Earl Simmons, known by his stage name DMX, was an American rapper, songwriter, and actor. He began rapping in the early 1990s and released his debut album It's Dark and Hell Is Hot in 1998, to both critical acclaim and commercial success, selling 251,000 copies within its first week of release. He released his best-selling album, ... And Then There Was X, in 1999, which included the hit single "Party Up ". His 2003 singles "Where the Hood At?" and "X Gon' Give It to Ya" were also commercially successful.