With his debut album It’s Dark and Hell is Hot in 1998, DMX brought a level of energy to the genres of rap and hip hop unlike anybody before him. Flanked by his pack of pitbulls and his infamous Ruff Ryders motorcycle crew, Dark Man X, which the moniker DMX is an acronym for, took the music industry by storm and would keep it in his grasp for the coming years. His first 5 albums all reached number one on the Billboard charts. Each one went platinum in the U.S. alone for a total of over 18 million copies in the time span of just five years, highlighting how quickly and how much of an immense success the rapper truly was. Today, we are honoring DMX, celebrating his life and the footprints he left on Hip Hop fans all around the world.
Last week, the artist suffered a heart attack that many believed to be a complication related to a drug overdose. X’s struggles with addiction began at a young age when a mentor had laced a marijuana blunt with crack cocaine unbeknownst to the budding teenager, adding onto a childhood of poverty and abuse he had already suffered through for many years. In recent years though, X seemed to be taking a step in the right direction going as far as checking himself into rehab in 2019 for fear of relapsing. These precautions proved to be insufficient however, as Hip Hop lost an icon this morning when DMX passed away this morning far sooner than anybody could have ever expected. The ripple effect his passing has had on both the rap community and the broader music industry is bountiful and can be seen on virtually every social media platform at every turn.
Not only did DMX sell tens of millions of albums globally throughout his career but he also saw success in film and television, starring in the 1996 film Belly alongside rapper Nas as well as hosting his own reality television show on BET in 2006, DMX: Soul of a Man. DMX wasn’t just a rapper, but a personality as well that was substantially larger than the life he had built for himself: his spirit was energetic and captivating, his music dominated the airwaves and clubs and he did it all from the ground up. From growing up in an impoverished and abusive environment to becoming one of the most notable and revered names in music today, DMX is a prime example of what it means to overcome the odds. May his soul rest in paradise and may his music live on for the rest of eternity.
Thank you DMX for all you have contributed to rap fans worldwide.