What does DMX stand for?
The inspiration wasn’t Dark Man X or Da Mutant Xavier–in fact, it wasn’t originally an acronym at all. The name on the rapper’s birth certificate was Earl Simmons, but around age 16, when he started beatboxing and rapping at the group home where he was living, he decided he needed a new name. He found it on the Oberheim DMX drum machine. “Since I felt I was nice by the beats, I took that,” DMX said. “It was strong, powerful. I liked the three letters and thought that it would be cool to make them stand for different things… I was no longer Earl Simmons or even Crazy Earl. I was DMX. DMX The Beat Box Enforcer.”
(Excerpted from the 2006 book Is Tiny Dancer Really Elton’s Little John?: Music’s Most Enduring Mysteries, Myths, and Rumors Revealed, published by Three Rivers Press, written by Gavin Edwards.)