via Creative Commons
Dec. 18, 1970, Earl Simmons was born. Neither one of his parents, Arnett Simmons and Joe Barker knew that he would shape the face of hip-hop today.
Simmons had a struggling childhood. At the age of 14, Simmons began beatboxing and rapping in a group home that his mom sent him to. Local rapper Ready Ron met Simmons and asked if he wanted to be his partner. Simmons began writing his own lyrics after he got released from prison (he stole a dog) and performed for younger children at the local recreation center. He built a local fan base all over New York by selling mixtapes of him rapping over instrumentals of other songs on street corners. In 1991, Now officially DMX, was praised in The Source’s unsigned rappers column in their magazine. He released two singles after being signed to Ruffhouse Records. Not too long after that, he made a guest appearance with Jay-Z, Ja Rule, and Mic Geronimo on a song “Time to Build,” on Geronimo’s debut album. His second album “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood,” went multi-platinum and also debuted No. 1 on Billboard 200.
Many people loved DMX and his music. Not many people knew too much about his personal life though. He wanted to be an ordained pastor and was a really strong believer in God. He once gave a sermon at a church in Phoenix, Arizona. He also had kids, 11 at that. He had children with nine different women. He married his childhood friend, Tashera Simmons. During their marriage, he had many affairs. That led to their divorce in July of 2010. My mom met him when she was in the ninth grade. Her friend’s dad was a personal bodyguard for X.
“Instead of staying in a hotel when he performed in Atlanta, he would stay at my friend’s house,” she said. “She invited me over for a sleepover one weekend and I heard her dad and DMX come in from the back patio and I was stunned. For her it was normal, she called him Uncle Earl and everything. But no he is not fine in person.”
“X Gon’ Give it to Ya” was such a hit that it was featured in “Deadpool”. Despite being arrested 30 times, having nine baby mamas, and being addicted to crack cocaine after being tricked into smoking a joint laced with it by Ready Ron when he was 14, X was amazing. He walked in the legendary steps of 2Pac and Biggie and rose to the high heights of them plus more. He was an amazing lyricist and his style can never be mimicked. He came from the trenches and made it to be super high stats and known around the world. May he rest on a throne in paradise.