DMX was once known as one of the toughest rappers in the music industry, best known for his hits X Gon’ Give It To Ya, Where Da Hood At?, What’s My Name, and Ruff Ryders’ Anthem.
The 1990s and the early 2000s comprised the heyday of this rapper’s career, but his music has always remained popular.
His shocking death in early April of 2021 rattled the rap community and served as a haunting reminder that nobody is invincible to drug addiction.
What Is DMX’s Net Worth?
DMX had a net worth of –$1 million at the time of his death due to bankruptcy in 2013 and 14 counts of tax fraud worth $2.3 million in 2017.
Before this financial plummet, DMX had made millions through his career as a rapper, actor, and even a film producer.
DMX, legally named Earl Simmons, was born on December 18th of 1970 in Mount Vernon, New York.
He was raised by his single mother who had him when she was only 19 years old.
Despite being raised in the Jehovah’s Witness community of Yonkers, New York, DMX would struggle throughout his childhood due to the abuse he received from his mother and her multiple boyfriends over the years.
Because of the treatment that he was receiving at home, Simmons would often misbehave at school.
The future rapper would be sent to Julia Dyckman Andrus Children’s Home for over a year but would eventually go back to another children’s home as a teenager.
While he was living at the children’s home, DMX got his first taste of music while playing around with the DMX drum machine, which is where the rapper got his name.
DMX would learn to replicate the drumbeats that the machine could create, serving as practice for his beatboxing.
The young musician would rap for his friends and began working on his own music.
He wouldn’t truly become DMX until meeting and partnering up with New York rapper Ready Ron.
Ready Ron was impressed by the aspiring rapper’s beatboxing skills and his impeccable sense of rhythm, so Ron invited DMX to become his rap partner.
This was DMX’s introduction to the New York rap scene, which would eventually lead to his worldwide success.
Sadly, DMX’s struggle with drug addiction would lead to his tragic demise.
Becoming A Rap Legend
DMX is best known for his musical career, which consisted of multiple hit songs across seven different albums.
The rapper’s debut album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, was a major success that allowed him to make a major splash in the music scene in 1998.
DMX came into the rap scene at the perfect time.
With the loss of Tupac Shakur and the rise of friendlier rappers, there was a void for new hip-hop that kept that same level of grit that classic rap had.
The debut album sold more than 250,000 copies when it was first released and has continued to sell countless more copies since.
Having found such fruitful success with his first album, DMX was his next album in the following year.
In the same year, DMX released Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood.
It took him only six months to release this album, which earned him his second number one Billboard hip-hop album, a feat only previously achieved by Tupac Shakur.
And Then There Was X is DMX’s third and best-known album, including all of his most popular songs such as Party Up (In Here), Where The Hood At?, X Gon’ Give It To Ya.
This album earned DMX the title of the 2000 American Music Awards Favorite Rapper and Hip-Hop Artist.
In 2001, the rapper’s fourth album The Great Depression sold 440,000 copies in the first week alone.
The popularity of the rapper was decreasing with each album, with his fifth album Grand Champ selling 312,000 copies.
Year of the Dog… Again was produced in 2006 and sold only 126,000 copies within the first week.
Starting A Career In Film
DMX wanted to be even more than a legendary rapper and was quick to take on any acting gig that came his way.
The rapper’s first role was a voice role playing himself in the adult-focused cartoon series South Park, appearing in the episode Chef Aid.
In 1998, DMX joined fellow rappers Nas, Method Man, Taral Hicks, and T-Boz for the crime drama Belly.
DMX played Tommy Bundy, a young man who gets mixed up in the world of organized crime.
Two years later, DMX would appear in the action-thriller Romeo Must Die as Silk.
That same year, the rapper turned actor appeared in Boricua’s Bond, a story that follows the lives of characters who live in the South Bronx of New York City.
For the 2001 film, Exit Wounds, DMX starred alongside Steven Seagal as Latrell Walker.
A couple of years later, DMX would make a guest appearance as himself on the early 2000s television show Eve on the episode, She Snoops to Conquer.
