DMX Dec 18, 1970 - Apr 09, 2021 (age 50)
1991–1996: Career beginning
DMX got his start in the music industry in 1984, when he beatboxed for Ready Ron. After serving time in prison for stealing a dog, he began writing his own lyrics and performing at the local recreation center for younger children. After going to prison in 1988 for carjacking, he began taking rapping more seriously, dedicating almost all of his free time to writing lyrics and also meeting and rapping with K-Solo while incarcerated.
When DMX was released that summer, he began producing and selling his own mixtapes where he rapped over instrumentals from other songs and sell them on street corners, which helped him build a local fan base all over New York.In 1991, The Source magazine praised DMX in its Unsigned Hype column that highlighted unsigned hip-hop artists. In 1992, Columbia Records signed DMX to their subsidiary label Ruffhouse, which released his debut single "Born Loser". He released his second single, "Make a Move" in 1994, and made a guest appearance alongside Jay-Z, Ja Rule, and Mic Geronimo on the classic underground track "Time to Build" on Mic Geronimo's debut album in 1995.
1996–2000: Signing with Def Jam and commercial success
DMX recorded tracks from September 1996 to January 1998, for his debut album. During this time, his guest spot appearances on Mase's singles "24 Hrs. to Live" and "Take What's Yours", The LOX's single "Money, Power & Respect", and LL Cool J's single "4, 3, 2, 1" created a strong buzz for the then-unsigned rapper. In February 1998, DMX released his debut major-label single, "Get at Me Dog", on Def Jam. The single was certified gold by the RIAA.His first major-label album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, which included the single "Ruff Ryders' Anthem", was then released in May 1998. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S and sold over five million copies.In December 1998, DMX released his second album, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. It debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and went multi-platinum.
DMX released his third and best-selling album ... And Then There Was X, on December 21, 1999. It was his third album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200. Its most popular single, "Party Up (Up in Here)", became his first Top Ten hit on the R&B charts, and was nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance at the 2001 Grammy Awards.The album was certified six-times Platinum, and was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2001 Grammy Awards.In 2000, DMX also made a cameo appearance in the Sum 41 music video for "Makes No Difference".]
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