Rapper Earl “DMX” Simmons leaves behind a legacy of stirring music filled with pain, passion and hope.
Simmons died Friday at a hospital in White Plains, New York, after suffering a heart attack last week and being placed on life support, according to a statement released by his family to The Associated Press. The star, who rose to fame in the ’90s and 2000s hip-hop scene, was 50.
As the world mourns the loss of a hip-hop legend with a distinctive sound and songs filled with truth, we look back at some of his most memorable lyrics and quotes.
DMX on his turbulent upbringing and family:
“Damn, was it my fault, somethin’ I did/ to make a father leave his first kid at 7 doin’ my first bid?” – “Slippin'” (1998)
“All I know is pain, all I feel is rain/ How can I maintain with that s— on my brain.” – “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem” (1998)
“You wanna be me? Here’s what you do/ Grow up neglected by both parents and still pull through.” – “Do You” (2000)
“X is the bad guy. That’s not who I am. I’m not the person the media portrays me to be. I used to be really clear on who was what and what characteristics each personality had. But I don’t know. At this point, I’m not even sure there is a difference. I’m Earl when I’m with my children. I miss my children.” – ABC 15 Arizona (2011)
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“I grew up with hip-hop. Hip-hop is not just music, its a lifestyle,” – People’s Party with Talib Kweli (2020)
“Now-a-days there’s so many variations of rap. Call it what it is, if it aint rap, don’t call yourself a rapper,” – Breakfast Club (2012)
“If the mainstream accepts it, okay. I’m not going to make it for the mainstream. I’d rather make music for people that I come in contact with, people that I can count on. That’s what I make my music for. People in the hood.” – GQ (2019)
“By the time the majority of fans heard my voice, I had been through all of the straining and everything. I rapped for 13 years before I became famous. So it was like, whatever was going to be done to my voice, it’s done to my voice. That’s why it’s still the same.” – The Ralphie Radio Show (2012)
“Be careful of the ones that always wanna get you high/ Cause when the time comes, that one’ll let you die.”- “Angel” (1999)
“I later found out he laced the blunt with crack … Why would you do that to a child? He was like 30 and he knew I looked up to him. Why would you do that to someone who looks up to you?” – People’s Party with Talib Kweli (2020)
“I will always have a drug problem. Just because you stop getting high doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem because it’s a constant fight everyday,” – “Iyanla, Fix My Life” (2013)
“I learned that I had to deal with the things that hurt me. I didn’t really have anybody to talk to… in the hood, nobody wants to hear that. Talking about your problems is viewed as a sign of weakness when actually it’s one of the bravest things you can do. One of the bravest things you can do is put it on the table, chop it up, and just let it out.”- People’s Party with Talib Kweli (2020)
“I don’t need to have a goal in mind. I just need to have a purpose. And I don’t even know that purpose, because God has given me that purpose since before I was in the womb, so I’m going to fulfill that purpose…whether I want to or not, whether I know it or not, because the story has already been written. If you appreciate the good, then you have to accept the bad.” – GQ (2019)
“As I’ma go through, whatever you want me to/ Just let me know what to do, Lord give me a sign!” – “Lord Give Me a Sign” (2006)
“It’s easier to sin, but it hurts my heart/ I’m really tryin’ to win, so where do we start?” – “Ready To Meet Him” (1998)