It is possible that few people have listened to a song by DMX lately, but the rapper is a guaranteed rap icon of his time. His hard-hitting bars and beats were a big part of the 90s music, and he is not likely to be forgotten anytime soon. Besides rapping, DMX also ventured into acting, and through both streams of artistry, he made quite a name for himself. Below we look more into the life and times of the man who has come to be known as DMX and even take a look at where exactly he is right now.
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 decided to raise their son in Yonkers, New York. DMX had a terrible childhood full of numerous beatings, and following abandonment by his parents, he went to many group homes and was subject to many arrests. His family, meanwhile, had been deeply religious, raising him as a Jehovah’s Witness.
DMX began rapping early, but the beginnings of his career can be traced to a 1991 feature 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. It was one that he used quite well in the 1980’s, a drum machine that helped him in his music. The meaning of DMX, however, evolved later 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. LL Cool J also gave him a verse on his 4, 3, 2, 1 song in 1997. In fact, he 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 with the name Get at me Dog. The single showed the magic of a backing by a major label by being certified Gold by the RIAA. His first album released with the label was It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, which included such classics 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 such films 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 is one of those stars whose net worth is actually in the negative. He filed for bankruptcy in 2013 citing child support obligations in his claim. The rapper who has about 15 children is in serious debt including over a million owed in child support. The debt has also hindered the rapper from making much income from his overseas fanbase as he is unable to travel anywhere outside the country to perform since he cannot get a passport. It is hard to see how the rapper will tunnel himself out of this massive debt but a number of fans are probably keeping their fingers crossed on his behalf.
Is He Still In Jail or a Pastor?
DMX has had numerous run-ins with the law from childhood. He finally got to serve ninety days in jail in 2010 and claimed while there 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 jail time, for tax fraud.
Where is He Now?
DMX had a scary moment on the 10th of February 2016 when he was found lifeless in a parking lot in Yonkers. He was eventually resuscitated by first responders and a witness stated that he had ingested something before collapsing. No illegal substances were, however, found on the property. Although this may suggest that the rapper is now living happily ever after pursuing his ministerial dreams in Yonkers but that is not quite how things turned out. As mentioned earlier the rapper is serving out a one year sentence for tax fraud in jail.