DMX LIFE AND CAREER BIOGRAPHY:
Dmx was born 'Earl Simmons, on December 18, 1970 in Baltimore Maryland, USA, in the projects. He moved with part of his family to the New York City suburb of Yonkers while still a young child. A troubled and abusive childhood turned him violent, and he spent a great deal of time living in group homes and surviving on the streets via robbery, which led to several run-ins with the law. He found his saving grace in hip-hop, starting out as a DJ and human beatbox, and later moved into rapping for a greater share of the spotlight, taking his name from the DMX digital drum machine (though it's also been reinterpreted to mean "Dark Man X"). He made a name for himself on the freestyle battle scene, and was written up in The Source magazine's Unsigned Hype column in 1991. Columbia subsidiary Ruffhouse signed him to a deal the following year, and released his debut single, "Born Loser." However, a surplus of talent on the Ruffhouse roster left DMX underpromoted, and the label agreed to release him from his contract, before it had really even begun. He issued one further single in 1994, "Make a Move," but was convicted of drug possession that same year, the biggest offense of several on his record.
Following the deaths of Tupac Shakur and the Notorious B.I.G., DMX saw that the gates where open to be the champ of Hip-Hop, DMX began to rebuild his career with an appearance on one of DJ Clue's underground mixtapes. In 1997, he earned a second major-label shot with Def Jam, and made a galvanizing guest appearance on LL Cool J's "4, 3, 2, 1." Further guest spots on Mase's "24 Hours to Live" and fellow Yonkers MCs the LOX's "Money, Power & Respect" created an even stronger buzz, and in early 1998, he released his debut Def Jam single, "Get at Me Dog." The song was a gold-selling smash on the rap and dance charts, and paved the way for DMX's full-length debut, "It's Dark and Hell Is Hot", to debut at number one on the pop charts. Produced mostly by Swizz Beatz, who rode the album's success to a lucrative career of his own, "It's Dark and Hell Is Hot" earned DMX numerous comparisons to 2Pac for his booming, aggressive presence on the mic, and went on to sell over four million copies. He instantly became known for ihs trademark growling and barking, that appears on almost all the tracks that he records.. According to popular belief, this arises from DMX's love of dogs. He has multiple tattooes that are based on his relationship with them. He is said to believe that dogs can be a man's only loyal friends. A surprising fact is DMX recieved a tattoo in rememberance of one of his dogs that died after being run over by a motorist.
Not long after the album's release in May 1998, DMX was accused of raping a stripper in the Bronx, but was later cleared by DNA evidence. He went to make his feature film debut co-starring in Hype Williams' ambitious but unsuccessful "Belly".
Before the end of 1998, DMX completed his second album, and a pending buyout of Def Jam pushed the record into stores that December. Featuring a controversial cover photo of the rapper covered in blood, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood entered the charts at number one and eventually went triple platinum. The following year, DMX hit the road with Jay-Z and the Method Man/Redman team on the blockbuster Hard Knock Life tour. During a tour stop in Denver, a warrant for his arrest was issued in connection with a stabbing, of which he was later cleared; another incident occurred in May, when he was accused of assaulting a Yonkers man who'd allegedly harassed his wife (the charges were once again dropped). More serious charges were brought that summer, when DMX's uncle/manager was accidentally shot in the foot at a New Jersey hotel. Police later raided DMX's home, and filed animal cruelty, weapons, and drug possession charges against the rapper and his wife; he eventually plea-bargained down to fines, probation, and community service. In the midst of those difficulties, the Ruff Ryders posse -- of which DMX was a core, founding member -- released a showcase compilation, Ryde or Die, Vol. 1. With contributions from DMX, as well as Eve, the LOX, and multiple guests, Ryde or Die, Vol. 1 debuted at number one in the spring of 1999, further cementing DMX's Midas touch.
Toward the end of 1999, DMX released his third album, "...And Then There Was X", which became his third straight to debut at number one. It also produced his biggest hit single since "Get at Me Dog" with "Party Up (Up in Here)," which became his first Top Ten hit on the R&B; charts. The follow-ups "What You Want" and "What's My Name?" were also quite popular, and their success helped make "...And Then There Was X" the rapper's best-selling album to date, moving over five million copies. During its run, DMX returned to the big screen with a major supporting role in the Jet Li action flick Romeo Must Die. In the meantime, he was indicted by a Westchester County, NY, grand jury on weapons and drug charges in June of 2000. He also entangled himself in a lengthy legal battle with police in Cheektowaga, NY (near Buffalo), when he was arrested in March for driving without a license and possession of marijuana. He missed one court date, and when he turned himself in that May, police discovered more marijuana in a pack of cigarettes the rapper had brought with him. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 days in jail, and his appeal to have the sentence reduced was finally denied in early 2001. After stalling for several weeks, he turned himself in and was charged with contempt of court. He was further charged with assault when, upon learning he would not be let out early for good behavior, allegedly threw a food tray at a group of prison officers. He later bargained the charges down to reckless assault and paid a fine, and accused guards of roughing him up and causing a minor leg injury.
Not long after DMX's release from jail, his latest movie, the Steven Seagal action film "Exit Wounds", opened at number one in the box office. DMX also contributed the hit single "No Sunshine" to the soundtrack, and signed a multipicture deal with Warner Bros. in the wake of "Exit Wounds'" success. With his legal problems finally resolved, he returned to the studio and completed his fourth album, the more introspective "The Great Depression". It was released in the fall of 2001 and became his fourth straight album to debut at number one. Although it went platinum quickly, it didn't have the same shelf life as his previous releases. In late 2002, DMX published his memoirs as "E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX", and also recorded several tracks with Audioslave (i.e., the former Rage Against the Machine). One of their collaborations, "Here I Come," was featured on the soundtrack of DMX's next film, a reunion with Jet Li called "Cradle 2 the Grave". The film opened at number one upon its release in March 2003, and its DMX-heavy soundtrack debuted in the Top Ten.
In 2003 DMX, was much rumoured to be retiring from the Hip-Hop scene completely, to concentrate on his growing movie career. On 16th September 2003 (in the US), X released the much anticipated "Grand Champ" album, confirmed as his last album he would be producing, on Def Jam anyway. DMX was contracted to do a certain agreed amount of albums for Def Jam, and he anounced his 'retirement' a few albums early from that agreed amount. Because of this it is much rumoured that Def Jam promoted and marketed his "Grand Champ" release poorly, maybe to get back at the artist who never kept his part of the deal! The term "Grand Champ" is the title bestowed upon the winner of a dog fight, and DMX is certainly that! "Grand Champ" alos represents a creative re-union with Dee and Waah Dean, the two brothers, who along with DMX, turned their Ruff Ryders label into one of the biggest in the world. First DMX released the single "Where The Hood At?", set off with a monster bass thump by TuneHeadz, the latest in a phenominal line of double-R producers, "Where The Hood At?" is heavy enough to get a fuckin Hummer H2 bouncing like one of the many tricked out Impala's the dog collects along his west coast travels.
The answer every fan and rap-head wants know is whether this was the dog's last attempt in the Hip-Hop scene, and whether the old Dog can be taught new tricks, and be a success in the movie business, or whether he'll return home and crank out more classics. Whatever the outcome and future of DMX's career, we hope its a success, and rapcentral.co.uk wish DMX the best in whatever he chooses is the best path for him, and wish to thank him for giving us the best work he could!
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