DMX, Legendary New York Rapper, Dies at 50

Daniel Kohn
·3 min read

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DMX, the legendary Yonkers rapper known for hits like “Party Up,” “X Gon’ Give It to Ya,” “Get at Me Dog,” “Ruff Ryders Anthem” and “What’s My Name,” has died at the age of 50, his family confirmed in a statement.

See the statement below.

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“We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50-years-old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days. Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.

The rapper, born Earl Simmons, had suffered a heart attack on the evening of April 2. TMZ reported on April 3 that the rapper had a drug overdose that led to a heart attack. It was later reported that he had contracted COVID-19. On Thursday night, word falsely circulated on Twitter that the rapper had died, forcing his manager Steve Rifkind to issue a statement saying otherwise.

Simmons was born on Dec. 18, 1970 in Mount Vernon, New York and was known for his signature gruff voice and aggressive style of rapping. He began rapping under the name DMX (Dark Man X) in the 1990s [including an early deal with Columbia Records subsidiary Ruffhouse] and broke through with a series of guest appearances on songs from the likes of LL Cool J, The LOX and Ma$e.

DMX’s first album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 as did its follow up, Blood of My Blood, Flesh of My Flesh. Both albums were released in 1998 and DMX became the first artist in history to have his first two albums released in the same year debut at No. 1. His third album, 1999’s …And Then There Was X and its two follow-ups also went to No. 1. All of those first five albums went platinum several times over. He appeared at the infamous Woodstock ’99 festival and was easily one of the fest’s highlights.

In addition to his rap career, DMX also appeared in films like Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 the Grave and Last Hour.

The rapper battled a drug addiction along with a number of legal issues, including arrests and serving jail time for drug possession, animal cruelty, reckless driving, carjacking among the charges.

DMX’s final album, Redemption of the Beast, was released in 2015.

He is survived by his 15 children.

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