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Music / DMX

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"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 (born 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 X," with X meaning "unknown".

DMX is widely known for his harsh, gravelly voice, his extremely violent subject matter, constant Cluster F-Bombs and N-Word Privileges, rampant sexism and homophobia and the frequent call-and-response lyrics used in his songs. That, and his extensive arrest record. He occasionally acts, with his most high profile acting role is probably Cradle 2 the Grave opposite Jet Li.

He loves dogs, his levels of obsession ranging from owning a succession of beloved pets to identifying as a dog himself, frequently barking and growling in his songs and even eating dog food.



  • 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)

X gon' deliver these tropes to ya:

  • Abusive Parents: His mother starved him and abandoned him in a group home.
  • Accidental Misnaming: Used in Damien III
    Damien: What happened to the right hand, Light Man?
    X: Nah, that's Dark Man
    Damien: 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.
  • Animal Motifs: His obsession with dogs is prominent in his works, from the Angry Guard Dogs that appear in cover art to his audible barking and growling in songs.
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  • 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.
  • Born Unlucky: "Born Loser".
  • 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.
  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: The Great Depression's "I Miss You" is an ode to his late grandmother.
  • 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.
  • 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
    • Completely subverted in "X is Comin'". He kills an enemies entire family except for the daughter, whom if she is older than 15, he will rape right in front of the enemy while taunting them. It's implied if the daughter was younger than 15, then she would have been executed like the rest of the family.
  • 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.
  • Foster Kid: Lived in group homes and foster homes for a while after his mother abandoned him.
  • Guttural Growler: One of his biggest trademarks is his signature gruff voice, accompanied with his occasional barks.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: If his arrest record and his music wasn't evidence enough.
  • Horrorcore: It's Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood.
  • I Am the Trope: He declares "I am the hood! I am the streets!" in "Where The Hood At."
  • 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 dog-like growls, barking, "uh!", "what?!" and "come on!" in his songs, among other things. Given the association with dogs, he's also prone to using "cats" as short hand for "weak person."
    • The barking even surfaced during his Behind the Music episode, while he was talking about his dead grandmother.
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Party Up In Here" is pretty much this in song form, along with hints of Murder Ballad (such as the stanza "Listen, yo ass is about to be missing. You know who's gonna find ya? Some old man fishin'. Grandma's wishin' your soul was at rest, but it's hard to digest with the size of the hole in your chest."


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