Rapper DMX, best known for several multi-platinum albums and a string of hits including “What’s My Name”, “Ruff Ryders Anthem” and “Party Up (Up In Here)”, has passed away. The popular musician collapsed at his home on Friday evening. Paramedics rushed him to the hospital, but he was unable to recover despite the effort of doctors. He was just fifty years old.
It’ll likely take weeks or even months before we know exactly what happened, but early reports are speculating the popular rapper may have suffered an overdose, which caused a heart attack on Friday evening. According to TMZ, he was without oxygen for around thirty minutes, which reportedly led to brain damage. His loved ones reportedly flew to the hospital in White Plains, New York to see him in his final days.
DMX, real name Earl Simmons, emerged on the rap scene in the late 1980s and secured a record contract in 1992. He released his first major label album in 1998. It sold five million copies. It was the first of five consecutive albums to debut at number one on the charts. Many of his singles also had particular success including eleven that hit the Billboard Hot 100 charts with him as the lead artist and quite a few more that he guested on.
During the peak of his popularity in the late 90s and early 2000s, DMX was one of the biggest names in the music world. He sold more than twenty million albums, fifth most by a rap or hip hop artist. His unrelenting and aggressive style was also widely emulated by many artists that came after him, and he’s routinely cited as a major influence by many of the world’s most popular rappers.
Outside of his popular music career, DMX also led a very vibrant and colorful life. He reportedly fathered fifteen children, some with his wife of eleven years Tashera Simmons and some with other partners. In addition, he also had quite a few brushes with the law, often over substance abuse issues, and once escaped from prison before his mother allegedly convinced him to return. He tried rehab on several occasions for his various addictions and had some periods of sobriety and some periods of relapse.
Throughout it all, DMX remained a popular figure and favored cultural reference. News of his hospitalization led to an outpouring of support from fans and many thousands of get well tweets including kind words from LL Cool J, messages of support from Kid Cudi and personal stories from Chance The Rapper among others. He will be remembered very fondly for years to come, both by those who knew him in real life and those who admired or connected with his music. Our thoughts go out to everyone who was touched by his life.