Yonkers rapper Earl Simmons, who went by the stage name DMX, died Friday morning due to complications from a heart attack, his team shared with XXL.
The rapper was admitted to White Plains Hospital on April 2, following a heart attack. He was supported inside the hospital by numerous family members and outside the hospital by dozens of fans who gathered to hold a vigil.
DMX was one of the most prolific rappers of the late ‘90s to early ‘00s, taking the music industry by storm with his multi-platinum album, “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot.” He enjoyed mainstream success during his early years, topping the Billboard 200 five times in a row.
Best known for hits like “X Gon’ Give it to Ya” and “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” DMX was one of the most energetic rappers of his time, bringing a distinctive aggression that will live on long after his passing. Many rappers showed support for Simmons while he was in the hospital, with Bobby Shmurda, who was recently released from a seven-year prison stint, shouting DMX out on Instagram as one of his biggest influences: “If y’all ain’t know where I got it from now u know.”
Simmons’ career went beyond the microphone, as he co-starred in movies like “Cradle 2 the Grave” and “Romeo Must Die” with Jet Li.
In 1999, DMX performed at Buffalo’s Marine Midland Arena alongside fellow rappers Jay-Z, Method Man and Redman as part of their “Hard Knock Life” Tour.
DMX released his last album, “Redemption of the Beast,” in 2015, and spent the last few years of his career in relative quiet, most recently releasing a song with Berner titled “Foolish” in 2020.
As millions around the world mourn his death, only time will tell if DMX’s estate will release a posthumous album in his name, as has been done for other fallen rappers such as Pop Smoke and Mac Miller.
Alex Falter is the assistant arts editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org