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Earl Simmons (born on December 18, 1970), better known by his stage name, DMX, is an American rapper and actor who rose to popularity in the late-1990s. He was voted on MTV top 20 greatest rappers of all time.

Early life

Earl Simmons was born in Baltimore,Maryland, the second of five children. His father left the family when he was young. Simmons grew up in the Housing Projects On School St, in Yonkers, New York. He began rapping around the age of 13,. A local rapper eventually asked Simmons to beatbox for him. Simmons took the professional name DMX, after the Oberheim DMX, an early drum machine. He later adapted the name to mean "Dark Man X". He honed his skills during a stint at a group home. As a teenager, Simmons was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He spent much of his adolescence and early adulthood in and out of jail.

Music career

Simmons was first signed to Columbia Records in 1992. He released one single, "Born Loser", which did not get much airplay. He was soon dropped from the label. He linked up with Pete McCormick Schaub, an A&R for Small Island Records. Eventually, he signed a management deal with Ruff Ryders. They negotiated deals with both Bad Boy and Death Row Records, but he eventually landed at Def Jam. He is currently at Sony BMG, and released his first of three albums, Year of the Dog...Again on August 1, 2006. Rumors also arose that he had signed with 50 Cent's G-Unit Records, but those were dismissed in a public news conference. After signing for Sony BMG, Simmons admitted that he was close to signing with Full Surface, which was founded by close friend and Ruff Ryders president Swizz Beatz. Simmons has started his own label, Bloodline records. He has also expressed wanting to work with G Unit and eventually become a part of their record label. Due to contract and other reasons he could not join G Unit.

It's Dark and Hell Is Hot

In 1997, Simmons earned a second major-label shot with Def Jam, and made a successful guest appearance on LL Cool J's "4, 3, 2, 1." Additional guest spots on Ma$e's "24 Hours to Live" and The LOX's "Money, Power & Respect" created an even stronger buzz. In early 1998, he released his debut Def Jam single, "Get At Me Dog". The song went gold.

It's Dark and Hell Is Hot earned Simmons numerous comparisons to Tupac Shakur for his presence on the mic. The album sold over four million copies.

Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood

Simmons completed his second album before the end of 1998, and a pending buyout of Def Jam pushed the record into stores on December 15. Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood entered the charts at number one (670,000 sold in its first week) and eventually went triple platinum according to RIAA. The single "Slippin'" became his first chart hit in the UK.

Simmons hit the road with Jay-Z, Method Man and Redman on the blockbuster Hard Knock Life tour the following year. He had a song called "Jack Moves" with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, but the song did not appear on the album.

...And Then There Was X

Simmons released his third album, ...And Then There Was X, on December 21, 1999. It debuted at number one on the pop charts, his third straight album to do so. "Party Up" was his biggest single since "Get at Me Dog", and became his first Top Ten hit on the R&B charts. His lead single off the album, "What's My Name?", and third single "What These Bitches Want" (featuring Sisqo) were also popular. ...And Then There Was X is Simmons' best-selling album to date, going six times platinum. Def Jam urged him to release the tracks within a month. The album sold 698,000 copies in its first week.

The Great Depression

After resolving his legal problems, Simmons returned to the studio and completed his fourth album, The Great Depression. Released October 3, 2001, it was his fourth straight album to debut at number one. The Great Depression went platinum quickly, but was not as commercially or critically successful as its predecessors.

Grand Champ

In 2003, Simmons released Grand Champ, his fifth straight album to debut at number one. After its release, he informed the public that he planned to retire, and that Grand Champ would be his final album. He later ended his brief retirement and announced his plans to record another album.

Year of the Dog...Again

Simmons recorded his next album while switching record labels, causing numerous delays. It was finally released on August 1, 2006 under the title Year of the Dog...Again. It missed the number one spot in the charts by only a few thousand sales. When Simmons switched to Sony, Def Jam allowed him to keep all of the tracks he had created for the album. It was reported that most of the tracks were being reworked, with updated production, but the reworked album has also been leaked. Simmons has appeared on a remix of Busta Rhymes' "Touch It". He has also released two more singles, "Lord Give Me A Sign" and "We In Here", which are included in Year of the Dog...Again.

