Award-winning and genre-defining rapper DMX has passed away at White Plains Hospital after suffering an apparent overdose late Friday, April 2. He was 50.
TMZ broke the news Saturday, revealing that Ruff Ryders anchor and actor — born Earl Simmons — suffered a heart attack brought on by an overdose around 11 p.m. the night before. Paramedics tried resuscitation for 30 minutes, according to a family member. However, during that time his brain was deprived of oxygen and, as of April 4, his manager Nakia Walker described X as being in a “vegetative state,” suffering from both lung and brain failure. On Friday, April 9, after several days without change in brain activity, a spokesperson for the family announced the musician had passed away.
“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,” says the official statement released by DMX’s family and representatives.
DMX was born in Mount Vernon and raised in Yonkers. He started his rap career in the early 1990s, dropping his first album, It’s Dark and Hell is Hot to great success on the Ruff Ryders label in 1998, followed by his third and best-selling album — the Grammy-nominated And Then There Was X, featuring the hit “Party Up (Up in Here)” — just one year later. He was certified RIAA and BPI Platinum in 2003 for “X Gon’ Give It to Ya,” his eponymous contribution to the soundtrack for Cradle 2 the Grave, which he also acted in, a song that has since become perhaps the rapper’s most defining work.
Sadly, Simmons struggled against an addiction to crack cocaine for much of his life, after smoking cannabis that had been laced with the drug at age 14, according to his own autobiography. He had a long history of drug charges, arrests, and incarceration, most recently checking himself into a rehab center in October 2019 as a precaution for fear that he might relapse.
DMX was also a devout Christian and a deacon. Prayer vigils were held by fans and family alike outside White Plains Hospital on Monday, April 5. Simmons’ family has asked for privacy while they personally grieve the very public figure, but have promised to announce memorial service details after they are finalized.