First of all, for the 500(!) new people who checked out last week's themeless per the Biz Quig's recommendation, hi! I'm Quiara, I make puzzles every Thursday (and usually minis every Monday), and sometimes they're pretty good. We operate on pretty similar wavelengths, most of the time, so I'm sure if you stick around you'll find something you like.
So anyway, this puzzle. Would you believe that it was concepted a week or two ago, and intended neither as a DMX tribute nor as a shameless round of one-upping Ricky Cruz's Boswords themeless?! It was originally called "All My Exes." But then, like, why not pay tribute to a dearly departed legend? (True story, in my past life as a journo I once worked not one but two DMX quotes into the headline and text of a tangentially related article. It was all downhill from there, folks.)
Anyway, enjoy the puzzle. See y'all next week. Applet under the cut.