Another celebrity who managed to achieve success while living with bipolar disorder. I love reading these types of stories because they serve as motivation for me. Bipolar disorder doesn’t limit your success, and you can conquer anything you put your mind to. Some celebrities I’ve written about before achieved success beyond your imagination. I gain motivation and satisfaction not because of the money or the fame they have, but the fact they’ve conquered their dreams while living with bipolar. This contradicts what I’ve grown up believing, for example, I was told bipolar disorder will limit my success and I’ll have a hard time living out my dreams. After reading these success stories, I know it’s not true.
DMX’s story is full of highs and lows, which you’ll read later. I grew up listening to his music when I was a teenager. It’s deep and connects with people at a different level. I guess it’s because you can hear the pain in his words.
DMX – Rapper, Record Producer, and Actor
He was born Earl Simmons on December 18, 1970, in Mount Vernon, New York. His career started in 1991 when a magazine – The Source wrote a story about him in the Unsigned Hype column. This section talks about new artists with incredible talent, but who are yet to be signed to a record label. Around this time, DMX recorded his first demos – Unstoppable Force and Three Little Pigs.
DMX was signed to Columbia Records in 1992 but was released shortly after because his debut single “Born Loser” didn’t receive much airplay. In 1994, he released the second single, and started making guest appearances alongside – Jay Z, Ja Rule, The LOX, and LL Cool J.
DMX got his big break in February 1998 after releasing his major-label single, “Get at Me Dog”, on Def Jam Recordings. In May of the same year, DMX’s released his first major album – It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. This album included a single called “Ruff Ryders Anthem” making the album debut at number one on the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S and sold over 5 million copies. Later, in December 1998, DMX released his second album – Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. This album sold 670,000 within one week and was certified platinum 4 times.
DMX’s life has been a rollercoaster of financial and legal troubles. In 2013, he filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy after not being able to pay child support. He has 15 children with different women.
In 1999, the Fort Lee Police Department executed a search warrant on his home where they found weapons. In 2002, DMX pleaded guilty in New Jersey to 13 counts of animal cruelty, and in 2008 was arrested again on drug and animal cruelty charges. In between, he’s spent time in jail for drugs, DWI, possession of marijuana, reckless driving, and attempted aggravated assault.
In an interview with VeryWell.com on June 28th, 2016, he was asked about bipolar disorder. DMX had recited in his lyrics –
“Listed as a manic depressive with extreme paranoia/And dog, I got something for ya/Hear my name, feel my pain . . .”
When asked about his bipolar, DMX became very angry and wanted to know where the interviewer heard that. Here’s the whole conversation –
“Waaaay too personal,” he says quietly. He’s silent for a second, then, abruptly, he laughs and stands: “I’m gonna have to beat you up now,” he announces. “Lock the door.”
The producer P.K., who has worked on tracks with him for years, is there on crutches, his ankle bandaged. (“A little drama,” explains P.K. reluctantly. “He was shot,” someone says.) DMX grabs one of P.K.’s crutches. “Manic depression? Where did you get that from?” he demands, holding the crutch mock-threateningly.
From your own lyrics.
“No,” he insists indignantly. “That never got out, man. Tell me what lyric that was in,” he challenges.
There’s an embarrassing pause, until someone reminds DMX of “Fuckin’ Wit D,” reciting: “Listed as a manic depressive with extreme paranoia/And dog, I got something for ya/Hear my name, feel my pain . . . “
“OK, OK,” DMX says
However, after being released from prison in July 2009, he started publicly talking about having bipolar disorder –
“X, X is the bad guy,” he said. “I used to be really clear about who was what and what each characteristics each personality had, but at this point, I’m not even sure there is a difference.” “I’m Earl when I’m with my children. I miss my children, I miss my children, I miss my children.” – VeryWell.com
Here’s an interview with ABC15 where DMX talks about his bipolar disorder.
I was surprised when DMX got angry when asked about his bipolar disorder, but I understand now. Looking back at my own experience, I kept my diagnosis a secret from everyone for a long time and was angry when people found out. Back then, I felt having a mental illness was a disadvantage. I’m glad DMX has publicly admitted he has bipolar so others living with it don’t have to feel like they should be in denial too.
DMX has been through a lot of ups and downs but continues to make progress. In January 11th, 2017, DMX was back in the studio, and released a new song produced by Swizz Beats entitled “Bain Iz Back”.
feature photo credit: http://www.rapbasement.com/dmx/041015-dmx-finally-speaks-robbery-accusations-video.html