DMX (Dark Man X, born Earl Simmons on December 18, 1970 in Baltimore, Maryland) is an African-American rapper/hip hop artist, who was most famous in the late-1990s. His dark, gothic subject matter, usually depicting a tortured soul torn between the sacred and the profane; and his gruff, barked rhymes were acclaimed by fans and critics alike.
The only child of a single mother, Simmons grew up in the inner city of Yonkers, New York. He began pursuing a career in hip-hop in the early 1990s, a 1994 deal with Columbia Records fell through. In the late 1990s, he joined the Ruff Ryders Entertainment management company, who aranged a deal with Def Jam for Simmons, who went by the stage name of "DMX" (Dark Man X). DMX's debut single was "Get at Me Dog", an instant hit. His debut album was It's Dark and Hell Is Hot . It entered the charts at #1 in 1998, as did its follow-ups Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood (also 1998), ...And Then There Was X (1999) and The Great Depression (2001). A number of hit singles kept DMX a presense on both urban and pop radio, including "Ruff Ryders Anthem" (1998), "Money, Cash, Hoes" (1998, with Jay-Z)", "Slippin'" (1999), "What's My Name" (1999), and "What These Bitches Want" (2000, featuring Sisqó).
In September of 2003, DMX released his fifth album Grand Champ and became the only artist in the history of the Billboard 200 to reach No. 1 with his first five albums. His success paved the way for Ruff Ryders to establish a label of its own, signing Eve, Drag-On, Swizz Beats, and former Bad Boy Records artists The Lox to their Interscope Records-distributed imprint.
DMX also branched out into acting, appearing in the motion pictures Romeo Must Die with Aaliyah and Jet Li, Exit Wounds with Steven Seagal, Cradle 2 the Grave with Jet Li and Gabrielle Union, and Never Die Alone with Michael Ealy.
DMX also has a criminal history originating with an arrest in 1999 in Teaneck, New Jersey, when police found a pistol, crack pipes and 13 pit bulls on the premises of his home. He pleaded guilty to charges of animal cruelty, disorderly conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia, and was sentenced to make public service announcements for the Humane Society.
In June of 2004, DMX 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. DMX was taken to central lockup in Queens and held on charges of attempted robbery, criminal impersonation and criminal mischief. His driver's license was suspended for the incident.
In April of 2005, DMX was arrested in The Bronx for driving with a suspended license after his car crashed into a police cruiser.
- 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
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46