DMX's Net Worth Was Actually Less Than $0 in 2021 — Here’s Why

Famous rapper DMX had a net worth in 2021 that was in the negative, which is surprising since his music was still very popular before his death. Here’s everything we know.

Kate Brierley - Author

Apr. 10 2021, Updated 12:01 p.m. ET

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Earl Simmons was best known by his stage name, DMX. Sadly, DMX died at the age of 50 on April 9, 2021, after suffering a heart attack as a result of a drug overdose

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DMX reached his prime on the hip-hop scene back in the 1990s, but in recent years, he made headlines for his financial struggles including a prison stint due to tax fraud. 

His last album was "Redemption of the Beast" and came amid a string of bad financial decisions. This has left fans to wonder how much money he was really worth at the time of his death. 

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DMX’s 2021 net worth was in the negative.

Reports debate how far in the hole DMX really was before his death, but sources agree that it’s into the millions. DMX’s estimated net worth was at -$1 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth

But other sources like Money Inc. and Kingged report that it was actually up (or down, really) to -$10 million. And yes, that’s negative $1 to negative $10 million — we did a double-take, too. 

It’s unusual to see a celebrity so far in the red, especially when they were still well-known and had been recently working.

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Here’s the story behind DMX's financial issues.

DMX filed for bankruptcy in 2013, with roughly $50,000 in assets and having accrued between $1 million and $10 million worth of debt. He also reported child support debts to the tune of $1.24 million. He was the father of 15 children

The filing was dismissed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, leaving him on the hook.

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Then came the previously mentioned tax fraud — 14 counts, to be exact — in 2017. DMX was said to owe $1.7 million, and he spent a year in prison because of it. 

He was released in January 2019 but still owed $2.3 million to the IRS at that time. The government made plans to garnish DMX's income until the debt was paid off.

And that’s after Jay-Z cleared $12 million of debt for DMX.

DMX received a big financial break in the mid-2000s, when fellow rapper Jay-Z pardoned him from an estimated $12 million of debt as he left Def Jam Recordings.

“The good part about Def Jam — and I gotta give it to Hov — X was in debt over there. He probably owed about $12 million,” Ruff Ryders co-founder Chivon Dean shared.

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“When DMX left Def Jam for Sony, he said that Hov “released him and wiped off the debt clean and let him go. He didn't have to pay nothing back.”

Jay-Z assumed ownership of Def Jam in 2004.

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