E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX

E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX

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The dark journey of a boy who became a man, the man who became an artist, and the artist who became an icon. A talent for rhyme saved his life, but the demons and sins of his past continue to haunt him.

This is the story of Earl Simmons.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060934033
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/21/2003
Edition description: First Paperback Edition
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 118,046
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.91(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Smokey D. Fontaine is the former music editor of The Source and coauthor of What's Your HI-FI Q? He has written extensively about the entire spectrum of hip-hop and rhythm and blues for more than a decade. He lives in New York.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

First Memories

My name is Earl Simmons. I was born December 18, 1970, in Mount Vernon, New York, the first and only child of Arnett Simmons and Joe Barker. I've always hated my first name because it always sounded so corny to me and no, I don't have any middle names. Why my mother couldn't give me the names of some of the other men she dated, I don't know. There were certainly enough of them around. My mother found out she was pregnant with me when she was nineteen. It was bad because she already had a two-year-old, Bonita, and hadn't planned on having another baby. So she moved into this home for unwed mothers in Mount Vernon and asked her sister to take Bonita off her hands for a while because her "nerves were shot." My sister ended up staying with her until way after I was born while my mother tried to get her life together.

When I was one, my mother's mom died and even though she didn't grow up with her, my mother lost the only other person she felt she could look to for help. Laverne wouldn't take both of her kids, so my mother was forced to realize that she had to find a place of her own. Yonkers had more low-income housing than Mount Vernon, so that's where we went.

We lived in a small, dark, one-bedroom apartment in a building called the Roker. My mother was on public assistance and it was really hard for her to take care of us and pay all the bills and the rent at the same time. I was also sick a lot as a child. I inherited a bunch of allergies from her and bronchial asthma from my father. My shit used to be real bad. I remember many scary nights waking up not being able to breathe. My mother used tohave to take me to the emergency room and they would often end up keeping me overnight. Sometimes my asthma got so bad they would keep me for a whole week and they never could find the right thing to do. One night I had to go back to the hospital three different times because the drugs they were sending me home with kept making me sick. Then the doctors would give me breathing treatments. I had to lie down in this criblike bed that had a white net over it and they would pump in this medicated air. You couldn't move or get out and I remember being trapped in there having to just breathe in and out for hours. In the spring and summer I was under that net almost every week. I never knew if it helped or not. One time I had such a bad asthma attack my sister told me that my heart stopped beating and the paramedics had to take me out of my house in one of those sit-up stretchers because I almost died. I don't remember that, but I do remember the day I got hit by a car.

I was playing by myself in the street and found a dime. I was so excited; it was all silver and shiny. I immediately wanted to go to the store but the problem was that I knew I had to cross Riverdale Avenue to get there, and that was a pretty major trip for a kid my age.

But after a few seconds, I summoned up my courage and with a little burst of speed, made it across and got to buy what I wanted: a lollipop and a superball. You know those balls that bounce all crazy and go in different directions? Yeah! I'm the man ...

It was on the way back that I caught it. The impact was so hard, I got knocked halfway up the street, all the way under a parked car. But for some reason, even though I was badly hurt, I didn't feel nothing. All I was thinking about was how my mother was going to whip my ass because I wasn't supposed to be outside.

When I tried to get up, this white lady with a clipboard was standing over me; she must have been checking parking meters or something.

"Stay down! Stay down!" she kept yelling.

Then other people walked by and they started screaming. I can imagine how folks must have felt to see a little boy pushed under a car like that, though. Everyone crowded around and then somebody gave me a jacket to put under my head and I just lay on the street until the ambulance came.

Luckily, I didn't break anything, so I got better in a few weeks, but what hurt the most was when I found out later that I could have gotten some money from the accident. See, not only had the driver run a red light, but he was also drunk. A month after the accident an insurance company man had come to my house talking about a settlement and my mother turned down ten thousand dollars!

"Thank you, but we don't need your money, sir," my mother told him. "My family is Jehovah's Witness and our faith teaches us to be self-sufficient."

