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Birth name Earl Simmons
Origin Yonkers, New York, United States
Genres Hip hop
Occupations Rapper, actor
Years active 1991 – Present
Labels Ruff Ryders Entertainment, Bodog Music, Bloodline Records
Associated acts Ruff Ryders, Swizz Beatz, Drag-On, Sheek Louch, Styles P, Jadakiss, Eve, Aaliyah, Busta Rhymes, Nas

Earl Simmons (born December 18, 1970), better known by his stage name DMX, is an American entertainer, who rose to fame in the late 1990s. His stage name stands for Dark Man X, the name he used when he first started rapping in 1990. To date, his best-selling album was his 1999 album And Then There Was X, which featured the hit single "Party Up (Up in Here)". As an actor, he also starred in the films Belly, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 The Grave, Romeo Must Die and Last Hour, and his own reality television series Soul of a Man on the American cable television network BET. In 2002, DMX wrote an autobiographical book titled E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX. He also has an extensive arrest record.[1] He has sold over 28 million albums worldwide.

Early life[edit]

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, DMX relocated early in his childhood with some family members to Yonkers, a city just north of New York City. He spent much time on the streets committing crime. However, he considered hip hop to be an escape from his hard times, as he enjoyed beatboxing, turntablism, and eventually rapping. As a teenager, Simmons was diagnosed with bipolar disorder.[2] and spent much of his adolescence in and out of jail.

Music career[edit]

In 1991, Benjamin Saleznow from The Source magazine praised him in his "Unsigned Hype" column that highlighted unsigned hip-hop artists. Later, he was signed to the Columbia Records subsidiary Ruffhouse in 1992; under that label he released his debut single "Born Loser", which did not get much airplay. However, Ruffhouse promoted many other artists on its roster rather than DMX and so agreed to release him from his contract eventually. In 1994, he released a second single, "Make a Move", followed by a guest spot on Mic Geranimo's "Time To Build" along with a young Jay-Z and Ja Rule.[1]

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 Mase's "24 Hours to Live" and "Take What's Yours", and The LOX's "Money, Power & Respect" created an even stronger buzz.[1]

It's Dark and Hell Is Hot (1998)[edit]

In early 1998, he released his debut major-label single under Def Jam Recordings, "Get At Me Dog", which was certified gold by the RIAA. His first major-label album It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, which included the single Ruff Ryders Anthem, was released in May 1998 and debuted on the top spot on the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S. It earned Simmons numerous comparisons to Tupac Shakur and sold over four million copies. Soon after the release of the album, DMX was nearly imprisoned for allegedly raping a stripper in the Bronx but was cleared by DNA evidence.[1]

Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood (1998)[edit]

Later that year, DMX released his second album. It entered the charts at number one (and stayed there for 3 consecutive weeks) with 670,000 units shipped in the first week alone. The album eventually went 3x platinum. DMX was the second rapper to have two albums released in the same year debut at number one on Billboard's Top 200, the first being Tupac Shakur.

...And Then There Was X (1999)[edit]

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, and became his first Top Ten hit on the R&B charts. His lead single off the album, "What's My Name?" (containing the piano prelude from Richard Addinsell's Warsaw Concerto), 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.[clarification needed]

The Great Depression (2001)[edit]

After improving his legal situation, 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 the top of the Billboard 200.[1] With hits such as Who We Be and We Right Here and the street track Short Was The Bomb, The Great Depression got platinum quickly, but was not as commercially or critically successful as its previous.[1]

Grand Champ (2003)[edit]

Main article: Grand Champ

In 2003, Grand Champ became his fifth straight album to debut at number one. This made DMX the only artist in history to have 5 albums (and his entire album catalog) debut at #1. After its release, he informed the public that he planned to retire, and that Grand Champ would be his final album.[3] In June 2003, DMX was arrested for using indecent language during a performance at Saint Kitts and Nevis. The country's Information Minister alleged that a contract signed before the concert stipulated the show would be without indecent language on stage. Simmons was released on bail ($376).[4]

Year of the Dog...Again (2006)[edit]

On January 13, 2006, DMX signed to Columbia Records, the label that released his early single "Born Loser".[5] DMX recorded his next album while switching record labels, causing numerous delays. The album 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. He also appeared on a remix of Busta Rhymes' "Touch It". Two more singles, "Lord Give Me A Sign" and "We In Here", followed. The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter was DMX's greatest hits album, released on June 12, 2007.

