DMX turns 46 years old today and it's a great time to salute hip-hop's famously tortured soul and ultimate survivor.

In his 20 years in the spotlight, the man born Earl Simmons has had some amazing highs and crushing lows, but somehow DMX manages to pull through and pull it together. In his prime, he was one of the most captivating artists in hip-hop history; a gruff-voiced rapper who took mainstream hip-hop by storm in the late 90s as the game was being overrun by shiny-suited gloss.

At the start of the 2000s, there weren't very many artists in the world bigger than DMX, who'd released three multiplatinum albums (It's Dark & Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, ...And Then There Was X) and was starring in major blockbuster films (Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds.) He was an always engaging personality; part menace, part vulnerability--and one of the most energetic performers in music.

X has had his battles with drugs and prison, and gone through more than a few of those battles in very public fashion. But musically, he will always be one of the greats in hip-hop. So we salute Dark Man X on his born day! Put some respeck on his name.

Check out some classic X vids below!

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