‘More than an icon’: DMX Estate inks major deal to ensure his music lives on

Abu Mubarik May 31, 2024
Photo: Wiki/Rzom_

As part of moves to protect and preserve the musical legacy of DMX, the legendary rapper’s estate has appointed Artist Legacy Group (ALG) as its exclusive representative.

Ashley Austin, the CEO of the entertainment management and legacy preservation firm, made this known on Wednesday. “Innovative projects” are being planned as the rapper has his name, likenesses, and other intellectual property rights managed by ALG.

What is more, as part of the partnership, ALG will oversee DMX’s rights for film, TV, literary, and documentary projects, brand collaborations, and consumer products.

“Rapper, poet, actor, preacher—the man’s talent was truly limitless. I am honored to work alongside [co-administrators of the estate] Desiree and Sasha as we maximize the estate’s potential. Together, we will ensure that his message and music lives on,” Austin said, according to Billboard.

DMX’s fiancée, Desiree Lindstrom, and daughter, Sasha Simmons, have supported the decision to appoint ALG, saying the partnership will help to connect DMX to his fans after his death.

“Earl was devoted to his fans. He was grateful that they stayed by his side and walked with him through his ups and downs,” Lindstrom said. “Sasha and I are confident that ALG is the right team to partner with to honor Earl’s music and legacy. For my son and all of Earl’s children and fans, we will keep Earl’s spirit alive.

“My father, Earl, was more than an icon; he was my inspiration and guiding light,” Simmons added. “His music touched countless lives, and his legacy will forever resonate in our hearts. With ALG by our side, Desiree and I are committed to preserving his spirit, ensuring that his art continues to inspire generations to come.”

The Grammy-nominated star died in 2021 at age 50 after suffering a heart attack. Born Earl Simmons in 1970 in Mount Vernon, New York, to teenage parents, DMX’s father abandoned him at birth. Thus, he was raised by his mother, Arnet Simmons. He however had a difficult childhood as he became a subject of abuse by his mother and her boyfriends. In school, he often breached school rules.

While in fifth grade, he was sacked from school. For much of his youth, he was in and out of boys’ homes after escaping his mother’s home, according to his 2003 autobiography E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX. While in one of these boys’ homes, he started writing his own songs and performing for his mates, who encouraged him to pursue music.

By 14, DMX had launched into the rap scene. He befriended a local rapper called Ready Ron before choosing the name DMX, paying homage to the Oberheim DMX drum machine that he used for his beats when he started music. Soon after, that moniker came to stand for “Dark Man X.”

While alive, DMX never shied away from talking about some of his struggles and how he had tried to conquer them. A devout Christian, the rapper once disclosed that his addiction started at age 14 when a mentor tricked him into smoking marijuana laced with crack cocaine.

Starting music in the 1980s, DMX featured on hit songs with artistes like Jay-Z, Ja Rule, LL Cool J, and The LOX, before subsequently releasing his debut album in 1998, “It’s Dark, and Hell is Hot”. He followed it up with “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood”, and “…And Then There Was X.” DMX was also into movies, starring in projects like “Exit Wounds”, “Romeo Must Die” and “Cradle 2 the Grave.”

Despite his successful music career, DMX was entangled in multiple legal issues which negatively affected his finances. He was imprisoned several times for animal cruelty, reckless driving, unlicensed driving, and drug possession. According to reports, the Romeo Must Die actor had a net worth of negative $1 million in 2021.

He filed for bankruptcy in 2013 in Manhattan court claiming to have $50,000 in assets and between $1 million and $10 million worth of debt to various creditors. In his filing, the rapper reportedly cited child support as his priority claim, totaling around $1.24 million. He has 15 children with different women, with his youngest child being five years old.

He was charged with tax fraud in 2017 amounting to $1.7 million and sentenced to one year imprisonment in 2018. When he was released in 2019, he owed the IRS $2.3 million. His income was subsequently garnished by the U.S. government until the debt was paid.

DMX explained his brushes with the law in his 1998 song “Slippin in the courtroom”. “They put me in a situation forcing me to be a man/ When I was just learning to stand without a helping hand,” he raps in the song.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: May 31, 2024


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