Walk With Me Now and You'll Fly With Me Later (2009)[edit]

DMX recently signed to Bodog Music to release his two next albums (on the same day), Walk with Me Now and You'll Fly with Me Later[6] Originally due out on October 14, 2008, this was pushed back. It's expected to be released Summer of 2009. X also has a Gospel album in post-production and is planning to release this back-to-back with his new rap albums in late 2009, or early 2010 depending on his release from incarceration.

Acting career[edit]

He has 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.[7] He has finished filming another action thriller called Last Hour which should see a release at the end of 2008. He also had a reality show on BET called DMX: Soul of a Man. He will also star in the 2009 Beast, the sequel to Belly. He has finished shooting an upcoming film with Kris Kristofferson titled Lords of the Street, the release date has yet to be set. He can be seen starring alongside Clifton Powell & Vivica A. Fox in a film titled Father of Lies. In 2003 he starred in a movie called Cradle 2 the Grave, as a criminal father trying to save his daughter. In 2001 he starred in Exit Wounds as a thug Latrell Walker who uncovered a team of crooked cops along with Steven Seagal who was transfered to the roughest division in Detroit, division 15.

Mixed Martial Arts career[edit]

According to MTV news, DMX wasscheduled for an MMA fight against a manager of his in December2009.[8] Allegedly due to a deal to rig the match in DMX's favor fallingthrough, the rapper withdrew from the fight and was to be replaced byCoolio. Neither DMX nor Coolio ever fought, and a suit for 1million dollars was filed against DMX for theincident.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Criminal record[edit]

Since beginning public life as a rapper, DMX has made headlines for multiple arrests, such as for animal cruelty,[10] reckless driving,[11] unlicensed driving, drug possession,[12] and identity falsification.[13] In 1999 officers from the Fort Lee Police Department executed a search of his home, which led to Earl Simmons aka DMX surrendering himself the next day on weapons charges.[14] He has served some prison time, such as a 15-day sentence in 2000 for possession of marijuana [15] and another in 2001 for driving without a license and possession marijuana. His appeal to reduce the 2001 sentence was denied, and he was charged with assault for allegedly throwing objects at prison guards.[1]

In June 2004, he was arrested at the John F. Kennedy International Airport on charges of cocaine possession, criminal impersonation, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief, menacing, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while claiming to be a federal agent and attempting to carjack a vehicle.[16] He was given a conditional discharge on December 8, 2004 but pled guilty on October 25, 2005 to violating parole.[17]

On November 18, 2005, DMX was sentenced to 70 days in jail for violating his parole; the lateness charge caused a 10-day extension from the original 60-day plan.[18] For good behavior, DMX was released from jail early on December 30.[19]

In August 2007, Arizona deputies launched an animal cruelty investigation that concluded in the summer of 2008 when deputies found 12 malnourished dogs, three dogs buried, drugs and a cache of weapons at Simmons' home near Cave Creek, AZ.[20]

In May 2008. DMX was cited for going 114 mph on the Loop 101 in Arizona.[21]

As of December 31, 2008, DMX has pleaded guilty to charges of drug possession, theft and animal cruelty and was sentenced to 90 days.[22][23] On Feb 22, 2009, while serving his sentence, Simmons was re-booked for aggravated assault after allegedly throwing a dinner tray at a corrections officer and refusing to attend work assignments.[21] If convicted of the assault, he could face a longer sentence in addition to having his probation revoked.[24]

Pastoral Ministry[edit]

