WHITE PLAINS, NY (CBSNewYork) – Rapper and actor DMX died Friday after a heart attack and was given life support.
The 50 year old man was surrounded by his family in his last days at White Plains Hospital, Jenna DeAngelis of CBS2 reports.
A statement from the family said the DMX, born Earl Simmons, died at the hospital “with family beside him after receiving life support for the past few days.”
“Earl is a warrior who fought to the very end. He loved his family with all his heart and we cherished the times he spent with him, ”the statement continued. “Earl’s music has inspired countless fans around the world and his iconic legacy will last forever. We appreciate all your love and support during this difficult time. “
Lots of family, friends and fans gathered outside the hospital earlier this week for a prayer session.
Simmons has made his mark as one of hip-hop’s most famous names with his distinctive voice and signature husky voice. He released the first of his seven albums in 1998.
Hit after hit took him to the top of the music charts throughout the late 90s and early 2000s.
DMX was the first to have the first 5 albums in a row debuting at No. 1 on Billboard.
One three times Foreign Nominated and twice won the US Music Awards, DMX is part of the hip-hop collective Ruff Ryders and starred in movies.
– Def Jam Record (@defjam) April 9, 2021
His record label, Def Jam Recordings, calls him “an outstanding artist and inspiration for millions of people around the world.
“His message of winning the fight, seeking light from darkness, pursuing truth and his grace has brought us closer to our own humanity,” the firm said in a statement describing him as “nothing less than a giant”.
Leader of the majority of the New York State Senate Andrea Stewart-Cousins also responded to his death on Twitter, saying that DMX was “someone who has overcome great obstacles and never forgets where he came from.”
Yonkers, along with his visits to the Nepperhan Community Center to help out families in need. My condolences to his family and friends during this difficult time.
– Sen. Stewart-Cousins (@AndreaSCousins) April 9, 2021
“Growing up on a school street housing project and sharing his traumatic childhood through music has always kept him connected with… Yonkers, along with his visits to the Nepperhan Community Center to Give back to families in need, ”she tweeted. “My condolences to his family and friends at this difficult time.”
He often visits places like local community centers to help families in need.
“During Thanksgiving, he will go to the Nepperhan Community Center and make sure the families are fed… and he is always someone to touch,” said Stewart-Cousins.
In his 2002 biography, he describes a troubled upbringing, stating that he was physically abused and in and out of a dormitory.
Throughout his life, he faced legal battles and struggled with drug addiction, something he mentioned in his music and interviews.
“I will always have drug problems,” the DMX told Iyanla Vanzant. “Just because you stopped sublimating, doesn’t mean you don’t have a problem, because it’s a constant battle every day.”
Music has been his outlet since he was young. His music is an outlet for fans, especially during a pandemic.
In July, the DMX participated in a battle between Verzuz and Snoop Dog, which went viral on social media. This was the last time many people saw him perform.
See Jenna DeAngelis –
A crowd of people spilled onto the streets outside the hospital where the DMX died on Friday night.
Omari Brannigan drives from Queens to White Plains.
“This is really big. This is really big, ”he told CBS2’s Cory James. “DMX, he represents hip hop … He, like a great artist … He’s one of the best, there’s no need to argue.”
There are similar tributes throughout the day.
Inside Maciel’s barbershop in New Rochelle, DMX music videos are played on TV.
That’s where Rafael Maciel cut legendary Ruff Ryder’s hair.
“Regardless of his social status, he gets along with the streets and gets along well with his people. He is here as if he were in his house. I cut his hair all the time, ”said Maciel.
Video via cell phone captures a glimpse of one of his visits. Another video recorded by Jessi Ceja shows the DMX pouring drinks for fans.
“We bought a bottle of Hennessy for him,” says Ceja. “Like I’ve known him for a long time because … he’s a true man.”
While struggling with addiction, L. Londell McMillan, a friend of DMX’s and former lawyer, says the music legend fought to the very end.
“He is a warrior. He’s a warrior. Many people don’t even think he will make it until he is 50, but we’re glad he did, and his legacy will live on even longer, ”said McMillan.
CBS2’s Cory James contributed to this report.