"Musicians often put on an exaggerated persona when on stage to make themselves seem more legitimate to the audience. Whether it's bragging about the number of women they lay or the fineness of the Maseratis they drive, this kind of casual exaggeration is perhaps most common in hip-hop artists.
DMX, on the other hand, is not in any way exaggerating when he describes being a bad, bad man in his songs."Earl Simmons (December 18, 1970), more widely known by his stage name DMX, is a rapper and actor from Yonkers, New York. The name DMX was originally not an acronym, but simply part of a name taken from a popular drum machine of The '90s, the Oberheim DMX. However, the acronym has come to stand for "Dark Man of the Unknown (or X for short)."DMX is widely known for his harsh, gravelly voice, his violent subject matter (particularly in his earlier albums), and the frequent call-and-response lyrics used in his songs. That, and his extensive arrest record.
—Cracked.com, "The 7 Most Impossible Rock Stars To Deal With"
- It's Dark and Hell Is Hot (1998)
- Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood (1998) note
- ...And Then There Was X (1999)
- The Great Depression (2001)
- Grand Champ (2003)
- Year of the Dog...Again (2006)
- Undisputed (2012)
- Redemption of the Beast (2015)
This artist provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: His mother starved him and abandoned him in a group home.
- Accidental Misnaming- Used in Damien IIIDamien"What happened to the right hand, Light Man?X"Nah, that's Dark ManDamien"Well, let's get it right, then."
- All Girls Want Bad Boys- "Good Girls, Bad Guys" from ...And Then There Was X provides a somewhat humorous take on this.
- As the Good Book Says- "Lord Give Me a Sign" begins with DMX quoting Isaiah 54:17.
- Badass Preacher- He always finds a way to insert a full-blown prayer track into his albums in between the gangster joints.
- Big "WHAT?!" - Pretty much every second word in most of his songs.
- Call-and-Response Song- The Damien series, as well as Angel and a few other songs.
- Call Back- In Damien III- "What happened to the right hand, Light Man?" is a Call Back to Damien's "For that nigga, I would bleed/ give him my right hand/ now that I think about it, yo, that's my man!"
- Chronic Villainy- Referenced occasionally in his Prayer songs, as well as Ready To Meet Him.
- Creator Thumbprint: DMX loves dogs. Specifically, pitbulls.
- Deal with the Devil- "Damien" and its sequels.
- Dream Team- His collaboration with Eminem.
- Evil-Detecting Dog: In "Damien II", a dog is terrified of and barking at the mysterious man who is later revealed to be the Devil.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: The Great Depression's "I Miss You" is an ode to his late grandmother.
- Disappeared Dad: His father left him and his mom to take care of themselves.
- Downer Ending- The song "ATF" ends with DMX dying in a shootout with police.
- Actually insinuated it was all a dream.
- Even Evil Has Standards: In "The Professional," X tells the story of a hitman from a first-person perspective.I could be the one driving the school bus that yo kid's in / Except that I don't like to involve women and children
- Evil Sounds Deep- In the "Damien" series, the titular character usually has a strange yet not necessarily deep voice. However, should he get serious about something, this trope goes into full swing.
- Any time he takes his shirt off onstage, wave of fangirl shrieks—more girls than you'd ever think would be at a hardcore rap concert—is sure to follow.
- Foster Kid: Lived in group homes and foster homes for a while after his mother abandoned him.
- Hair-Trigger Temper: If his arrest record and his music wasn't evidence enough.
- Hey, It's That Voice!- Having guest rappers Jadakiss and Styles P on a song from Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood is pretty par for the course for a rap album. Having Marilyn Manson most certainly is not.
- Many people thought "Damien" was just DMX doing a high pitched voice. It's actually Mos Def.
- Horrorcore: It's Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood.
- I Love the Dead: This lyric from "Bring Your Whole Crew":I got blood on my hands and there's no remorse / I got blood on my dick 'cause I fucked a corpse!
- List Song- "Who We Be" from The Great Depression and "What These B***ches Want" from ...And Then There Was X.
- Loners Are Freaks: "How many times do I have to tell you rap niggas I have no friends?!" (from "What's My Name?")
- Lyrical Tic: He makes frequent use of growls, barking, "uh!", and "come on!" in his songs
- Mood Whiplash- His video for "Where Da Hood At?" is his typical violent gangster rap (sprinkled with a little gay bashing), but then it goes into a clip of "Ayo Kato," a sweet, sad tribute to a deceased friend.
- Moral Dissonance- DMX will go from gangster raps about committing murder to what are essentially gospels within the same album.
- Mr. Fanservice: Has quite a number of female fans, must be the allergy to shirts.
- Myth Arc- The "Damien" story crosses songs from three different albums.
- Professional Killer- "The Professional" from ...And Then There Was X has DMX portray a contract killer as opposed to simply a gangster.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: Commonly used, but most evident in "What's My Name?", where he recites his name, the title, and numerous other phrases IN! THIS! MANNER!
- Soprano and Gravel- His duets with Aaliyah and Monica.
- Verbal Tic- "What?!", "C'mon!", and dog barks and growls, among other things.
- The barking even surfaced during his Behind the Music episode, while he was talking about his dead grandmother.