In 2003, DMX claimed he would stop rapping to pursue preaching. Many criticized his beliefs since many of his albums use vulgarity, violence and racial slurs. According to many sources such as MTV, he semi-retired to study the Bible more, in an effort to give messages behind the pulpit, but has since decided to return to rap after being encouraged by Mase to wait for God's calling to do so.[25]


Main article: DMX discography


Year Title Role Notes and Awards
1998 Belly Tommy 'Buns' Bundy
2000 Romeo Must Die Silk
Backstage Himself Documentary of the Hard Knock Life tour
2001 Exit Wounds Latrell Walker MTV Movie Award for Breakthrough Male Performance[27]
2003 Cradle 2 the Grave Anthony Fait
2004 Never Die Alone King David
2007 Father of Lies Paul
2008 Death Toll The Dog
Lords of the Street Thorn
Last Hour Black Jack
2009 The Bleeding Tagg
2006 DMX: Soul of a Man Himself Reality television series
Video Games
2003 Def Jam Vendetta Himself Voice

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Huey, Steve (2007-06-12). "DMX - Biography". Retrieved 2008-05-18. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Simon, Bruce (2003-03-10). "DMX Flirting With Retirement". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 2008-07-29. 
  4. ^ "Rapper DMX arrested for swearing". BBC News. 2003-06-29. 
  5. ^ Reid, Shaheem (2006-01-13). "DMX Signs With Columbia, Will Release Long-Delayed LP This Spring". MTV News. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  6. ^ DMX Preps New Album. Hip Hop Galaxy. Accessed December 21, 2007.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^ "DMX Arrested For Animal Cruelty". MTV UK. 2007-05-13. 
  11. ^ Dansby, Jaan; Uhelszki (2000-03-24). "Warrant Issued for DMX's Arrest". Rolling Stone. 
  12. ^, DMX Arrested, Again
  13. ^ DMX said "fuck the Dodgers" in court
  14. ^ "METRO NEWS BRIEFS: NEW JERSEY; Rap Performer Charged With Weapon Possession". New York Times. July 2, 1999. Retrieved 2008-11-13. 
  15. ^ Vineyard, Jennifer (2000-05-05). "DMX Nabbed for Weed...Again". Rolling Stone. 
  16. ^ Singer DMX charged with impersonating FBI agent
  17. ^ Harris, Chris (2005-10-25). "DMX Pleads Guilty, Will Likely Spend 40 Days In Prison". MTV News. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  18. ^ Tecson, Brandee J.; Harris, Chris (2005-11-18). "DMX Sentenced To 70 Days Behind Bars". MTV News. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  19. ^ Moss, Corey (2006-01-06). "DMX Released From Prison Early For Good Behavior". MTV News. Retrieved 2008-09-05. 
  20. ^ JJ Hensley (February 25, 2009). "DMX rebooked in Tent City after dispute with officer". (The Arizona Republic). Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^ "DMX Reportedly Attacks Police Officer While In Prison, Could Face Eight More Years". idiomag. 2009-02-26. Retrieved 2009-03-04. 
  25. ^ Reid, Shaheem (May 25, 2005). "DMX Released From Prison Early For Good Behavior". MTV News (MTV). Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  26. ^ Jokesta (February 1, 2008). "Ruff Ryders Reunite, New Album On The Way". Retrieved April 28, 2009. 
  27. ^ Susman, Gary (2002-04-24). "Popcorn Fair". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2009-11-29. 

External links[edit]

See also (for article building)[edit]

Usable references[edit]


  • 2008-03-14 - XXL -> Double album/Gospel, politics
  • 2004-03-24 - -> Film: 'Never Die Alone', family life + Bloodline Films [p2], finding grandfather + music industry [p3], film career (acting/producing/future) [p4]

Search Results[edit]

{{Persondata <!-- Metadata: see [[Wikipedia:Persondata]]. --> | NAME = | ALTERNATIVE NAMES = | SHORT DESCRIPTION = | DATE OF BIRTH = December 18, 1970 | PLACE OF BIRTH = | DATE OF DEATH = | PLACE OF DEATH = }}