The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter

The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter was rumored to be the 7th solo album by DMX (Earl Simmons) but instead it is a greatest hits album signed under Def Jam records. Def Jam still owns the rights to every DMX song with the exception of the songs on his Year Of The Dog... Again album.

Still after a few months of a no show, DMX still has no media updates on the internet nor does he have any news listed about his next albums (Definition of X) and (The Resurrection Of Hip-Hop). The Definition of X was released on June 12, 2007.

The Resurrection Of Hip-Hop

DMX has confirmed he has begun working on this album. It is confirmed to feature Nas, Eminem, Busta Rhymes, Swizz Beatz, Styles P, Drag-On, Big Stan, Sheek Louch, Ludacris, 50 Cent, The "real artists" of Hip-Hop. He has stated he wants to keep this as close as he can to his old style. During an interview with XXL magazine he said "I feel like hip-hop has had a major change and gone through many stages. I feel like its finally coming back in a full circle where it all began, where I began."

Acting career

Simmons made his film debut in Belly, co-starring fellow rappers Method Man and Nas. He returned to the big screen with a minor supporting role with close friend Aaliyah and actor Jet Li in Romeo Must Die. Soon after DMX's release from jail, he starred in the Steven Seagal action film Exit Wounds, which opened at number one at the box office. He contributed the hit single "No Sunshine" (based on a rework of the Bill Withers classic) to the soundtrack. He signed a multi-picture deal with Warner Bros. in the wake of the film's success. He worked with Jet Li again in Cradle 2 the Grave, which opened at number one upon its release in March 2003. He contributed several compositions to the soundtrack, which debuted in the Top Ten with hits such as "X Gon' Give It To Ya" and "Right/Wrong."

He also starred in Never Die Alone, which was based on street novelist Donald Goines' book. He is also set to star in three upcoming films. He was set to star in Marble City, but was replaced by Ving Rhames. He has finished filming another action thriller called Last Hour which should see a release at the end of 2007. He also has a reality show on BET called DMX: Soul of a Man. He will also star in the 2007 Beast, the sequel to Belly.

Criminal history

In 1994, he was convicted of drug possession, the biggest offense of several on his record.

In May 1998, he was accused of raping a woman in the Bronx but was later cleared by DNA evidence.

In 1999, during a blockbuster 'Hard Knock Life' tour stop in Denver, a warrant for his arrest was issued in connection with a stabbing and shooting of his mother, 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 and stabbed her in the neck (the charges were once again dropped). More serious charges were brought that summer when Earl's uncle/manager was accidentally shot in the neck at a New Jersey hotel. Police later raided Earl'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 March 2000, he was arrested for aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle, speeding, failure to signal, driving without a license, failure to notify the DMV of an address change, and possession of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and percocet while driving on New York State Route 33 in Cheektowaga, New York, following a concert in Buffalo, New York. He was then scheduled to appear in Cheektowaga Town Court on March 21, but failed to appear, resulting in a warrant being issued for his arrest. He later turned himself in, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of driving without a license and was sentenced to 15 days in jail and fined $400. He was also charged with marijuana possession, after turning himself in, when authorities found marijuana in a pack of his cigarettes; he was fined an additional $250.

In June 2003, he was arrested for using indecent language during a performance at St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean. The country's Information Minister alleged that a contract signed before the concert stipulated the show would be with out indecent language on stage. Earl was released on bail. ($376)

In June 2004, Earl and a friend were arrested in the parking lot of Kennedy Airport in New York for allegedly attempting to steal a car and impersonating a federal agent. Police questioned Simmons, who claimed to be a "special agent." However, agents were aware of his status as an entertainer and not an agent. Earl was taken to central lockup in Queens and held on charges of attempted robbery, criminal impersonation and criminal mischief. He pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment in December (gutted for him) and was sentenced to a conditional discharge. His driver's license was suspended for the incident and he had to forfeit his 1998 Ford Expedition.

In April 2005, Earl was arrested in The Bronx for driving with a suspended license after his car crashed into a police cruiser.

In October 2005, Earl was sentenced to 60 days in prison after pleading guilty to two traffic violations while his license was suspended, one being the incident in April and the other involving driving his car at 104 miles per hour near his Westchester home on Interstate 684.