Huh? That was the loot that was supposed to be mine when I got older, the money I could have been straight with! Half of the kids in the ghetto get a little bit of money when they reach a certain age for something that happened to them when they were younger. Why not me? And if the insurance company was offering ten thousand dollars, my mother could have held out and got a lot more, too. Hitting a child, drunk driving, and running a red light? I didn't understand why Jehovah's Witness would have wanted to mess with my money ...

E.A.R.L.. Copyright © by Elizabeth DMX. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 39 reviews.
---E More than 1 year ago
I finally got around to reading this book and was not let down. I've always been a fan of DMX, and ever since I saw him perform live I became more interested in his story. Sure, a lot of his lyrics are rough and receive a lot of bad press for being violent, but he also has another side to his music that is deep and spiritual. All of his songs have meaning that connect to his real life. Without a doubt, this is a well written and emotional book where the reader will sympathize with D through his good and bad. Highly recommend it.
savvynlady on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you ever want to find out how a person is, either talk to them or read or hear their works; In this book, DMX gives us more than a glimpse of the person he is today. Not the nicest of lives, but I can respect him for bringing it to paper. I am not a big fan of DMX, but I can honestly say that I understand why he operates as he does.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NICK WIEMELT It's astonishing how DMX (Earl Simmons) overcame an extremely troubled childhood to become one of the most admired icons in  hip-hop music. When you watch a famous person on T.V. or listen to them on the radio the first thing that you think about is how rich  and famous they are, but you never think about how much they've been through. DMX went through many traumatic things in his life  such as being beaten by his mom, going in and out of jail, and being addicted to crack. He was far from shy in sharing the memories of his life, good and bad in this autobiography. As a child, DMX was abused by his mother and didn't have anyone to take care of him except for his grandmother, which his mother rarely allowed him to see. Growing up in the projects of Yonkers didn't make it any easier for him either. However, his passion for music opened a brand new door for him, which completely turned his life around. I really enjoyed this book, I couldn't stop reading it once I started. Autobiographies are my favorite types of books to read because they can teach a person a lot about life in general. Learning not only from your mistakes, but from other people's mistakes is crucial in succeeding in life. I liked this book in particular because it was very in depth. DMX tells the story of his life and finds a way to make it interesting and  intriguing. Most of the autobiographies that I've read are boring and don't keep me hooked, this one is different. I give this book five stars hands down, it is amazing! I recommend this book to anyone who is a DMX fan, everyone who likes to read about someone else's life, and everyone who is interested in knowing more about DMX. This book showed that you can achieve your goals through hard-work and dedication, also that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. The life of DMX is an intense story that I suggest you read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was the most detailed and well written biography i have read about any hip hop artist. It was great fans should read it'll shed some light on the artist that the music doesnt even capture than this book does
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DMX shows the value of life. The struggles he lived, he tries to show you the reader what life can be if your like him. Having no dad to give love and a mom who was to busy doing other things; DMX turns to a dog for love. A dog which is a mans best friend becomes DMX's best friend. Good Book to read for those who like real life stories. It's recommended!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think that Earl Simmons did a great job with the title of his autobiography. The title E.A.R.L. stands for ''Ever Always Real Life'' and that title explains his whole life with four words. I actually enjoyed this book and the title got me intrested in it because i wanted to know what the E.A.R.L. meant. DMX real name is Earl Simmons and thats where he got the title of the book from. In this book Earl talks about how his life was bad and how rapping changed his whole life around. DMX was a bad person and made plenty of mistakes and regrets some of them but still continue's his life. Alot of people didnt show DMX [Earl Simmons] support when he 1st started rapping but when he challeged someone on the corner and beat them in a freestyle match, his fame became big. When his popularity became big alot of people started to show him love and Earl didn't like that because when he wasn't popular people didn't show him any. His title is Ever Always Real Life and that means that,people won't show you love until your a celeberty or someone famous and that really pissed him off, because there were alot of times when he was poor an he asked alot of people can they help him and they couldn't even give him a dime, now that he's a famous rapper they want to show him some love. His father was never around to show him what's right and what's wrong, so that put his mother in a difficult position, she had to take care of him and his little sister and pay the rent, and work 2 or 3 jobs. His mother was a very hard working independent strong women who wouldn't accept anything from anybody because she knew that the lord will take care of her and her family. Earl was a talkative student and his mouth got him into alot of trouble in the classroom and with the police. This book takes place in his birthhood Yonkers, New York.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put this book down, each page explained why DMX is DMX!
