DMX was among the powerhouses of hardcore rap, with many considering him a legend in the industry. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2021, leaving many to wonder — how much was DMX worth?
Ever since his debut peaked at number 1, rare in the industry, he had been racking in millions. When DMX was alive, resources estimated him to have a net worth of at least $10 million. But as of 2023, the rapping legend boasts a -$1 million net worth.
How did such a legendary hardcore rapper hit a negative net worth after his death? Read on to see how DMX built his fortune and fame — and how he lost it all after passing.
Born on December 18, 1970, Earl Simmons, aka DMX, was born and raised in New York. Born from teen parents, the rapper grew up in an impoverished area in NY. And it wasn’t long until he resorted to petty crimes to sustain himself.
DMX started exploring music when he dropped out of school in 5th grade. He partnered with local rapper, Ready Ron, rising from a rapper with street cred to an established celeb. It wasn’t until 1998 that DMX experienced true success, where his debut album peaked at number one.
By then, DMX had already started getting massive recognition from critics and rap music lovers worldwide. People loved the rapper’s lyrical work so much that DMX received several rewards and nominations. These include Grammy nominations and winning AMA’s favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist category for two years straight.
DMX dabbles a bit in acting when not writing music, appearing in several films as a supporting role.
DMX, or “Earl Simmons,” was born in New York on December 18, 1970, to mother Arnett Simmons and father Joe Barker. His parents conceived him when they were teens. And this led the rapper to grow up in an impoverished Yonkers, New York area.
Simmons’ father never tied the knot with this mother, leaving them shortly after his birth. Hence, the rapper grew up dealing with the abuse caused by his mother’s many boyfriends.
Despite the hardships, Simmons got to go to school, finishing elementary. Although he attended middle school and even prospered as an athlete, running with the varsity track and field team, he never graduated. Due to poor attendance and grades, Simmons dropped out and took a life of crime.
The young Simmons turned to armed robbery to get money in his teens. And his first heist was stealing a lady’s handbag, earning him $100, which he used to purchase a leash and harness for his dog back then and a pair of Timberland shoes for himself.
It wasn’t long until Simmons was robbing three people every day. As he got older, he decided to do carjacking.
Simmons had started writing hip-hop music and performing for his colleagues. During his exploration in rapping, he eventually met a local Yonkers rapper, “Ready Ron.” The established rapper admired Simmons’ beatboxing skills, and the two shortly became partners. And this is when Simmons coined his name “DMX.”
DMX started his rap career in 1998 when his debut studio album reached number one. It got met with commercial success, selling over 250,000 copies during the first week of release. And today, that album has sold over 5 million copies.
But it wasn’t until one year later that DMX made the most significant break in his career. His second album shortly became and remained his best-selling album, debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 and getting certified as Platinum six times. And among the popular songs on the album is “Party Up,” one of the rapper’s most famous hit singles.
During his career, DMX has released seven studio albums, the most recent being “Undisputed,” launched in 2012. Throughout his career, the rapper has sold over 70 million copies globally.
The rapper won several prestigious awards, including the AMA’s Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist, for two consecutive years in 2000 and 2001. Aside from that, DMX also got nominated for three Grammy’s and five MTV music video awards.
Aside from music, DMX also dabbled in acting, where he starred and played supporting roles in eight notable films. And he also made several cameos and documentaries.
DMX married his childhood friend, Tashera Simmons, at the beginning of his rise to fame. They stayed married for over ten years and welcomed four children together. She and the rapper publicly announced their separation in 2010.
When they were together, DMX was unfaithful, and DNA tests confirmed that he had fathered at least two kids born out of wedlock. Once the DNA results got released, they proved that the rapper fathered Monique Wayne’s child in 2007, and she shortly sued him for over $1 million in child support.
Although not much is known about his other kids, DMX had fathered at least 15 children. And his youngest kid was born to his then-girlfriend, Desiree Lindstrom, in 2016.
Messy love affairs aside, DMX also faced issues with drugs. And besides that, DMX also claimed to have bipolar disorder.
His first severe reaction was in 2016 when staff found the rapper unresponsive in a parking lot. DMX got resuscitated and administered Narcan before getting rushed to the hospital. Authorities didn’t find any illegal substances on the rapper’s property.
But a witness said DMX ingested some substance before fainting, which the rapper later insisted was due to an asthma attack. And it was in 2021 when the rapper experienced a fatal collapse, where he had a heart attack caused by a drug overdose.
