DMX, the iconic rapper who helped build the Ruff Ryders label into a powerhouse during the late 1990s, has died.
The Yonkers-bred MC, born Earl Simmons, passed away on Friday (April 9) after experiencing a heart attack triggered by a drug overdose. He was 50.
“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,” his family said in a statement.”
“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.”
As of Sunday (April 4), DMX had been on life support and was in a “vegetative state,” according to his former manager.
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White Plains Hospital also said in a statement: “White Plains Hospital extends its deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Simmons, as well as his friends and legions of fans who expressed their unwavering support during this difficult time. Earl Simmons passed away peacefully with family present after suffering a catastrophic cardiac arrest.”
One of rap’s biggest underdogs, DMX catapulted into mainstream glory in 1998 when the East Coast crown was up for grabs. After the passing of The Notorious B.I.G. in 1997, New York yearned for a new king. With Nas and Jay-Z considered promising replacements to the throne, a young, spirited DMX pounced on the opportunity to spar with the city’s elite.