By Nelly Ruach

Since the beginning of time, our souls have found their ways passing through earth for whatever time is allotted to us. With the past, present, and future existing within one another, there are only a few amount of us who continue to live on this earthly plane even after our short stay has ended. With talents that lead us to be well known and respected authors, actors, politicians, athletes and so much more, musicians more than often tend to leave a lasting impact in our world. As weve spoken about great artist such as With respects to this course and the many musical genres we’ve learned about, I only think it would be fair to pay respects to the late DMX and how his whirlwind of a life was pivitol in how artists viewed hip hop.

Toxic Upbringing

DMX, born to the world as Earl Simmons, was faced with a traumatizing up bringing. Born on December 18, 1970, Earl was abandoned by his father simply because she decided to carry him to term. On top of having to grow up without a paternal father, DMX was subjected to cruel and inhumane beatings from not only him but from the boyfriends who his mother would frequently bring around. 

 

As life deemed to be too much for him, he struggled in school and was later dropped from the fifth grade. This did affect his mother to want to do better for her son, instead, she placed him in an abandoned child’s’ facility for the 18 months following. His stay in the facility was short lived and by the time he reached 15, he was homeless on the streets and found comfort in himself by befriending the stray dogs he came across. 

The Ultimate Betrayal That became A Blessing And A Curse

Constant Battle Between Drugs And A Life Of Crime

Due to the fact that DMX had to fend for himself from such a young age, it came to no surprise that he had to fend for himself in order to survive. This life of crime, however, seemed to follow him throughout the rest of his life as he could not stay out of the system. During the duration of his life, he was arrested 30 different times; starting from as young as 10 up until 2018 at the age of 47. His arrest included robbery, assault, carjacking, animal cruelty, reckless driving, driving under the influence, unlicensed driving, drug possession, probation violation, failure to pay child support, pretending to be a federal agent, and tax evasion.

DMX could not strip himself from his unwarranted addiction to drugs at the hands of his mentor at the ripe age of 16. PTSD from his childhood and the deterioration of his mental health, DMX found comfort in ailments in the form of pills, alcohol, and cocaine to self medicate his bi polar disorder and the pressure of his rising fame. In 2002, 2017, and 2019, he took it upon himself to cancel his scheduled tours in order to check himself into rehab facilities in order to better himself. 

Rising Above The Missery

Despite Earl Simmons’s strife to get to the point he was at, he still found his notch with his mentor into the Rap industry. Contrary to his new addiction to drugs, he fell in love with the rap field and began his career at the age of 14 as a DJ for Ron Don and quickly transitioned to rapping as it generated more of a following for him. He coined his famous name from the digital drum machine. As his career began to blossom and his flow and personality was seen through his music, he latter went onto re-brand his initials to stand for “Dark Man X” and went by “X” for short.

Discography

~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)

Awards & Nominations

~AMA’s Favorite Rap/Hip Hop Artist for “DMX”  (2000 Winner)

~Grammy’s Best Rap Solo Performance for Up In Here and “Who We Be” (2001 and 2002 nominated)

~MTV AwaredBest Rap Video for “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” (1999 nominated)

~MTV AwardBest Rap Video “Party In Here” (2000 nominated)

~MTV Award Best Break Through Video “Who We Be” ( 2002 nominated)

~MTV Award Best Male & Rap Video “Touch It” (2006 nominated)

Film & Television Portraying Himself

~The Chris Rock Show and South Park (1998)

 

~Moesha (2000)

 

~Half and Half (2002)

 

~The Chappelle Show (2004)

 

~DMX: Soul Of  Man (2006)

 

~Couples Therapy (2012)

 

~Fresh Off The Boat (2015)

 

~Black Ink Crew (2017)

Unwavering Faith

X was always vocal and up front about his devotion to the Lord. More times than often he found himself unsure of why God chose him to be a representation for others but he continued to allow himself to be used through his life. Whether he sat in prison or performed in front of thousands of people, he always made sure to say a prayer and to dedicate and honor the Lord for allowing him the chance to perform and honor him

X was very aware of his internal battle and mental health struggles but was also very spiritually in tuned with himself. Although he feels blessed to be in the position he was in, it didn’t make it any easier for him to quiet the daemons he commonly referred to. Throughout his music, you can hear the struggle between his physical persona and the demonic forces that seemed to be fighting him at every turn of his life.

Final Days With A Family And Legacy Left Behind

The time is still fresh. We are only days shy of DMX’s light leaving this plane. Before his departure, he had the chance to participate in a Verzus Battle. These battles are held to showcase an artist best work against another artist and he represented very well for himself. He got to recieve all the love and flowers that were well deserved from people over the generations. His hard work, his passion, and his emotions that he so skillfully put into his music was cherished by many. His battles to his drug addiction finally over came him as he had a fatal overdose. Before he was removed from life support, he was surrounded by his 15 children and the love of all those who were able to relate to his story, who saw themselves in his experience. All those people that he opened himself up to and allows the rap game to embrace our tough up bringing. His lyricism was genuine and shed light on a black experience that he tried so hard to escape from.  On April 9, 2021, Earl Simmons left for the next dimension but left behind his light that will live forever in the rap game. 

Works Cited

Wikipedia sourceshttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DMX_(rapper)

BBC Newshttps://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-56647793

Hollywood Reporterhttps://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/dmx-new-york-rapper-and-actor-dies-at-50

All Musichttps://www.allmusic.com/artist/dmx-mn0000661795/biography

Hip Hop Scriptureshttp://www.hiphopscriptures.com/dmx

Laced blunthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ThlhSnRk21E

The Washington Posthttps://www.washingtonpost.com/local/obituaries/rapper-dmx-dead/2021/04/09/89509a0e-9618-11eb-962b-78c1d8228819_story.html