Rapper DMX has been embroiled in a “hard knock life” for what seems to be all of his almost 50 years of being alive. He’s been vocal of his past (and current) struggles. Between 1986 to 2019, the rapper has found himself behind bars for various offenses. However through it all, he has continuously persevered and has never been void of support from his die-hard fans.
DMX, born Earl Simmons, was making waves in music prior to breaking out into the mainstream with the release of his 1998 album. The album debut at the number one spot on Top Billboard 200 Albums charts, and would go on to sell over five million copies. The Ruff Ryders superstar has gone on to release eight studio albums, five of which have been certified platinum or multiplatinum, and a slew of hit singles. The Yonkers native has also been nominated for three Grammy awards and is the winner of two American Music Awards in 2000 and 2001 for “Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist” respectively.
Simmons has been quiet on the music front for some time, although reports back in 2019 suggested the rapper had signed a new deal with Def Jam Records, the label that released/distributed his music before moving to Columbia in 2006. He also participated in a Verzuz battle with west coast Hip-Hop legend Snoop Dogg that amassed a viewership of 1.9 million followers. Fans were happy to see the rapper in a great state, knowing his struggles, as they celebrated the hits of both legends.
He’s recently appeared on the “Ruff Ryders Chronicles” documentary on BET and he’s become a bit more candid about his battles, revealing that he has various personalities that have helped him all through his life. In the clip, he’s asked the question if there were parts of himself that helped him cope, and he swiftly responds with “yes”, and continues to explain. ”They’re different things… There’s a few things, a few people in me and they get me through life,” the “Party Up” rapper shares. The interviewer begins to press for more information, DMX responds with “I wouldn’t want anyone to know anything. I don’t talk about them. You already got me talking about them. Nope.”
However his ex-wife Tashera Simmons gave a breakdown of the personalities in another segment. “Earl,” she says, is the child that was there before his father left and his mother “didn’t know how to handle him.” “X”, is the angry persona that was created to “protect Earl”, and the final, “DMX”, is the entertainer that also protects “Earl”, but is “much nicer”. The segment switches back to the rapper where he begins to tear up as he speaks on the various personalities. “They’re there to get me through life,” the emotional rapper says. ”I don’t know if I made ’em or if God gave ’em to me, or maybe circumstances and situations did.”
Back in 2011, DMX spoke with ABC 15 in Arizona where he admitted to having bipolar disorder, but only acknowledges two personalities. “I used to be really clear on who was what and what characteristics each personality had,” he said at the time. “But I don’t know at this point. I’m not even sure there is a difference. I’m Earl when I’m with my children. I miss my children, I miss my children, I miss my children.
“I’m not the person the media portrays me to be,” he continued. “X is the bad guy. That’s not who I am. I’m not the person the media portrays me to be. Every day, I start my day off with a prayer, ask God to guide my steps. Cover me and keep me safe. Every album there’s a gospel song and a prayer. Every album, from the beginning.”