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- Me, Myself, and I
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Earl Simmons was the second of three children of a single mother, and was born in Baltimore, Maryland. Simmons ended up growing up in the School Street housing projects of Yonkers, New York after encountering behavioral problems in Mount Vernon. He began rapping around the age of 13, amusing crowds of kids with rhymes that relied on spelled-out words, a style he called "spellbound." A local rapper eventually asked the young Earl to beatbox for him, and Simmons agreed, adapting the name DMX from a synthesizer he often used. Eventually he decided to try his hand at serious rapping, and honed his skills during a stint at a group home. DMX is a fan of the pit bull breed of dogs. He has a tattoo of one of his deceased dogs, "BOOMER" on his back. He later contributed over $1 million to the United Negro Association for unfortunate black children in New York.
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Earl Simmons was born December 18, 1970, in Baltimore, Maryland. A young Earl moved with his aunt to New York City's Yonkers area, since his family wanted to remove him from his circle in Baltimore.
After making a reputation for himself as a local DJ, DMX (who was inspired by DMX digital sounds machines) decided to take his skills further as a rapper. He signed with Columbia Records when he released the promo single, "Born Loser." But DMX was no loser, and he left Columbia Records when he realized that he wasn't the record label's first priority -- in the early '90s, Kris Kross and Cyprus Hill were all the rage.
3,2,1, making his move
Off the scene for a while, DMX returned in 1994 with the single, "Make A Move." Before breaking through with his own albums, DMX made his presence known with an appearance on LL Cool J's "4,3,2,1," Mic Geronimo's "Usual Suspects," Mase's "24 Hours To Live," as well as the Lox's "Money, Power & Respect."
Leaving Columbia Records behind and signing to Ruff Ryders/Def Jam Records, DMX howled on his own successful single, "Get At Me Dog", before releasing his debut solo album, It's Dark And Hell Is Hot in 1998.
The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts and was the start of a trend for DMX, whose next release, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, occupied the top spot on the charts for three weeks, in 1999. After appearing on several artists' albums, it was time to return the favor, as The Lox, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, and even Marilyn Manson appeared on the album, for "The Omen."
x marks the spot
Apparently DMX wasn't taking time off to relax, and the hip-hop world welcomed DMX's third release, And Then There Was X, which also went to No. 1 in 2000, and was declared five times platinum. This was hot off the heels of DMX's contribution to the Ruff Ryders' compilation, Ryde Or Die Vol. 1.
Having sold 15 million copies worldwide, DMX has something to say, and it's obvious that people want to hear it. Tired of hearing rappers sing about the "bling bling" and cars, DMX has always focused on surviving street life, and the importance of loyalty and credibility.
After three hugely successful albums in two years, the next installment in the DMX files has arrived: The Great Depression.
reason to smile
DMX bounced back from a hard knock life (the name of one of his national tours) with much struggle and prayer, and can also add a film career to his musical one. After appearances in Belly and Romeo Must Die, DMX starred opposite Steven Seagal in the 2001 blockbuster, Exit Wounds.
While it seems that everything DMX touches turns to gold, he also had his brush with the law, for driving without a license in 2001.
Giving back to the people on the streets, DMX has spent many Christmas holidays at the pediatric AIDS ward at Harlem Hospital, and Thanksgiving holidays handing out food to people at the community center. DMX also made a generous donation to save a church from closing its doors, and with the help of his Mariela House Foundation, DMX hopes to support single teenage mothers.
One thing is for sure: this is surely the Dark Man X's brightest day.
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DMX made his film debut in Belly, co-starring fellow rappers Method Man and Nas. He returned to the big screen with a major supporting role with Aaliyah and Jet Li in Romeo Must Die. Soon after DMX's release from jail, he starred in the Steven Seagal action film Exit Wounds, which opened at number one at the box office. DMX contributed the hit single "No Sunshine" to the soundtrack. He signed a multipicture deal with Warner Bros. in the wake of Exit Wounds' success. DMX worked with Jet Li again in Cradle 2 the Grave. It opened at number one upon its release in March 2003, and its DMX-heavy soundtrack debuted in the Top Ten. DMX also starred in Never Die Alone, which was based on street novelist Donald Goines' book. DMX is also set to star in 3 new upcoming films, one of which is the sequel to Belly. Belly is set to be released in the winter of 2006 with DMX and Nas reprising their roles. He was set to star in Marble City a thriller but was dropped and replaced by another actor.
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In and out of jail, DMX decided to focus solely on his rap career. He began seriously looking for a deal and linked up with Pete McCormick Schaub, an A&R for Small Island at the time. Eventually, he signed a management deal with Ruff Ryders. They negotiated deals with both Bad Boy and Death Row Records, but he eventually landed at Def Jam. He is currently at Sony BMG, set to release his first of three albums on August 1st 2006.
It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
Before It's Dark and Hell is Hot, DMX released the single "Born Loser" which was banned on MTV due to the video's graphic images. DMX's debut single was "Get At Me Dog", which was an instant hit. His critically-acclaimed debut album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, is often credited with revitalizing Hardcore Rap in the mainstream scene, after the deaths of Tupac Shakur, and after Puff Daddy and Bad Boy Entertainment briefly dominated the charts with their pop-oriented and sample-reliant tunes.
0 Comments 330 weeks