Before his tragic demise, DMX has gotten arrested and imprisoned several times. His arrests include resisting arrest, reckless and unlicensed driving, and illegal drug possession. And in 2013, the rapper filed for bankruptcy, leaving him between $1 million and $10 million in debt across different creditors.
The rapper cited child support obligations as the priority claim, amounting to over $1 million. Aside from that, DMX got charged with 14 counts of tax fraud, amounting to over $1 million. Although the rapper got released in 2019, he still owed the IRS approximately $2.3 million.
How Much Was DMX Worth? (DMX Net Worth)
DMX’s net worth was between $10 million and $17 million when he was alive. But after his death, sources say the legendary rapper holds a net worth of -$1 million.
At his peak, DMX made money through record sales and publishing royalties. And the cash he was earning was no joke considering he debuted at number 1, which is rare in the rap industry.
He also collaborated with several artists, earning him millions as well. Music aside, DMX dabbled in the film industry when he was alive. The rapper appeared in several movies, such as Cradle 2 the Grave and Last Hour.
When he wasn’t rapping or acting, DMX also dabbled in film production. However, not much is known about his endeavors in this field. Either way, these also contributed to the legendary rapper’s net worth.
Aside from that, DMX also owned some real estate properties and had invested in cars and jewelry.
How Did DMX Make Money?
DMX built his massive fortune through music, experiencing commercial success since his debut. He started making racks during the release of his two studio albums. But alongside his early success also came financial trouble.
A year later, DMX was already in deep financial trouble, forcing Jay-Z to help and bail him out of his debts. And the rapper and former CEO of Def Jam paid over $12 million of DMX’s debt at the time.
Despite these financial hiccups, DMX steadily experienced great success with his music. And eventually, the rapper left Def Jam in 2006 to sign with a more prominent record label, Columbia Records. Shortly after, DMX fathered two kids, contributing to his financial downfall.
The kids’ biological mother sued the rapper for $1.5 million for failure to provide child support. Despite this hefty lawsuit, DMX would still father a whopping 15 children in the early 2000s. And this only resulted in more child support claims against him, draining his fortune.
With all the child support cases thrown against him, DMX eventually got arrested in 2015. The rapper got sent to jail for failing to pay $400k in child support. Aside from failing to pay child support, the rapper also experienced 14 counts of tax fraud. And this also landed him another year in jail, with obligations over $ 2 million.
Shortly, the rapper filed for bankruptcy, leaving him between $1 million and $10 million in debt.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How much was DMX worth during his career’s peak?
A: Experts estimate DMX to have a net worth between $10 million and $17 million during his peak. That includes all the extensive record sales and publishing royalties alongside his assets. So, even if DMX’s estate must pay off his significant debts, there’s likely still a fair amount left for his kids.
Q: How much money did DMX owe when he was alive?
A: DMX filed for bankruptcy many times when he was alive, where he owed over $1 million in child support alone. Despite his many successes, DMX faced many legal issues throughout his career. And those eventually resulted in his massive debts, earning him a -$1 million net worth in 2023.
Q: How much debt did DMX leave to his family?
A: DMX filed for bankruptcy several times when he was alive, with approximately $50k in assets, accruing between $1 million and $10 million in debt. Aside from that, the rapper also reported child support debts worth over $1 million.
Q: How did DMX get so much debt?
A: The primary source of DMX’s debt is his failure to provide child support payments to several women. Hence in 2013, the rapper filed for bankruptcy, leaving him over $1 million in debt. Aside from that, DMX’s financial issues got exacerbated by not paying his income taxes. And all these problems led to him getting imprisoned and millions in debt.
Q: Who did DMX leave his money to after his passing?
A: DMX abruptly died in 2021 due to a substance overdose, leaving no will in place. But as of now, his ex-wife, Tashera Simmons, and his oldest children are managing his estate. And his kids are petitioning to become administrators of his properties.
How much was DMX worth? Considering he experienced massive success from his first track, it’s unsurprising that DMX had a net worth of at least $10 million when he was alive. But as he passed away without a will and was buried with debt, DMX’s net worth as of 2023 is -$1 million.
Despite his inevitable downfall, there’s no denying DMX’s success. Although he had run-ins with the law, DMX was among the best hardcore rappers in the scene. So, even with his problematic career, many still follow DMX even after his death.
Now that you know this rap legend’s previous net worth, why not check out the wealth of the newest rappers in the scene? Check out rising young rapper NBA Youngboy’s net worth next!