Earl Simmons, commonly known as DMX, passed away on April 9th. After having a heart attack in his home on April 2nd, he was hospitalized and on life support for a week at White Plains Hospital in New York. His family released a statement the morning of April 9th announcing his passing: “We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50 years old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days. Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time.”
DMX grew up in Yonkers, New York and started writing songs and performing at the age of fourteen. After being signed to Columbia Records in 1992, he worked alongside artists such as Jay-Z and Ja Rule before releasing his first debut album, “It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot,” in May 1998. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart and went 4x multi-platinum, featuring major singles such as “Ruff Ryders Anthem”, “Get At Me Dog” and “How’s It Goin’ Down”. He became known for his signature raspy voice and aggressive delivery over catchy beats, cultivating a unique sound in hip-hop. His subsequent albums, such as “Flesh of My Flesh,” “Blood of My Blood,” “…And Then There was X,” “The Great Depression,” and “Grand Champ,” each debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 charts. This made DMX the only musician to ever release five albums in a row which all topped the Billboard 200.
DMX’s life’s work was by no means limited to music. He also dabbled in acting, starring in films such as “Belly,” “Cradle 2 the Grave,” “Romeo Must Die,” “Exit Wounds,” and “Last Hour.” He also published a book of memoirs in 2003, titled, “E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX,” in which he spoke of his upbringing and the challenges he endured with addiction and incarceration throughout his career. He was also a Christian and would sometimes facilitate sermons as a Deacon. In April 2020, he hosted a Bible study on Instagram live, encouraging his fans to turn to God during the heights of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of his final performances was alongside Snoop Dogg on Verzuz, a rap battle that amassed over 500,000 viewers worldwide on Instagram live.
The Knight News reached out to fellow QC students to ask for their thoughts on the untimely passing of DMX. Senior English student and musician, Salia Hovanec, stated: “Honestly, I’ve listened to him more in the past few weeks than I ever have and I’m really loving him. It’s sad how sometimes it takes an artist dying for their music to really spread…I really wish I got into him years ago.”
Fellow senior English student and musician, Jimmy McMillian also had some words to share about the passing of DMX. “I think that his passing was unfortunate. It shows that drug use is not only something that this generation of rappers suffers with but the older ones as well. In terms of music, hip hop lovers lost a unique sound. The sound of DMX’s music was his authentic voice. Authenticity cannot be re-created. Rest in Peace to a Big Dog.”
DMX is survived by his fifteen children and has left behind a legacy that will be forever missed in hip-hop. May he rest in peace.