After suffering from a severe heart attack and organ failure, the legend DMX, born Earl Simmons, passed away Friday at the age of 50.
While keeping his family, friends, and fans in our prayers, let’s reflect on and celebrate the creative contributions and the lasting legacy that the one and only Dark Man X has left on hip hop culture, Blalck culture, and the film industry.
Since the early 1990s, DMX has dedicated his career to changing and dominating the hard-core hip-hop game after the deaths of Notorious B.I.G. and Tupac with his unique lyrics where the worlds of gangster rap and subtle references to Christianity collide.
In 1999, DMX dropped one of his most popular and chart-topping album …And Then There Was X, that earned him one of three Grammy nominations and featured the popular cut “Party Up (Up in Here” and “What They Really Want.” The song has been trending for quite a while since social media created the #DMXChallenge.
Chances are, you’ve heard this song on a TikTok with “Brenda, LaTisha, Linda, and Felicia.”
In 2000 and 2001, DMX was awarded the American Music Award for Favorite Rap/ Hip Hop Artist.
Even with eight studio albums and one on the way before his untimely death, DMX certainly didn’t limit himself, his creativity, and talent to music.
DMX left his mark in the film industry too. He gave unbelievably talented performances in Black cult-fav films like Belly co-starring Nas, Romeo Must Die with Jet Li and Aaliyah and Exit Wounds with Steven Seagal.
Despite a traumatic childhood and a bad deck of cards that was dealt to him throughout life, DMX was able to remain positive, true to himself, and grateful for the opportunities he was given. He used using his gifts and talents to fulfill his purpose here on Earth.
“I just need to have a purpose,” he said. “And I don’t even know that purpose, because God has given me that purpose since before I was in the womb, so I’m going to fulfill that purpose … whether I want to or not, whether I know it or not, because the story has already been written. If you appreciate the good, then you have to accept the bad.”
From your positivity and authenticity, to your creative contributions to the hip-hop game and film industry, you will truly be missed and forever cherished. Rest easy, legend.
By Jada Daniel, Sophomore, Beloit College