Guest More than 1 year ago
i finished this book in 3 days. just hearing about x's life from him makes me respect him even more as an artist and a person.good book for anybody
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read this book atleast 2-3 times everytime i read it i learn something new. This book got deep into dmx's childhood his imagination, feelings and redemption. I was trully great to see this from a rapper. I felt like i was sitting right next to him while he was telling the author how he was feeling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read mostly through all of this book and I got all the wayto when he gets out fo jail and then randomly someone stole this book out of my car.. SO i haven't finished it yet but what I read is amazing how far DMX has come.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this was an outstanding book that should be read by all that don't understand. If you don't listen to rap you don't know what they're comming from, but I think this book shows its not always people who like to swear and talk dirty. But it is people who have true storys that are being expressed in a true art form. [Great Book]
Guest More than 1 year ago
Straight forward and honest, when i first read this book i read it in two days. Although i could not get tired of reading this book (7th time reading it) please come out with another. I HIGHLY RECCOMEND THIS BOOK ! I LOVED IT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so so so so so so good.When u read this book u wont want to put it down,u can truly feel his emotions when u read it,when hes upset u are to etc.When ur towards the end of this book you'll just never want to finnish it,you'll want it to go on and on and on.I love this book with all my heart!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
After purchasing this book as a DMX music fan i soon found my self living his life through the book. This book shows what he has come throught to pursue his one and only live long dream. Any real DMX fan will appreciate this book and remember: Ever Always Real Life!!!!! Enjoy.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome the way DMX wrote this book it feels like your in a room with him talking to him. He talks about his first battle to his first sexual relationship and from spittin for 15 years then finally making it to the game. This book is great so go comp that and Grand Champ that album is awesome too. This is K Dot signing off . Peace (Hope This review helped)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
DMX is so refreshing! As a rapper I enjoy his style because it's original and he is not all about the flash. I purchased this book as an adoring fan and I was not disappointed. He details his life and how he came to be and where he is today. I truly appreciated his honesty. I got 'DOG LOVE' for this brotha!
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is a gr8 book. he has a lot to tell... buy this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
E.A.R.L is one of the best books I have read in a long time. I appreciate the chance to read about and gain a better understanding of the man behind the music. DMX is a talented and gifted man. The book left me wanting to know more about him. Keep up the work we love you X.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I Personally have not read this, but i have read a lot about it. And X is my role model i look up to, so i think i will enjoy learning more about him. Much love to X. Peace
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been a big fan of x, since I was 15 years old. I love this book. I connected with him on some many levels (father, life, love, birthday and family). This book is like NO other! It also makes me have even more respect for him. I bless you in life X. You and your family. You have a good heart. If you don't have this book, it is your loss. One love Kahliah B #1 fan
Guest More than 1 year ago
dmx 2 me has been my biggest idol scince i can remember and when he came out w/ his biography i had 2 it but i thot i can never read that many pages but once i got it i couldnt put it down and have no regrets buying it because it was the best book in the world and b4 that i had never read a book more than 25 pages long by myself and raed this 1 in about 5 days b/c once u put it down ucant stop thinking whats gonna heppen next. SO BUY THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this in three days. It made me see things through a diffrent perspective. I mean I thought I had it bad. When I started reading this book I would be tired and mad getting off work and stuff. After I would read I didn't have anything to complain about by the time I got home. It made me see I'm a damn good parent too. And my parents were damn good parents because I never had it that rough and THEY NEVER GAVE UP ON ME OR SENT ME AWAY. I act so spoiled and now I see, And I'm gratefull.