DMX

DMX (born Earl Simmons) is one of the most prominent American rappers of the 1990s and early 2000s, and has had a number of memorable acting roles in films such as Belly, Cradle 2 The Grave, and Romeo Must Die. Growing up in Yonkers, NY with a lifelong interest in rap, DMX found himself on tracks with the likes of JAY-Z, Mase, and The Lox while getting his start in the early 90s. After a brief, unsuccessful deal with Columbia in 1992, DMX finally had a breakthrough when he signed to Def Jam in 1998 and released two No. 1 albums within mere months: It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. Both albums were certified Platinum multiple times and cement DMX’s legacy as a powerful storyteller with a well of unflinching truth.

He followed with three more consecutive No. 1 albums, including his best-seller, ...And Then There Was X, in 1999. Singles like “What’s My Name,” “Who We Be,” “Where Tha Hood At,” and others populated the airwaves well into the mid-2000s when he announced plans to retire. He ultimately continued to release music, albeit more sporadically. As of 2013, DMX announced plans to put out an eighth studio album, which has yet to materialize, but he has released new songs as recently as 2017. In any case, DMX’s catalog remains a cornerstone in hip-hop and an important snapshot of pop culture at the turn of the century.