Grammy nominee DMX dies at age 50

Rapper DMX

Sad news from the music world. Grammy Award nominee and American Music Award winner DMX has died at age 50.

TMZ reported DMX, who’s real name is Earl Simmons overdosed, which resulted in a heart attack on April 2, 2021. Simmons had been in the intensive care unit in a White Plains, NY hospital on life support ever since.

The news was confirmed by his family and shared by journalist Dan Linden via twitter

“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,” they added. “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. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”

After his hospitalization, his prognosis wasn’t promising and on April 4 his ex-manager Nakia Walker told The New York Times that the rapper was in a “vegetative state.” 

As soon as news of DMX’s admittance to hospital spread, last weekend saw an outpouring of love, prayers and other good wishes from members of the hip hop community like Public Enemy, Chance the Rapper, Nas, Eminem, Ice-T, L.A. Lakers star LeBron James, Mariah Carey and Missy Elliot as well as actor Tracey Morgan and fans of all ages and creeds.

His 1992 debut single Born Loser failed to gain traction, however, within a couple of years the Yonkers-raised DMX was credited on albums by Jay-Z, Ja Rule and LL Cool J and garnering a lot of major-label interest. His gravel-voiced, sometimes-staccato delivery set him apart from other MCs. Word of DMX’s live shows spread fast, and the rapper became a very hot ticket when he performed in the Tri-State Area in the mid-’90s.

DMX dropped his major-label debut It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot in May 1998, which featured the single Get at Me Dog and it rocketed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200. Going on to sell 5 million copies, the now-classic Hell Is Hot was followed later that same year with DMX’s sophomore release, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. That multi platinum album also went to No. 1, as did 1999’s career-defining … And Then There Was X, 2001’s The Great Depression and 2003’s Grand Champ.

Here are some of Reel 360’s favorite DMX cuts:

To this day, NO hip-hop artist has had hit No. 1 with their first three albums, let alone five.

The Grammy-nominated DMX’s sixth album, 2006’s Year of the Dog… failed to top the charts upon release, but it was close. During its first week of release, the record was just a few hundred copies behind Now That’s What I Call Music! 22 compilation that summer and peaked at No. 2.

DMX earned three career Grammy nominations, four MTV VMAs noms and a Soul Train Awards win for Male Entertainer of the Year in 2000. He also won two American Music Awards

DMX never saw the mind blowing success onscreen as he did in the charts, however his acting career actually took off at the same time as he achieved hip-hop fame kicking off with his feature debut in Hype Williams’ 1998 film Belly with Nas, DMX went on to star with Jet Li and Aaliyah in 2000’s Romeo Must Die.  DMX teamed up with Steven Seagal in Exit Wounds and the duo would reunite in 2019 for the VOD release Beyond the Law.

Among his other big-screen and little-screen roles, DMX showed up in Chris Rock’s 2014 comedy Top Five, co-starred with Kris Kristofferson in 2008’s Lords of the Street and appeared as himself on Season 2 of ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat.

Earl DMX Simmons faced a slew of legal difficulties including multiple animal-cruelty charges, stints behind bars for drug possession and parole violations.  In the past decade, father-of-15 DMX became infamous for his verbal attack on Drake and more run-ins with the law.

A failure to pay $400,000 in child support landed the rapper in jail for six months. A tax-fraud conviction in 2017 for $2.29 million not paid to the feds had him back in prison the next year for a one-year sentence which was prompted when the now-Def Jam-signed DMX walked out of a previously-court ordered rehab program for his addiction to cocaine and opioids.

In 2016, DMX was resuscitated at a motel in his hometown of Yonkers by paramedics and taken to a local hospital after collapsing. Unfortunately his battle with addiction has now come to a shocking and sad conclusion.