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Earl Simmons (born on December 18, 1970 in Mt. Vernon, New York), better known by his stage name DMX is an American rapper and actor who rose to popularity in the late 1990s. He is one of the best selling rappers of all time, though notably never having a top 20 Hot 100 single. He is also the only artist in the U.S. to have five consecutive number one albums on the Billboard 200 Album chart to start a career..
Earl Simmons is the first of three children. He grew up in the housing projects on School Street, in Yonkers, New York. He began rapping around the age of 14. Simmons took the professional name DMX, after the Oberheim DMX, an early drum machine. He later adapted the name to mean "Divine Master of the Unknown [X]" and later changed it again to mean "Dark Man X" . He honed his skills during a stint at a group home. As a teenager, Simmons was diagnosed with bipolar disorder . He spent much of his adolescence and early adulthood in and out of jail.
On his BET show DMX: Soul of a Man he admitted that he had in fact became addicted to crack after one of his friends gave him a laced marijuana joint without telling him.
He has been married to Tashera since 1999. They have four children: Xavier, Tocoma, Shawn and Praise Mary Ella Simmons (b 18 April 05).
From an interview with Just-Ice. http://www.jayquan.com/justice.htm Spring of 2005 with Troy L. Smith
Troy L. Smith: What up with DMX?
Just-Ice: I don’t know where Ben is at? I think he is in Jersey, I haven’t talked to him in years. Let them know there is three DMX’s. Davy DMX is the original. Then there was DMX my beat box. Then you have DMX who was then known as Dark Man X. That’s the brother who is making movies now, Earl Simmons.
Template:Original research In the beginning, Earl Simmons (DMX) had already established a reputation on the New Cross underground scene long before any record label signed him. He battled rappers from town to town and had his own rap group called Gangsters of the Ghetto (G.O.G) with his friend DJ Superior and Big Jinx the third member of the team. They did a lot of live shows in the legendary school 12 in Yonkers. This Crew created numerous mixtapes in the early 90's. In 1991, the Source magazine praised him in the "Unsigned Hype" section, which highlights unsigned hip-hop artists. Later Simmons was first signed to Columbia Records in 1992. He released one single, "Born Loser", which did not get much airplay. He was soon dropped from the label after his LP was pushed back numerous times. He later returned in 1994 with the single "Make A Move" but was arrested soon after. He also made an appearance alongside Ja Rule and Jay-Z on the track "Time To Build" off Mic Geronimo's 1995 LP "The Natural". He linked up with Pete McCormick Schaub, an A&R for Small Island Records. Eventually, he signed a management deal with Ruff Ryders. They negotiated deals with both Bad Boy Records and Death Row Records, but he eventually landed at Def Jam.
In 1997, Simmons earned a second major-label shot with Def Jam, and made a successful guest appearance on LL Cool J's "4, 3, 2, 1." Additional guest spots on Mase's "24 Hours to Live" and The LOX's "Money, Power, Respect" created an even stronger buzz.
It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
In early 1998, he released his debut Def Jam single, "Get At Me Dog". The song went gold. It's Dark and Hell Is Hot was released in May 1998. It earned Simmons numerous comparisons to Tupac Shakur for his presence on the mic, which is quite ironic because the original version of "Get At Me Dog," which eventually leaked to the internet, featured a direct diss to Tupac. The album sold over four million copies.
Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood
Simmons completed his second album before the end of 1998, and a pending buyout of Def Jam pushed the record into stores on January 25. Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood entered the charts at number one (670,000 sold in its first week) and eventually went triple platinum according to RIAA. The 9th track "The Omen" featured Marilyn Manson singing the chorus. This album made DMX the second artist to debut two albums at number 1 in a single calendar year,first being Tupac Shakur with his album The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory. The single "Slippin'" became his first chart hit in the UK.
