Name at birth: Earl Simmons
DMX (Dark Man X) is a hard core rapper from the East Coast school, known for his aggressively brutal raps. DMX's 1998 single "Get At Me Dog" was a top-40 hit that pushed him into the upper tier of popular rappers and revived the strength of the Def Jam record label. The same year his debut album It's Dark, and Hell is Hot went to #1 on the Billboard charts. He followed that album with Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood (1999) and ...And Then There Was X (2000), both of which debuted at the no. 1 spot on the charts. He also recorded with the Ruff Ryders, a loose conglomeration of hip-hop all-stars. DMX then veered into acting and appeared in Romeo Must Die (2000, with Jet Li), Exit Wounds (2001, with Steven Seagal) and Never Die Alone (2004, with Michael Ealy). His run-ins with the law kept him in the public eye, but in 2003 he retired from recording. In 2006 DMX (sometimes called "Dog") was in the spotlight again, with a new album (Year of the Dog, Again, on the SonyBMG label) and a reality series on the BET cable network, DMX: Soul of a Man.
DMX took his name from the DMX digital sound machine… In spring of 2001 DMX served 10 days in a New York jail for driving without a license. In 2005 he was sentenced to 70 days in jail for violating conditions of a plea agreement from a 2004 incident at Kennedy Airport… He was arrested twice in one week in May 2008, both in Phoenix: first for speeding, and then on an indictment for felony drug possession and misdemeanor acts of animal cruelty, reportedly involving mistreatment of pit bulls.