Why you never really hear from DMX anymore

DMX, whose birth name is Earl Simmons, is one of the most respected and beloved rappers in all of hip-hop with a career spanning 19 years. Despite so much success, he's suffered a depressing number of setbacks that have pulled him away from the spotlight time and time again. An astronomical amount of failures, arrests, child support drama and bankruptcies have kept this 46-year-old star away from the music game for too long. Here is an in depth dive into the factors keeping DMX from ruling the stage and the charts once again.

He's busy with 15 kids

DMX's stage persona is an angry pit bull, he just so happens to mate like one too. In August 2016, the rapper welcomed his 15th child with his current girlfriend Desiree Lindstrom, reports TMZ. The littlest member of his crew was born in New York City and came in weighing 6 pounds, 10 ounces. The new mommy named their little boy Exodus Simmons. While a birth is a joyous occasion for anyone, DMX was not in town for his child's big arrival. The site adds he was in Arizona, where he was performing, when Lindstrom went into labor. After his show, DMX boarded a flight back to the Big Apple to greet little Exodus. DMX told the site having another child was a "blessing."

Unfortunately, DMX has had more babies than albums in his career. And having so many extra-marital affairs led to the implosion of his first marriage to Tashera Simmons, with whom he has four kids. According to Us Weekly, the former couple took their marriage troubles to VH1's Couple's Therapy in 2012. At the time, Simmons revealed one of the biggest issues was DMX fathering kids outside their marriage. In all, he's got 11 other kids with different women. Telling Essence magazine in 2012, Simmons says she gave her marriage her all. "I do still feel bad about getting divorced, even after everything X put me through, because I took my vows very seriously. And I know X is never going to love anybody the way he loves me, and I feel the same way about him. But [there] just comes a time when you give your all and you know you gave your all, and it's just time to move on"

DMX has yet to remarry. He hasn't sworn off having more kids, either. And the way his relationship with son Xavier has been, he may not want to have more children. The pair became estranged after Xavier hocked his father's platinum records for cash, reports TMZ. Xavier wanted the money to jump start his own rap career. To fix their problems, the father-son duo even appeared on an episode of Iyanla: Fix My Life. To say DMX's family life is screwed up is an understatement.

He's got drug and health problems

DMX, who is a celebrated rapper, almost lost his life in February 2016. Police sources tell Page Six DMX nearly died after a drug overdose outside a hotel in Yonkers, New York. As the story goes, police and paramedics were called to the parking lot of a Ramada Inn after DMX suddenly collapsed next to a 2016 White BMW.

Paramedics injected DMX with Narcan, which is a life-saving anti-opioid drug often used in heroin overdoses. He was taken to a nearby hospital for further treatment. An insider confessed to seeing DMX take a powdered drug before collapsing. Despite commentary from authorities, DMX claimed the situation was brought on by an asthma attack, not drugs. "They're trying to cover up by saying it was an asthma attack," a source told the site. "Obviously, they don't want to put out that this was an overdose."

Months later, DMX appeared on New York City's morning radio show The Breakfast Club and clued in how serious that matter was. "My heart stopped for four minutes and I have asthma," DMX shared on the show, via Billboard.com. He didn't say a word about drugs being in the equation.

Although DMX may be rough on the outside, he's got a heart of gold. In late 2016, he personally thanked emergency responders for saving his life by performing several hit songs for free at a Police Department vs. Fire Department "Toughman Competition." He even helped the event earn a whopping $80,000, reports TMZ. It's the least he could do.

His legal troubles are mounting

DMX can't keep himself out of trouble. Over the years, he's tallied up a lengthy list of arrests and legal problems that would make anybody weep. In the summer of 2015, just before a concert at New York City's Radio City Music Hall, he was placed in handcuffs over "several issues outstanding," reports PIX 11 News.

Those issues included back child support, skipping bail, aggravated unlicensed motor vehicle operating and a damaging criminal complaint that accused him of robbery at a New Jersey gas station. The latter was brought on by a 21-year-old man who claimed the rapper and his crew of robbed him at gunpoint. The victim says DMX stole $3,200 that night. He was named as a suspect in the case. According to The Washington Post, no criminal charges were filed.

But DMX's history with handcuffs dates back many years. In 2008, he was arrested on seven misdemeanor animal cruelty charges and four felony counts of drug possession, reports CNN.

His ex-wife Tashera Simmons released a book, You Think You Know, But You Have No Idea, detailing her thoughts on DMX's fall from grace. "In my opinion, he is a success story that turned into a horror story," Simmons told Forbez DVD (via Hip Hop DX). "Seriously…You know, with that drug comes a whole lot of manipulation. He hasn't been doing what he's supposed to do with his children in years."

He's an unlawful driver

One thing is for sure, never get a ride from DMX. This rapper has been arrested at least a dozen times for driving offenses both minor and major. In February 2013, the rapper was arrested in South Carolina for driving without a license. He spent a few short hours in jail and eventually paid a fine, reports Fox Carolina. DMX was at a local gas station when officers noticed him. He was pulled over and placed in cuffs after he could not produce a valid license. "I could have just paid the money right there on the spot," he told the site. "Basically, it was just five hours wasted for nothing. I don't have a court date or a court appearance."

