DMX is an international superstar who has sold more than twenty million albums and defined hip-hop culture better than any of his peers. He also lived the kind of rags-to-riches story that has molded some of the best American heroes. From a smart and mischievous young boy to a teenager dubbed "Crazy Earl" to the most feared MC on the street, DMX never stopped struggling for the kind of life he knew belonged to him.
Born in Yonkers, New York, to a father who abandoned him and a mother ill equipped to raise her only boy, Earl Simmons grew to hate and distrust the world around him. But a passionate talent to rhyme gave him a dream, while a lifelong companionship with stray dogs gave him the strength to go on. His journey of self-discovery began with beatings, robbery, and group homes, lead to jails, car chases, gun battles, and rap wars, and culminated in commitment, love, fame, and fortune.
This is the extraordinary first-person account of a man who gives expression to the thoughts and feelings of those who have never been heard. In the process, Earl Simmons became a father, a husband, a role model, and an international icon know as DMX.
This is his story.
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Smokey D. Fontaine is the former music editor of The Source and coauthor of What's Your HI-FI Q? He has written extensively about the entire spectrum of hip-hop and rhythm and blues for more than a decade. He lives in New York.From Publishers Weekly:
With lyrics that balance an extremely bleak view of urban ghetto "thug life" with a deep spiritual yearning for communion with God, DMX (Earl Simmons) has produced four consecutive No. 1 releases over the past six years, making him one of the undisputed superstars in the hypercompetitive world of hip-hop. On the eve of his fifth release, DMX (with Fontaine, the former music editor of the leading hip-hop magazine, The Source) has chosen to tell his own version of his already well-publicized life story. Born to a single mother in the projects of Yonkers, N.Y., DMX led a life of "running, robbing, rapping" for his first 25 years, serving numerous jail terms until being discovered by the legendary rap record company Def Jam. But this is no quickie celebrity biography: the obvious model is Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised Land, the classic tale of the rise and fall and redemption of a tough inner-city youth. Like Brown, DMX is unsparing in describing the details of his hard life, including the brutal beatings he experienced at the hands of his mother and her boyfriends and the ease with which he adapted to his incarcerations ("I was used to sleeping on hard surfaces, used to eating rotten food"). As successful as his best recordings ("It's Dark & Hell Is Hot") in describing the tension between the author's street and spiritual sides, this is a painfully honest account of how one individual overcame "a lifetime of suffering" by discovering and believing in his lyric talent.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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