DMX - Photo by Taylor Schumacher

DMX passed away on April 9 after a heart attack, and with his passing came widespread mourning from both the hip-hop community and the world in general. DMX, whose real name was Earl Simmons, struggled throughout his life with substance abuse that rivaled that of a stellar career.

According to The Washington Post, Simmons’ birthplace is either Baltimore, Maryland or Mount Vernon, New York. The rapper became a hip-hop mainstay after the release of his debut album “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” in 1998.

In an era dominated by style over substance at that particular time, he was a revelation on the mic. With a voice as gritty as his upbringing, DMX instantly stood out as a name that people would remember.

During his heyday in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, he had multiple number one albums, as well as multiple memorable singles, including songs like “Ruff Ryders Anthem,” “Party Up (Up In Here)” and “X Gon’ Give It To Ya,” to name a few.

He also had roles in such films as “Belly,” “Cradle 2 the Grave” and “Romeo Must Die.”

He leaves behind four children. May he rest in peace.

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