The passing of hiphop legend & cultural icon DMX is a crushing blow. Earl "DMX" Simmons gave hope to the hopeless over his 20 year career, evolving the genre & elevating hiphop's visibility across many lines previously unseen.
The multi-talented artist expanded into films & other forms of art well outside of hiphop, and was a rawly authentic ambassador of the culture. His record sales alone tallied over 14 million copies in the US, and earned him a monstrous three Grammy nominations. He also enjoyed a parallel career as the star of several early 2000's blockbuster films, a first at that time for an urban artist.
The secret to DMX's musical power was his singular ability to be commercial while keeping his hardcore credibility intact.
Intensity and theatricality were his cornerstone trademarks, from his muscular and tattooed physique to the gruffness of his delivery.
X was a fearless creator. His lyrics were unapologetic, and he cared little for what anyone thought of him while rapping about the streets of Yonkers, Mount Vernon & The Bronx that raised him, candidly recounting gangster tales & confronting his addictions, a lifelong battle that ultimately took him far too soon.
"We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50-years-old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days," family's statement read in part.
"Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end," the family continued. "He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him."
We at SOULER salute the legend. He now belongs to the ages.