DMX would appear on television again in 2003 when he played Kandid Jones on the episode In Lieu of Johnson of Third Watch, a series centered on a group of first responders working the night shift in New York City.
In 2004, the rapper got his first lead role as King David in Never Die Alone.
By this time in his acting career, it was clear what roles DMX liked to take on and the ones that filmmakers preferred to cast him for.
His time on the streets of New York had given DMX plenty of inspiration for his tragic characters.
In 2009, DMX took a more unique role in the horror film The Bleeding as Tagg.
His acting career would continue until his death in 2021.
Struggling With His Mental Health
DMX was never blind to how much of a toll his childhood and life circumstances had taken on his mental health.
The childhood trauma that the rapper endured was enough to cause later mental health problems, but it was his drug addiction that played one of the largest roles in the destruction of his brain.
During a 2020 interview, DMX opened up about his battle with bipolar disorder and multiple personality disorder.
Between 0.01% and 1% of people are diagnosed with multiple personality disorder, which is also known as Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Although it is unknown whether the rapper was born with Dissociative Identity Disorder or if it was the result of his early drug use is unknown, but extreme stress and substance abuse are known to trigger Dissociative Identity Disorder.
Like many other creative geniuses, DMX struggled with his bipolar disorder and talked about it as the main reason for his troubled past.
The mental health disorder was also a source of motivation for him to change his life.
He even began preaching, hoping to teach others the lessons that they thought they were too tough for.
As he aged, the rapper began to open up more and more about his struggles with mental health.
He even appeared on Dr. Phil’s show to discuss his actions in comparison to his mental health struggles, hoping to convince the viewers to get help before they make the same mistakes he did.
DMX understood that his position in the spotlight could help him change the narrative surrounding mental health, opposing those who claimed that it wasn’t real or something that only happened to weak people.
Rather than seeing his mental health as a weakness that needs hiding, he chose to see it as a meter of his mental strength.
The Lifelong Drug Addiction
DMX’s drug addiction began in the 1980s when he was only 14 years old.
The first time he ever did any kind of drug was when Ready Ron handed him a blunt laced with crack cocaine when the young rapper was only 14 years old.
His addiction to crack cocaine would follow DMX closely for the rest of his life and would repeatedly become a problem for him.
When thinking back to that moment, the rapper would get frustrated and disappointed and angry with his earliest mentor.
The rapper never understood how his mentor, whom he loved and looked up to so dearly, would be so willing to harm the rapper’s younger self and put him on such a destructive path.
This would also result in many legal repercussions that quickly chipped away at his wealth.
As DMX became more popular, he had more money to throw at lawyers or whatever it took to allow him to continue doing the same illegal actions he was doing before his rise to fame.
He was arrested for drug possession every couple of years from 2002 to 2013.
After being sent to a rehabilitation center as a result of being in possession of marijuana, assaulting guards, and driving without a license, DMX was found in possession of multiple drugs and had his second animal cruelty case filed against him in 2002.
The rapper was caught with crack cocaine in 2004 while driving under the influence.
It would only be four years later when DMX would be found in possession of cocaine, after being searched in reference to animal cruelty.
Starting in 2011 and through 2013, the rapper was frequently found driving under the influence of drugs without a license.
This lethal addiction to crack cocaine would eventually lead to the legendary rapper’s demise.
His Animal Cruelty Cases
DMX faced multiple animal cruelty cases throughout his life, despite the strong influence that dogs had on him during his teenage years.
To avoid the cruel treatment and poor living conditions that would await the young rapper at home, DMX would spend his time walking the streets and spending his time with the local street dogs.
His love of these animals was disfigured by the effect that drugs were already having on his mind by the age of 14 years old.
The first time that DMX was sent to jail was for stealing a dog out of a junkyard in 1986.
In 1999, a dozen pit bulls were taken from the rapper’s New Jersey home.
There were dead dogs found on the property and 13 living dogs, all of which looked close to death.
The dogs found at the rapper’s home were extremely young and were deformed from having to spend all of their days in tight cages.