Simmons hit the road with Jay-Z, Method Man and Redman, on the blockbuster Hard Knock Life tour the following year. He had a song called "Jack Moves" with Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, but the song never appeared on the album.
...And Then There Was X
Simmons released his third album, ...And Then There Was X, on December 21 1999. It debuted at number one on the pop charts, his third straight album to do so. "Party Up" was his biggest single since "Get at Me Dog", and became his first Top Ten hit on the R&B charts. His lead single off the album, "What's My Name?", and third single "What These Bitches Want" (featuring Sisqo) were also popular. .....And Then There Was X is Simmons' best-selling album to date, going six times platinum. Def Jam urged him to release the tracks within a month. The album sold 698,000 copies in its first week.
The Great Depression
After improving his legal problems, Simmons returned to the studio and completed his fourth album, The Great Depression. Released October 3, 2001, it was his fourth straight album to debut at number one. The Great Depression went platinum quickly, but was not as commercially or critically successful as its predecessors.
In 2003, Grand Champ, his fifth straight album to debut at number one. This extended DMX the only artist in history to have 5 albums (and his entire album catalog) debut at #1. After its release, he informed the public that he planned to retire, and that Grand Champ would be his final album. He later ended his brief retirement and announced his plans to record another album.
Year of the Dog...Again
Simmons recorded his next album while switching record labels, causing numerous delays. The album was finally released on August 1, 2006 under the title Year of the Dog...Again. It missed the number one spot in the charts by only a few thousand sales. When Simmons switched to Sony, Def Jam allowed him to keep all of the tracks he had created for the album. It was reported that most of the tracks were being reworked, with updated production, but the reworked album has also been leaked. Simmons has appeared on a remix of Busta Rhymes' "Touch It". He has also released two more singles, "Lord Give Me A Sign" and "We In Here", which are included in Year of the Dog...Again.
The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter
The Definition of X: The Pick of the Litter was rumored to be the 7th solo album by DMX but instead it is a greatest hits album signed under Def Jam records. Def Jam still owns the rights to every DMX song with the exception of the songs on his Year Of The Dog... Again album.
Walk With Me Now and You'll Fly With Me Later
"I'm thankful for the fact that Bodog believes in me, that we share the same vision and the fact that they see in me the same thing I see. I'll show you Bodog Music how it's supposed to be done, and we'll get to where we're supposed to be. You got a dog for life." said X, according to Yahoo. DMX recently blasted R Kelly for refusing to work with him on his upcoming gospel album here.
Simmons made his film debut in Belly, co-starring fellow rappers Method Man and Nas. He returned to the big screen with a minor supporting role with close friend Aaliyah and actor 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. He contributed the hit single "No Sunshine" (based on a rework of the Bill Withers classic) to the soundtrack. He signed a multi-picture deal with Warner Bros. in the wake of the film's success. He worked with Jet Li again in Cradle 2 the Grave, which opened at number one upon its release in March 2003. He contributed several compositions to the soundtrack, which debuted in the Top Ten with hits such as "X Gon' Give It to Ya" and "Right/Wrong."
He also starred in Never Die Alone, which was based on street novelist Donald Goines' book. He is also set to star in three upcoming films. He was set to star in Marble City, but was replaced by Ving Rhames. He has finished filming another action thriller called Last Hour which should see a release at the end of 2007. He also had a reality show on BET called DMX: Soul of a Man. He will also star in the 2007 Beast, the sequel to Belly. He has finished shooting an upcoming film with Kris Kristofferson titled Lords Of The Street, the release date has yet to be set. He can be seen starring alongside Clifton Powell & Vivica A. Fox in a film titled "Father of Lies".
- In 1999, during a blockbuster 'Hard Knock Life' tour stop in Denver, a warrant for his arrest was issued in connection with a unpaid parking fine and lampooning of a man that attended one of the concerts, of which Simmons was later cleared; another incident occurred in May, when he was accused of assaulting a Yonkers man who had allegedly harassed his wife and stabbed her in the neck (the charges were once again dropped). More serious charges were brought that summer when Earl's uncle/manager was accidentally shot in the neck at a New Jersey hotel. Police later raided Earl'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.
