfriend Desiree Lindstrom.
He has run at least two DNA tests to certain the paternity of two of his children. Although not much is known about all of his children, some of them include Shawn Simmons, Praise Mary Ella Simmons, Tacoma, and Xavier Simmons.
In 2013, he filed for bankruptcy in citing child support obligations in his claim. This was rejected by the Department of Justice’s bankruptcy watchdog trustee program and later dismissed by the Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.
What Is His Current Net Worth After Filing For Bankruptcy?
DMX’s net worth, which was in the negative a few years back, is beginning to pick up again. Following his bankruptcy filing in 2013, citing child support obligations, it is a bit difficult ascertaining how much the rapper is currently worth. His debt, which ran into millions of dollars, hindered the rapper from making a significant income from his overseas fanbase as he is unable to travel anywhere outside the country to perform since he cannot get a passport, thus his net worth is currently under review.