Earl “DMX” Simmons has passed away after suffering a reported drug overdose and subsequent heart attack on Friday (April 2).
According to a statement from the Simmons family, the Ruff Ryders legend died at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York on Friday (April 9), less than 24 hours after his brain activity test results indicated there’d been no improvement in the six days he’d been on life support.
“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. DMX 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. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle, and the man the world knew as DMX.”
The White Plains Hospital staff added, “Earl Simmons passed away peacefully with family present after suffering a catastrophic cardiac arrest.”
DMX rose to rap infamy during the 2000s and has multiple platinum and multi-platinum albums under his belt, including 1998’s It’s Dark & Hell Is Hot and Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood. Despite all of the success and accolades, the Yonkers native fought substance abuse issues for years, which resulted in several trips to drug rehab.
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In 2019, DMX canceled a slew of live performances so he could seek treatment and seemingly emerged stronger than ever. But his demons still followed him. During a November 2020 interview, he confessed he’d been tricked into smoking crack at just 14 years old, and that day, he said a “monster was born” and he’d been struggling with addiction ever since.
But following a roughly one-year prison stint for tax evasion, DMX was focused on making a comeback. Last month, he sat down with REVOLT Drink Champ co-hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN where he excitedly spoke about his forthcoming album.
In addition to the late Pop Smoke and Griselda’s Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine and Benny The Butcher, DMX revealed he’d tapped the talents of Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne and U2’s Bono.
DMX was born on December 18, 1970, in Yonkers, New York to 19-year-old Arnett Simmons and 18-year-old Joe Barker. He suffered extensive abuse as a child, being beaten by his mother and her various boyfriends so badly he once lost teeth.
At 14, he started roaming the streets to escape the turmoil at home but was ultimately sent to a boys home where his love of Hip Hop began to blossom. After adopting the moniker DMX (Dark Man X), which he got from an Oberheim DMX drum machine he used at school, he focused on honing his craft as he went in and out of prison.
In 1991, he was featured in The Source magazine’s Unsigned Hype section and it was on from there. In 1992, Columbia Records signed DMX to their subsidiary label Ruffhouse, which put out his debut single “Born Loser.” The single failed to perform well and he was released from his contract.
But X persevered and wound up at Def Jam Recordings where he put out his second single “Get At Me Dog” in 1998 before being immortalized in Ruff Ryders history. As of 2019, he’s sold over 74 million albums.
DMX will forever be remembered as a voracious MC with an inimitable gruff and insatiable appetite for Hip Hop culture. He leaves behind 15 children. HipHopDX sends our condolences to all those who loved him. The Simmons family will release information about his memorial service once details are finalized.