Yonkers remembers DMX

Remembering DMX.

The top 10 finalists in the Yonkers Hip Hop History Month contest have been announced in advance of live performances scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 18, celebrating the late rapper Earl “DMX” Simmons’ birthday.   

The winners will be invited to a performance at 10 Brook St. (School Street Gym) in Yonkers from 4 to 8 p.m. The top five will be announced that evening and will perform their songs for a panel of celebrity judges. Hundreds are expected to attend the “throw down,’’ including members of DMX’s family, on what New York state has declared is DMX Day. 

Yonkers has a rich history of great musical artists. Ella Fitzgerald, DMX, The Lox and Mary J. Blige all hail from Yonkers.  DMX and Blige grew up in Yonkers’ public housing 

Wilson Kimball, president and CEO of the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers (MHACY), became fascinated by the role public housing played in the development of hip hop stars after MHACY and Def Jam Recordings unveiled a memorial mural to DMX, who lived at 80 School St. and died in April in White Plains. He also developed many of his famous rhymes while visiting his friend DJ Superior at MHACY’s Mulford Gardens.   

Kimball assembled some notables with hip hop cred to serve as a panel of judges, including local DJ Superior and members of Sporty Thievz.   

“I was not a fan of hip hop growing up, but I came to appreciate hip hop after DMX passed away earlier this year,’’ said Kimball. “First, I realized he was around my age. Then, I realized he grew up in MHACY housing. Lastly, I realized his music came from a dark, real and honest place.  I may not have had the same challenging childhood in the same place, but I understood what he was going through, because his lyrics are so compelling.’’   

Mayor Mike Spano said that the contest would not only help to showcase new artists but would spotlight Yonkers as a city that has gone through an amazing transformation, especially regarding the quality of its affordable and public housing.   

“We have some incredible talent and creative energy here in the city of Yonkers,’’ said Spano. “This contest will not only help young artists but is a great way to put a spotlight on the good things that are going on here in our city.’’    

The first-place winner will receive a $500 gift card from MHACY and Def Jam and will be featured on the DMX social media feed.  Runners-up will receive a $100 prize.   

The winners will also get to perform their work at a live event with some surprise guest artists.   

The top 10 contestants and their videos are:  

Check The Stats” by MellzS and Jakk Blakk  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ul7iVsStt8 

Thank U Lord” by Paul Speight  https://youtu.be/05SnWlel-Ck  

“Hard As Hell” by Big Dev the Bad Guy https://vimeo.com/496282250  

“Dog Love” by CrookedSmile Coli  https://youtu.be/AXJXBAJOHGg 

“Wakewalking” by Swing Furrhttps://youtu.be/ayfEDNkObqk  

“Battle Lion” by Crittermake and TDIMuzikhttps://youtu.be/0SkvmVv-ZMo  

“So Yonkers” by CASH B, LadySlim, JaeWon and Keemhttps://youtu.be/YtG42hwSs6w  

“Yonkers Down To Ride” by Dq The Don and Diaahttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P1uPQ7JUjQY 

“Henny” by Franziole B Buttons and CJPhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gb08-l9Rjr0&ab_channel=OfficialBButtonsVEVO 

“2020 Experiment” by Jae Nom, CJP, ODEJ and Renz Beatzhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XrgRIpWZI_4&ab_channel=JaeNomVEVO 

For more on DMX, Mayor Mike Spano, Wilson Kimball, Yonkers’ public housing and the city’s revitalization, check out WAG’s December salute to Yonkers here. https://www.wagmag.com/december-2021/ 

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