Many of the puppies had to be surgically removed from their cages and not all of the dogs made it through surgery.
Out of the 13 dogs that the New Jersey police retrieved from the home, only four of them survived.
The other nine dogs died while in the care of animal rescue groups or were euthanized.
DMX was fined $30,000 for his wrongdoings and was made to donate an additional $27,000 to create radio commercials and posters condemning animal cruelty.
In 2007, another 12 dogs were found in DMX’s Arizona home, and they were all extremely malnourished.
What made this case different was how the rapper defended himself, claiming that he hired a caretaker for his dogs and was disheartened by their treatment.
Once again, the rapper would be put behind bars, and the animals were removed from his property.
A Father Of 15 Children
Throughout his life, DMX had 15 children with a 27-year gap between the youngest child and the eldest child.
The legal mess that having 15 different heirs and no will has caused the process to drag on for nearly a year so far.
The woman with whom the rapper had children was his ex-wife and childhood friend, Tashera Simmons, having three sons and a daughter with her.
Xavier Simmons is the oldest of his father’s children at 28 years old, followed by
Tacoma, Sean, and daughter, Praise.
DMX has another daughter named Sasha Simmons, who is 19 years old.
She was one of the children DMX fathered with another woman while married to Tashera Simmons.
The rapper has another daughter who is the same age as Sasha Simmons named Jada Oden-Simmons.
Two years later, DMX would have another child with Monique Wayne named Javon Wayne-Simmons.
The rapper also left behind a 10-year-old daughter named Aaliyah Simmons, who was named after the late singer Aaliyah because of the close relationship that DMX shared with the late singer and actress.
He also had a daughter with Shikoya Walton named Michelle Walton-Simmons.
DMX had another daughter and son named Z’riyah and Emmanuel Simmons with Yadira Borrego, whom the rapper was with on and off for years before getting engaged to his last fiancée.
Emmanuel Simmons is nine years old, making him only a year older than DMX’s next daughter Sonovah Hillman Jr. Simmons.
The second youngest child that DMX has is a four-year-old son named Exodus, whom he named his final album after.
Exodus’s mother was DMX’s fiancée Desiree Lindstrom, whom he was engaged to at the time of his death.
The youngest children of the rapper are K’ydn and Aidyn Simmons, one-year-old twins born to Pebbles Junell.
How Tax Fraud Destroyed His Finances
In 2017, DMX pleaded guilty to failing to pay $1.7 million worth of taxes.
The rapper had been misrepresenting the amount of money he was making from 2010 to 2016 and was caught because he wasn’t paying the child support for his many children.
As the star was earning millions, he was claiming that he was making much less in order to be able to cover all of his child support and his lifestyle.
The Internal Revenue Service had been trailing the rapper since 2005 when he systematically avoided paying taxes for the money he had been making from his albums.
He was also charged for filing a false affidavit when he applied for bankruptcy in 2011 and 2012, while his income was unknown.
During these years, he had actually earned hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of income.
DMX was still paying back his taxes when he passed away.
His Startling Death
For years, DMX was seen as one of the toughest men in the rap industry.
He was everything that classic rap incorporates, from his life on the streets to his intimidating on-stage presence.
In 2021, the rapper was sent to a hospital in White Plains, New York after being found in “grave condition”.
While in the hospital, the rapper was on and off life support multiple times.
Paramedics were first called to the scene at 10:03 pm, where they immediately attempted to revive DMX and loaded him into the ambulance.
After a 30- to 40-minute drive, the rapper was receiving care at the hospital.
By the time he had arrived at the hospital, he had fallen into a coma from which he would never wake up.
His care team’s goal went from having him back up and walking to simply trying to make him comfortable as his body caught up to his brain.
During the time of his hospitalization, he had just recently completed a tour and was in the process of filming his next movie.
However, it was cardiac arrest that eventually killed DMX after oxygen couldn’t properly get to the brain.
Like a domino effect, his organs began shutting down in a chain reaction due to drug overdose.
Until the end of his life, he fought to stay alive for his family and his fans.