Turning Fans Into Ruff Ryders
Earl Simmons, widely known as DMX, had his hand on the pulse of hip-hop culture during the nineties and early 2000s. His raspy, aggressive tone combined with a surprising sense of self sparked a whole generation of “ruff ryders.”
His in-your-face gangster persona garnered him attention, but what kept people listening were the layers behind the bark. DMX’s vulnerability and willingness to show a range of emotions set him apart from the rappers of the day. It helped him make his decade-spanning mark.
With the passing of the iconic legend, it’s only right to look back at the career of the hardest dog in rap.
In 1998, DMX dropped his debut album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. The 19-track project showcased the full spectrum of who the New York-born rapper was. The energy and stories expressed in this one album explored everything from tough aggression to spirituality and wisdom.
DMX’s Illustrious Career
From his first project, songs like “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “How’s It Goin’ Down” will remain encapsulated in rap history. On such a well put together album, it’s hard to believe DMX was just scratching the surface of genius. Over the next 17 years, though, he would prove his musical prowess.
Before we knew it, DMX was turning out hits on top of hits – all the while growing a loyal fanbase. A year after dropping his debut, DMX made of the most played club-popping of all time “Party Up,” which was off third project … And Then There Was X. The track solidified that rap star’s name in the game and his well-known image helped make him a household name.
DMX influenced urban culture from the start with his distinct rap music and even a few acting roles on the big screen. His unexpected passing was more than tragic, and although it is sad to see him go, we will never forget when he was here. His music keeps his larger-than-life memory alive.