Earl Simmons known by the stage name DMX (“Dark Man X”) was born on December 18, 1970. Earl Simmons was born in Mount Vernon, New York, the son of 19-year-old Arnett Simmons and 18-year-old Joe Barker. Earl was Simmons’ second child; she had given birth to a daughter, Bonita, two years prior, and later gave birth to one daughter, Shayla, and two sons. His father, Barker, was an artist who painted watercolor paintings of street scenes to sell at local fairs. Barker moved to Philadelphia and was largely absent from his life.
CAREER AND MUSIC
DMX was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. He began rapping in the early 1990s and released his debut album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot in 1998, to both critical acclaim and commercial success, selling 251,000 copies within its first week of release. American rapper DMX released eight studio albums, five compilation albums, one mixtape, two extended plays (EP). His studio albums includes,
It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot (1998), Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood (1998), … And Then There Was X (1999), The Great, Depression (2001), Grand Champ (2003), Year of the Dog… Again (2006), Undisputed (2012), Redemption of the Beast (2015).
Following the deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., DMX took over as the undisputed reigning king of hardcore rap. He was that rare commodity: a commercial powerhouse with artistic and street credibility to spare. His rapid ascent to stardom was actually almost a decade in the making, which gave him a chance to develop the theatrical image that made him one of rap’s most distinctive personalities during his heyday.
Everything about DMX was unremittingly intense, from his muscular, tattooed physique to his gruff, barking delivery, which was a perfect match for his trademark lyrical obsession with dogs. Plus, there was substance behind the style; much of his work was tied together by a fascination with the split between the sacred and the profane. He could move from spiritual anguish one minute to a narrative about the sins of the streets the next, yet keep it all part of the same complex character, sort of like a hip-hop Johnny Cash. The results were compelling enough to make DMX the first artist ever to have his first four albums enter the charts at number one.
He released his best-selling album, … ‘And Then There Was X’, in 1999, which included the hit single “Party Up (Up in Here)”. His 2003 singles “Where the Hood At?” and “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” were also commercially successful.
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DMX was featured in films such as Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 the Grave, and Last Hour. In 2006, he starred in the reality television series DMX: Soul of a Man, which was primarily aired on the BET cable television network. In 2003, he published a book of his memoirs entitled, E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX.
DMX was a Christian, and stated that he read the Bible every day. While in jail, DMX stated that he had a purpose for being there: “I came here to meet somebody…Don’t know who it was, but I’ll know when I see him. And I came here to give him a message. And that message is Jesus loves them.” DMX was a transitional deacon in the Christian Church and aspired to become ordained as a pastor, stating that he received this call in 2009.
RELATIONSHIP AND CHILDREN
DMX was the father of 15 children from 9 different women. He married his childhood friend Tashera Simmons in 1999 and they were married for 11 years. They had four children together: Xavier (born 1993), Tacoma (born 2000), Sean (born 2003), and Praise Mary Ella (born 2005). In July 2010, after his first of three incarcerations that year, Tashera announced their separation.They remained friends, although in 2016, Simmons accused DMX of missing his $10,000/month child support payment.
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DMX had multiple extramarital affairs during his marriage to Simmons, some of which produced children, although details are scarce. DMX and Monique Wayne, a Maryland resident, fought over her claim that he was the father of her son born in 2004. She sued him repeatedly for defamation and for child support. After genetic testing proved that DMX was indeed the father, in January 2008, DMX was ordered to pay Wayne $1.5 million, but a judge vacated the judgment in May 2008. DMX also fathered a child in 2008 and fathered two children with ex-girlfriend Yadira Borrego. His fifteenth child, Exodus Simmons, was born to his fiancée, Desiree Lindstrom, on August 16, 2016.
Finances and bankruptcies
DMX earned $2.3 million from his songs between 2010 and 2015.
DMX filed bankruptcy three times. His first filing was on July 30, 2013, citing his child support obligations as his priority claim. The filing was challenged by the United States Trustee Program and was dismissed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan on November 11, 2013.
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HEALTH ISSUES AND DEATH
Simmons said he became addicted to crack cocaine when he was 14 years old, after Ready Ron tricked him into smoking a marijuana cigarette laced with the drug. He also said that he had bipolar disorder.
On February 10, 2016, Simmons was found unresponsive in a Ramada Inn parking lot in Yonkers, New York. He was resuscitated by first responders and given Narcan before being rushed to the hospital. A witness said he ingested some type of substance before collapsing, but police found no illegal substances on the property. Simmons stated that it was from an asthma attack.
On April 2, 2021, at approximately 11:00 pm, Simmons was rushed to a hospital in White Plains, New York, where he was reported to be in critical condition following a heart attack at his home possibly resulting from drug overdose. The next day, his attorney Murray Richman confirmed Simmons was on life support. That same night, Simmons suffered cerebral hypoxia (oxygen deprivation to his brain) as paramedics attempted to resuscitate him for 30 minutes. Simmons’ former manager, Nakia Walker, said he was in a “vegetative state” with “lung and brain failure and no current brain activity”. His manager, Steve Rifkind, stated Simmons was comatose and that he was set to undergo tests to determine his brain’s functionality and his family will “determine what’s best from there”.
On the morning of April 9, 2021, Simmons had reportedly lost functionality of multiple organs, including his lungs, liver, and kidneys. Simmons was pronounced dead later that day, aged 50.