DMX at Revolution Live on July 6

Success in boxing isn't strictly measured in power punches and knockouts. A fighter must prove that he's resilient in the ring by overcoming seemingly certain defeat to rally back and go the distance. Similarly, successful rappers have to rise above adversity, often tackling both professional and personal hurdles to stay the course toward greatness. DMX is one of them. Since 1998, DMX's controversial legal troubles have all but tainted his musical career. A rape charge, felony drug procession, and multiple traffic violations frequently overshadowed chart-topping success, platinum record sales, and critical accolades. But true to his 1998 track "Slippin'," X has managed to get "back on [his] feet" and "tear shit up" every time he's slipped. A year after being released from an Arizona State Prison Mental Health facility, DMX is on the road promoting Undisputed — his seventh full-length record — and proving that endurance is the true measure of a fighter's unwavering commitment to the game. Ali didn't win 'em all, but he's immortalized in professional boxing history. Elements of DMX's past are unsettling, but his musical prowess is undisputed.

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Victor Gonzalez