DMX was arrested once again that year in the same county for driving with a suspended license, driving without a vehicle tag and insurance, reports Reuters. In November 2013, he was headed to the local airport when he was pulled over and placed in handcuffs. In all, his time in jail was short as he paid the $1,335 bond after hours in the slammer. "He was arrested on minor traffic charges and spent only three hours in jail," said a spokesperson. The site also says he was arrested in the state in August that year for possession of marijuana and again in July for driving under the influence.

With such a lengthy list of driving offenses, Complex magazine took it upon themselves to compile all of his driving snafus. From 2000 to 2010, he was arrested 12 different times. It's a shock DMX is even allowed to own a car.

He's got child support drama

With 15 kids comes great responsibility to feeding and ensuring their wellbeing. Unfortunately for DMX, he hasn't always been able to meet those demands. In July 2015, DMX was sentenced to six months behind bars for neglecting to pay an astounding $400,000 in back child support to an unidentified baby mama, reports USA Today. He was released in September after only serving two months.

The strong arm of the law came after DMX once again in October of 2015. He was taken into custody at his New York home for failing to pay $10,000 a month in child support to his first baby mama Tashera Simmons. He claimed he was taking steps to ensure his financial gain thus allowing him to make the proper payments. "It's not like I can hide," he told the judge. His goal was to perform at small events in hopes it would snowball into him performing at large event spaces. "All I have is my name and my reputation," DMX said, according to a separate USA Today report. The judge took sympathy on the rapper and released him from jail without bail. It's unclear if DMX has been able to maintain his agreed payments. Though he has not been arrested for it in recent memory.

He sometimes does charitable work

Despite being a badass, DMX does have a good side. And he certainly has much wisdom and advice to offer since he's been arrested an insane number of times and has publicly battled drug addiction. In February 2017, DMX hoped his life's story would help others when he visited a Philadelphia homeless shelter, according to Philly.com. It was also the one-year anniversary of nearly dying outside a Ramada Inn. "The reason why I reached out today is the one-year anniversary of when I died for four and half minutes," he said. "God showed what he was willing to do for me." He talked in depth about his struggles telling the men, "When I speak to people I look them in their eyes, and when I look across the room, I see myself. Don't look at this as a place you don't want to be or need to be."

During his time at the facility, DMX also visited the homeless shelter's kitchen, had a plate of steak, and played games with the men. "This is the real reward, being among real people," he said.

The men were also very thankful. "As much as you're feeling it, I'm feeling it 20 fold," he told the crowd.

He's under fire for animal abuse

Being a terrible dog owner will haunt a celebrity like a flubbed film or unforgivable sex scandal. And the way DMX treated his pooches can certainly be a sore spot for the rapper. According to Patch.com, DMX boarded a pit bull, named X, at the Four Paws Pet Resort in August 2016 but never came back for him, nor did he ever pay the bill. After several failed attempts to reach the rapper, the pound told the site, "They said they were going to adopt X out to another owner."

Fast forward to February 2017 and X was adopted by a firefighter in Rhode Island. "We found a really nice owner," said the pound. "He's very pleased to go on his way."

This wasn't the first time DMX was negatively tied to a story about dogs. According to a 2008 CNN report, DMX was accused of abusing a number of pooches. The site adds authorities took away 12 pit bulls from his home after receiving a tip the dogs were not properly fed and provided for. Officers also found three dog bodies buried on the property. "A guy like this DMX character, with all his money and fame, has no excuse for not providing proper care for his animals," a sheriff said. DMX was also charged with animal cruelty in 1999 in New Jersey. The charges were dropped after he agreed to record public service announcements for an animal rights group. It's unclear if any pets are currently under his care.

He's consistently bankrupt

In 2013, DMX attempted to get his finances together by filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reports the Wall Street Journal (via Rolling Stone). At the time, the troubled star claimed to only have $50,000 in assets and between $1 and $10 million in debt, despite selling millions of records in his career. At the time, DMX told the court he owed more than $1.24 million in child support and more than $21,000 in car leases plus several other outstanding loans in his name. By filing for Chapter 11, DMX hoped it would "enable me to reorganize my financial affairs." According to the Hollywood Reporter, his filing was rejected by the court.

DMX's efforts to get his bank accounts in order didn't go so well in the three years after his 2013 filing. He was forced to refile for bankruptcy in late December 2016 — making it his third time. His first time filing was in 2008. According to The Dirty, the rapper's debt ballooned up to $2 million.

Court documents clearly showed DMX owed $950,000 to Compass Bank, $304,796 in overdue child support to one of the women in his life, $230,898 to another and a stunning $1.4 million in family support. To his name, DMX claimed his cars, furniture, electronics and jewelry wasn't "worth anything." To make matters worse, DMX said he had literally zero dollars in the bank and that he did not own any of his own music.

He's on the verge of a comeback

After a rocky several years, things may be vastly improving for DMX in 2017. His friend and longtime collaborator Swizz Beatz announced the rapper will be releasing a new album this year. If DMX does deliver, it will be his first new project in five years, reports BET. His last album was in 2012. Beatz posted a picture of the album cover, but did not give any specific details. The LP is rumored to feature collaborations with other hip-hop heavyweights including Kanye West and Dr. Dre.

In terms of his finances, he's already booked a major gig. DMX will headline the 24th annual 9 Mile Music Festival on March 11, reports the Miami New Times. Although it's unclear how much the show will pay the rapper, any money at this point will be good money. Only time will tell if DMX's attempt at a comeback will be successful and if he'll be able to stay out of legal trouble in 2017. Let's also hope he practices safe sex so he won't have to spend more money on child support.