Earl Simmons, a global favorite and rap icon, better known by his stage name DMX, passed away on Friday (April 9) after being taken off of life support following a heart attack, which he endured last week.
The legend sold over 74 million records and became the first artist to release two chart-topping albums in the same year — It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot; and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood in 1998. Rising to viral triumph in the 1990s, DMX gave hip hop a plethora of hit singles including “Where The Hood At?,” “What These Bitches Want,” and “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” to name a few. Collaborating with artists like JAY-Z, Aaliyah, LL Cool J, and Faith Evans amongst others, X’s legacy and global impact are indisputable.
To honor the fallen star, we picked out 11 inspirational quotes that DMX gave throughout his everlasting career. Hopefully, they can inspire you to be your best. That’s what X would’ve wanted. Check them out below.
1. “It’s the tough things that we go through, hard things we go through, that get us to that point where we’re better and stronger than we’ve ever been.”
In 2020, Wendy Williams got a chance to chat with DMX about his Verzuz battle with Snoop Dogg, new film, and relationship with Christ. Their interview had previously been scheduled to take place multiple occasions in the past, but DMX admitted that he wasn’t too good at taking criticism at the time. He shared how it is crucial to go through hardships to elevate and become stronger.
2. “Right, wrong, good, bad, heaven, hell. I think that is the theme of my life. I think you have to know both in order to honestly choose one. So, I’m familiar with both sides of the fence.”
In a 2004 interview with Blackfilm, DMX spoke about his acting role in the crime thriller film Never Die Alone. An adaption of its novel of the same name, he spoke on the familiarity of themes such as living a life of crime and redemption. “I had actual events and issues to draw from,” X shared.
3. “You have to have humility. You have to be able to humble yourself and know what you got, know where it came from.”
As a recent guest on REVOLT’s Drink Champs, DMX chopped it up with N.O.R.E and DJ EFN about some classic tales in his music and acting career. In the latter part of their interview, he emphasized the importance of humility despite how much fame or wealth accumulate. “God gave me the opportunity,” he states. “You have to have humility.”
4. “I’ma shine regardless, my steps have already been ordained. My steps have already been written, the Lord has already written my steps out so no one can do anything to stop it.”
Despite facing much adversity, whether that be from major labels or fellow emcees, DMX kept a positive attitude and remained calm through his troubles. In an old interview with media platform 247HH, the New York rapper talked about how he thought the rap industry had a conspiracy against him, but he continued to do him regardless. “They didn’t want to play my music, they didn’t want to do any commercials for the show or anything, but I still sold out,” he said.
5. “Do dirt, get dirt. So, I treat people with the same respect that I want. I don’t walk around big headed. I’m not a superstar. I’m a man like you’re a man. We’re all people. It’s a mutual respect. I’m not going to disrespect you, don’t disrespect me.”
Following his acting role in Never Die Alone, DMX’s first production under Bloodline Films, IGN chatted with the rap icon about the movie and how he applied it to his career. “Well, I’m not a grimy person, so it doesn’t really apply. I already got past that point. Do dirt, get dirt. So, I treat people with the same respect that I want,” he stated. “I’m not going to disrespect you, don’t disrespect me. I say what’s up, I’m easygoing, but if you violate, shit happens.”
6. “The minute you get too big to mop a floor or wipe a counter, that’s the exact minute you have life fucked up.”
One day while visiting a Waffle House, DMX relieved an employee of mop duty after grabbing a late-night bite. TMZ states that the worker — who said he was a big fan — touched DMX to the point where he grabbed the mop and began finishing his job. “I was in a good mood and felt that I would do that for him since it was 4 a.m. and [the employee] had been working all night,” he stated. It exemplified the caring person X was.
7. “We each have a star, all you have to do is find it. Once you do, everyone sees it, you won’t be blinded. They’ll say that you’re bright and that you have a future, but when you turn your back, the same cats will shoot [you].”
In a rare one-on-one interview, prominent journalist and radio personality Sway Calloway had the chance to chop it up with X about his fourth studio album, family life, and much more. The rapper candidly gave a message to all his supporters, saying: “Take it for what it’s worth. My birth was a blessing. Sent to live and die on Earth; it’s a blessing. We each have a star. All you have to do is find it. Once you do, everyone sees it, you won’t be blinded.” DMX concluded, “I look at both sides of the fence and look at what you do, when you do, when you talk, and see what you really meant.”
8. “A lot of people, we want a miracle, we want a huge blessing. People will forget that a miracle will only happen on the platform of a tragedy.”
In his 2016 interview with “The Breakfast Club,” DMX spoke about how blessings are formed through hardships. “You never know how God is going to do what he’s going to do, but you should know that he’s going to do something,” DMX told the co-hosts. If everything is already going well, X questioned what more could you get out of the situation. “You’re already blessed, what could the miracle be?” he closed.
9. “Don’t believe everything you hear. Don’t believe everything you read. And only believe half of what you see.”
“Don’t have an assumption of who I am until you’ve met me,” DMX says in response to being asked what he wants people to know about him, particularly those who judge him for his past run-ins with the law. During an in-jail interview with FOX Phoenix, he emphasized: “That’s like seeing a person taking a piss on the side of the road. He might be a fireman who just saved someone’s life. You can’t just look at that one instance and determine who that man is.”
10. “If you’re influencing people, I think you should consider life is too precious to have them chasing the wrong things. Don’t give them jewelry, give them jewels.”
Speaking on the 2002 talk show “Oh Drama,” DMX discussed how having influence over people comes with the responsibility to speak wisely and not steer them in the wrong direction. “If you’re influencing people, I think you should consider life is too precious to have them chasing the wrong things,” the rapper said. “Don’t give them jewelry, give them jewels.”
11. “It’s a waste of energy to think about what somebody else is doing and how they doing it. I’ma just do what I do.”
For the 10-year anniversary of DMX’s classic 1998 debut It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, XXL had the opportunity to chat with him in regards to the project and adapting to the digital era. Though asked some tough questions about ringtones and rap sales, the rapper remained unphased and solely focused on himself rather than comparing himself to other artists at the time. He said: “Anything that’s not positive, I don’t have the energy to focus on it. Anything that’s not going in the right direction I don’t have the time or the energy.”