DMX, Iconic Rapper, Dead at Age 50

by Max Long

Rap icon DMX has died at age 50 after suffering a heart attack on April 2nd. After days on life support at a hospital in White Plains, New York, the iconic rapper passed away Friday surrounded by family.

DMX suffered a heart attack in his home on April 2nd and was rushed to the hospital. His longtime lawyer Murray Richmond reported the events to CNN. His attorney said that the award-winning rapper suffered a heart attack. However, other sources reported that he overdosed in his home.

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons has had a long battle with addiction. For years, Simmons spoke about his addiction to crack cocaine. At the same time, the drugs affected both his professional and personal life as well as his health. Though his story came to a sad end, his life still serves as an inspiration.

DMX: Rags to Riches While Battling Addiction

Earl “DMX” Simmons was born to a teen mother in New York. He grew up poor in an abusive household. At a young age, he found comfort by befriending stray dogs that roamed the streets of Yonkers at night. This fondness with dogs is evident in the canine imagery and barking found in much of his music.

In his teen years, DMX found himself in several boys’ homes. That is where he found his passion for writing and performing music. Like many other musicians, he found the outlet for his life’s woes in the music he created. It was that budding talent that would one day take him to the level of hip hop superstardom.

DMX found another thing in his early teen years as well – crack. So, he battled his addiction to the drug while climbing out of the underserved neighborhoods in which he grew up. Addiction wasn’t his only hindrance, though. Simmons also had several legal issues over the years. He did his first stint in prison in 1986.

In 1998, DMX dropped his first major single, “Get at Me Dog,” and it went gold. The album that featured the single, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot 200. The album has since sold over five million copies.

Later that same year, DMX released Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. His second album also debuted at number one. It stayed there for three weeks straight. Over half of a million units shipped in the first week. His sophomore album went 4x platinum.

From there, DMX rode the wave of his fame. He never had a single reach the top of the Billboard charts. However, the streets love him. Many of his songs are autobiographical. They speak directly to the streets of New York where he was raised. Simmons is the fifth best selling rap/hip hop artist but he never forgot his roots.

So yes, DMX came to a sad end after a battle with the deadly disease of addiction. However, his flame burned bright to light the way for many others. His life is both an inspiration and a cautionary tale. He will be greatly missed by his fans as well as his friends and family.