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DMX Biography

DMX Biography

Earl Simmons was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the second of three children. He grew up in the housing projects on School Street, in Yonkers, New York. He began rapping around the age of 13,[citation needed]. A local rapper eventually asked Simmons to beatbox for him. Simmons took the professional name DMX, after the Oberheim DMX, an early drum machine. He later adapted the name to mean "Dark Man X". He honed his skills during a stint at a group home. As a teenager, Simmons was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He spent much of his adolescence and early adulthood in and out of jail.

In the beginning, Earl Simmons (DMX) had already established a reputation on the underground scene long before any record label signed. He battled rappers from town to town and had his own group called Gangsters of the Ghetto (G.O.G) with his best friend DJ Superior and Big Jinx the third member of the team. They did a lot of live shows in the legendary school'12 and around Yonkers. This Crew created tons of mix CDs in the early 90's. In 1991the Source Awards awarded him "Unsigned Hype". Later Simmons was first signed to Columbia Records in 1992. He released one single, "Born Loser", which did not get much airplay. He was soon dropped from the label. He linked up with Pete McCormick Schaub, an A&R for Small Island Records. Eventually, he signed a management deal with Ruff Ryders. They negotiated deals with both Bad Boy and Death Row Records, but he eventually landed at Def Jam.


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