In May 2006, Earl was arrested at a London airport for causing a disturbance after he refused to put on a seat belt and became abusive on a flight from New York to London. He was released with a caution.

On February 2, 2007 Earl was arrested for driving on an expired license charge, and scheduled an appearance in a Yonkers courtroom on March 6, 2007 on that and other minor infractions.

On (May 26) (2007) Earl was arrested for assaulting a man and leaving him in hospital whilst under the influence of cannabis. He had to appear in court on (June 2) after his week on bail and he was sentenced to 500 hours comunity service and a $50, 000 fine.

Earl mentions his criminal attorney, Murray Richman, also known as "Don't Worry Murray", in E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX.


DMX has had several outstanding issues with other artists in his career, some low-profile and some played out with help from the media and radio.

  • DMX claims to have defeated Andre the Giant (of the duo and fellow Bronx rapper Lord Finesse (also of D.I.T.C.) in a freestyle battle at the same time in his autobiography E.A.R.L.
  • K-Solo, of EPMD's Hit Squad, was a rapper DMX battled in jail. When Solo was released, he had a respectable hit song wherein he used the "spellbound" style DMX claims to have invented. DMX responded in 1998, on It's Dark and Hell is Hot. Solo did not reply until 2001. However, in a recent interview, DMX challenged the rapper (who is also a smalltime boxer) to a fight.

A scene in the documentary Beef had K-Solo taking a polygraph (lie detector) test answering questions about the "spellbound" song which K-Solo claims DMX stole from him, and K-Solo failed when asked, "Did DMX create any of the lyrics for Spellbound?"

  • Kurupt, of the Dogg Pound, accused DMX of sleeping with Foxy Brown. The beef was squashed at the encouragement of Snoop Dogg.
  • Eminem and DMX were rumored to have sent subliminal messages to each other on a freestyle song and DMX's 1999 hit "Party Up (Up in Here)" respectively. The two rappers later teamed up to record a track belittling Ja Rule called "Go To Sleep" with Obie Trice included on the Cradle 2 the Grave soundtrack.
  • The LOX and DMX allegedly had some problems stemming from their time living in Yonkers that was talked out in 2004. It is rumored a line on the song "Trina Moe", from The Great Depression, was aimed at the trio. However in the same "recent interview" which saw DMX reigniting the beef with K-Solo, the artist also gave a shout out to LOX and suggested that they collaborate on future work. Leaked versions of the upcoming DMX album are noted for featuring at least two tracks with prominent D-Block artists Jadakiss and Styles P.
  • Contrary to popular belief, DMX and Jay-Z were never on the Murder Inc. record label. Murder Inc. was originally supposed to be a band, rather than a label, with Jay-Z, DMX, and Ja Rule as members. DMX accused former cohort Ja Rule of getting rich from his style, teaming up with Eminem, 50 Cent, and others to diss the label. Irv Gotti managed to get DMX to squash the feud with Ja Rule in 2006.
  • DMX and Jay-Z have begun to form a feud after X left Def Jam for Sony/Columbia at which point DMX says that they are both too big and that he can't work under him. When DMX was asked why he made the sudden change, he said "I can't work under him (speaking of Jay-Z) anymore. I have nothing against the label itself, I just can't work under him." DMX has also accused Jay-Z of being a poor Def Jam President and has thrown a shot at Jay-Z "We In Here." He has shown support to Cam'Ron in his feud with Jay-Z on Funkmaster Flex's radio show on Hot 97, which has caused Jay to throw a line aimed at X in his album Kingdom Come.
  • Crooked I sent a diss track after DMX dissed the West Coast, Crooked I responding with insults about DMX being a crackhead. Xzibit has now joined the beef backing Crooked I and it is rumoured that DMX will diss both artists in his new album on a track titled "Pimp You In The Head".


Main article: DMX discography

Solo Albums

  • 1998: It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
  • 1998: Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood
  • 1999: ...And Then There Was X
  • 2001: The Great Depression
  • 2003: Grand Champ
  • 2006: Year of the Dog...Again
  • 2008: The Resurrection Of Hip-Hop


  • 2007: The Definition of X: The Pick of The Litter