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DMX passed away this morning after a health struggle. Honor the rapper's iconic legacy with his best and most influential songs right here.

RIP DMX: Remember the rapper with the best songs of his career now

After suffering a heart attack last week and a bad prognosis, rapper DMX has passed away, leaving millions of mourning fans around the world. He was only fifty years old. 

“We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50-years-old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days”, his family released a statement revealing DMX’s passing, saying the rapper was a “fighter to the end”. 

DMX began rapping in the early 90s and rose to prominence as the dominant hardcore hip-hop artist of the late 90s & early 2000s. He’s best remembered for strong songs that made fans all over the world get up and party. From playing them in summer barbecues to blasting them out of your car speakers, DMX gave us some unforgettable hits that we still blare out of our cars to this day. 

“X Gon Give It to Ya”

The ultimate DMX anthem, “X Gon Give It to Ya” is probably the most well-known of DMX’s songs. This anthem’s strong beat and punchy lyrics are enough to make anyone get up and dance. “X Gon Give It to Ya” dropped in 2000, but this DMX song didn’t peak on Billboard, only climbing to the number 60 in 2003. It peaked at number 13 on Hot Rap Songs and number 30 on Billboard’s R&B/Hip-Hop chart.

And as the internet proved, this song was meme-worthy. Starting with an add-on in Resident Evil 2, netizens everywhere made pie charts and memes about what X was gonna “give to ya”. The RE2 connection was made thanks to a character called Mr. X. While there was no relation, once the internet got their hands on Mr. X’s clips, they dubbed “X Gon Give It to Ya” over Me. X’s appearance – and the rest is history. 

This DMX song enjoyed another day in the sun after it was featured in Deadpool in 2016. It’s also such a fierce anthem that athletes use it as their “walk-out” or “walk-up” song, including MMA fighter Brian Ortega, Padres outfielder Xavier Nady, and Red Sox infielder Xander Bogaerts. 

“Party Live (Up In Here)”

And who can forget the party anthem “Party Live (Up in Here)”? Feated in movies like Zach & Miri Make a Porno and Sausage Fest, this song has a strong bounce and will have you chanting “meet me outside” for the rest of the day. Of course, this song was blasted at every singly party in the early 2000s. 

Believe it or not, this DMX song was DMX’s top song on the Billboard charts, peaking at number 27 in April 2000. It peaked at number 8 on the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts and Vh1 placed this DMX anthem in their “Top 100 Songs of the 00s” at number 56. 

“How’s It Goin’ Down”

DMX proved he could slow things down with this smooth song. Featuring some great vocal work from Faith Evans, this DMX song is one of the great slow songs in DMX’s playbook. The song was released in 1998 and the song & music video follows DMX’s reported affair. 

Featuring a sample of “God Make Me Funky” by The Headhunters, this DMX song is best known for its video, featuring cameos from rappers Eve, Ja Rule, Drag-On, and Irv Gotti. The year following their cameos, they would shoot to stardom and become 2000s powerhouses in their own rights. 

“What They Really Want” (feat. Sisqo)

“What They Really Want”, or “What These B****** Want” if you’re listening to the original, could give “Mambo No. 5” a run for its money with the number of women named in the song. In fact, DMX lists so many women in the lyrics, the song became a social media challenge. 

The challenge is this: change up your lewk on social media to coordinate with the forty-six women (we counted), including three different Kims DMX confesses to being with in the song. That’s a lot of lewks! 

“Ruff Ryders Anthem”

The one that started it all, this is one of DMX’s first songs released from his debut album, but it remains a perennial favorite. Originally, DMX wanted nothing to do with the song, with songwriter Swizz Beatz explaining: 

“I made the ‘Ruff Ryders Anthem’ beat in Atlanta. It was me just bugging out, having my New York influence and having my Atlanta influence. That track was the perfect blend which was awkward and different at the time because nobody had ever heard anything like that. DMX didn’t want to do it. He was like, ‘Man, that sounds like some rock ‘n’ roll track, I need some hip-hop sh*t. I’m not doing that. It’s not hood enough.’” 

It wasn’t until Darrin & Joaquin Dean convinced DMX to take a second look that DMX agreed. Then, it became one of DMX’s most iconic songs, still being featured in videogames and movies to this day. 

What are your favorite DMX songs? What was the best time you had listening to a DMX track? Let us know in the comments! 

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