Shepherdstown, W.Va., – Earl Simmons better known as rap artist DMX passed away April 9. The 50 year old rapper from Mount Vernon, New York suffered a catastrophic heart attack on April 2 and was put on life support until his family announced the death in a statement.
Born in 1970 Simmons lived a full life including creating music, jail time and even starting as a beatboxer.
Simmons grew up in Yonkers, New York as an only child but turned to street crime at a young age. The crimes resulted in him living on the streets or in group homes.
By the mid-1980’s, Simmons started beatboxing on the streets at age 14. This was also the same time he was introduced to crack cocaine after thinking the blunt he was going to smoke was filled with marijuana.
The incident with crack cocaine led to a long and messy drug addiction. The addiction fueled much of his music, giving him an out to all the trauma endured throughout his childhood.
Before becoming a household name, Simmons was a big battle rapper in the early 90’s. He broke through when he was featured on the LL Cool J song, “4, 3, 2,1” and signed a contract with Def Jam shortly after.
It’s also important to recognize several other artists who have passed away recently and the trend of this happening. Rap artist Lil Peep died on Nov, 15th 2017 and he was only 21 years old. We have also lost Mac Miller and Juice Wrld on December 8th 2019. Juice Wrld also died at the age of 21.