- On July 10, 1999, he was arrested for using obscene language during a concert in Basingstoke.
- On October 11, 1999, he was arrested for flashing a mounted police officer while under the influence of drugs and alcohol. He was sentenced to 2 months in prison.
- In March 2000, he was arrested for aggravated unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle, speeding, failure to signal, driving without a license, failure to notify the DMV of an address change, and possession of marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, and Percocet while driving on New York State Route 33 in Cheektowaga, New York, following a concert in Buffalo, New York. He was then scheduled to appear in Cheektowaga Town Court on March 21, but failed to appear, resulting in a warrant being issued for his arrest. He later turned himself in, pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of driving without a license and was sentenced to 15 days in jail and fined $400. He was also charged with marijuana possession, after turning himself in, when authorities found marijuana in a pack of his cigarettes; he was fined an additional $250.
- In June 2003, he was arrested for using indecent language during a performance at St Kitts and Nevis in the Caribbean. The country's Information Minister alleged that a contract signed before the concert stipulated the show would be without indecent language on stage. Earl was released on bail ($376).
- In June 2004, he was arrested at JFK airport on charges of cocaine possession, criminal impersonation, criminal possession of a weapon, criminal mischief, menacing, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol while claiming to be a federal agent and attempting to carjack a vehicle.
- In April 2005, Simmons was charged with driving with a suspended license after his involvement in a a three-car collision on the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx. The rapper hit a car, pushing it into a police cruiser.
- In May 2006, Simmons was arrested at a London airport for causing a disturbance after he refused to put on a seat belt and became abusive on a flight from New York to London. He was released with a caution.
- In October 2006, Simmons was arrested in Boston after severely injuring 4 armed men just hours after Monster Jam. The charges were dropped after it was discovered he was acting in self defense.
- On February 2, 2007 he was arrested for driving on an expired license charge, and scheduled an appearance in a Yonkers courtroom on March 6, 2007 on that and other minor infractions.
- On July 23, 2007 Simmons was stopped by police after trying to get away on an illegal motorbike without a license and drunk. Officers gave him a Section 15 warning and was scheduled to appear in court on August 1, 2007 for further questioning. .
- On July 31, 2007 Simmons was stopped by police for driving an illegal motorbike and he has been reported for driving without a license and without insurance. A court date has not been set as of August 1, 2007.
- On August 24, 2007 Acting upon an animal cruelty tip, Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies reported to having removed 12 emaciated pit bulls from Simmon's Cave Creek home. None of these dogs had access to food or water. Deputies also found the bodies of 3 dead dogs. Simmons was not at home when the raid occurred. Sources reported the deputies also removed a large cache of weapons in addition to drug paraphernalia and a large quantity of suspected drugs. At this time, DMX has not been charged with animal cruelty
- On April 9, 2008 DMX was arrested at Indiana University before a concert taking place for The Little 500 at Lambda Chi Alpha. DMX was arrested for drinking on stage and passing around Cognac to the college student crowd. 
- 1998: It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
- 1998: Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood
- 1999: ...And Then There Was X
- 2001: The Great Depression
- 2003: Grand Champ
- 2006: Year of the Dog...Again
- 2008: Walk with Me Now and You'll Fly with Me Later
With The Ruff Ryders
- 1999: Ryde or Die Vol. 1
- 2000: Ryde or Die Vol. 2
- 2001: Ryde or Die Vol. 3
- 2005: The Redemption Vol. 4
- 1998: Belly
- 2000: Romeo Must Die
- 2001: Exit Wounds
- 2003: Cradle 2 the Grave
- 2004: Never Die Alone
- 2006: "DMX: Soul of a Man" (TV series)
- 2008: Last Hour
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