DMX, Iconic Ruff Ryders Rapper, Dies at 50

John Lamparski/FilmMagic
DMX performs at Barclays Center of Brooklyn on April 21, 2017 in New York City.  

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 10) 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.”ARTIST MENTIONEDDMX

As of Sunday (April 4), DMX had been on life support and was in a “vegetative state,” according to his former manager.

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.

Before officially entering the mainstream circuit with his magnum opus, 1998’s It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, X proved his competitive fervor when he and Jay first battled in the mid-’90s. As legend has it, X took a cab from Baltimore to New York to partake in the main event. To this day, the contentious Bronx royale highlighted X’s bruising delivery, scrappy wordplay, and grit-and-grind mindset.

“It was both of their styles at their purest forms. DMX was definitely on that barking, that whole thing. That was his whole persona. His voice was just raw,” producer Ski-Beatz told HipHopDX in 2011 regarding the infamous showdown.

The Darkman’s dog-eat-dog mentality continued when he signed to Ruff Ryders/Def Jam. Like his Bronx battle against Jay, X didn’t shy away from the competition. Out the gate, he blitzed the hip-hop game with hard-hitting features, most notably LL Cool J‘s “4, 3, 2, 1” (Remix), Mase‘s “24 Hrs. to Live,” and The LOX‘s “Money, Power, Respect.”

Then, in 1998, his signature growl and bark found a home on his debut album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. After flexing his aggressive aura on his singles like “Get At Me Dog” and “Stop Being Greedy,” he put the rap game on notice when he and a young Swizz Beatz carved out “Ruff Ryders Anthem” — an ode to their burgeoning crew.

The album zoomed to No. 1 on the Billboard 200, cementing his status as a superstar. Following the release of It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, X’s pursuit for rap dominance continued when he doubled down and dropped his second album, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, later that year.

While juggling his newfound music fame, X segued into acting. He proved he was a natural when he starred alongside Nas in the hip-hop classic film Belly. His role opened more doors on the movie side, as he later was featured in Romeo Must Die (2000), Exit Wounds (2001) and Cradle 2 the Grave (2003).

Seven months after the release of It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, X scored his second No. 1 album on the Billboard 200 with Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood in December 1998. That feat made him the second artist after Tupac Shakur to have two albums released in the same calendar year go No. 1 on the Billboard 200.

Though X’s tough exterior lured listeners in, it was vulnerability and bone-chilling honesty that served as his best attributes. Tracks such as “Slippin” and “I Can Feel It” offered glimpses into his mindset when he encountered the hard times in his life. Those rough patches were often his double-edged sword. As a child, he was abused by his mother. He was sent away to children’s homes. At 14, he tried crack cocaine. And though his troubled youth served as great material for his songs, it would later have a toll on his adult life, where he would experience substance abuse.

After being charged with tax fraud in 2017, DMX spent a year in prison. Upon getting out, he canceled a slew of shows to check into rehab. In 2019, he struggled with drug addiction again and went back to a rehabilitation facility.

“In his ongoing commitment to putting family and sobriety first, DMX has checked himself into a rehab facility,” his Instagram told fans. “He apologizes for his cancelled shows and thanks his fans for their continued support.”

Those moments also strengthened X’s resiliency. He leaned on his faith as Jehovah’s Witness to carry him on. The power of prayer was one of X’s hallmarks, especially throughout his albums and performances. Before he exited a set, he fittingly placed a bow on his performance with a heartfelt prayer.

“One thing about Dog is that it never really mattered about the money,” Swizz Beatz told Billboard in 2018. You never seen X in a fancy car. You’ve never seen him with an excess [amount] of jewelry on. X gave his money away to a lot of people. People don’t do that. X is just a different type of person. That’s why I still support him and his family to this day as my brother, no matter what he’s dealing with or whatever. We’ve slept on the floors together. We did real s— together. X is just unique.”

With five No. 1 Billboard 200 albums to his credit, X wasn’t just a rapper — he was a fighter. He fought demons. He fought the odds. He slept on floors. He did whatever he needed to do to push on because that’s all he knew how to do. Now, with him finally at peace, he no longer needs to fight. The dog can finally walk away, knowing his legacy will always be remembered and respected.

DMX Received Covid Vaccine Days Before Heart Attack – Family Says NO DRUGS! (EXCLUSIVE)

Rap legend DMX, real name Earl Simmons, is currently in the ICU after suffering from a massive heart attack. Early reports speculated that DMX’s condition may have been brought about because of an alleged drug overdose.

DMX

But MTO News spoke with a member of the Simmons family who believes that it was NOT drugs that caused the heart attack.

In an EXCLUSIVE interview, MTO News spoke with DMX’ family member who told us that the rapper received the COVID vaccine about a week before he suffered from the heart attack.

DMX’s family member told MTO News, “[DMX] got the vaccine when they opened it up to people over 50. He got it so that he could go travel and perform, stuff like that.”

New York State opened up the COVID-19 vaccinations for people over the age of 50 in mid March.

And the family member suspects that DMX heart attack could have been a reaction to the vaccine. The family member explained, “Everyone [in the news] keeps saying that [DMX] had a drug overdose. How do they know. I’m in the family and no doctor told me anything about an overdose.”

The family member is FURIOUS about the speculation surrounding DMX drug use. She told MTO News, “Yes he had past issues with drugs. But nobody knows that he had an OD. It’s f**cked up that its being reported like that.”

She told MTO News that she – and the family – are considering taking legal action against news publications prematurely concluding that DMX  suffered a drug overdose.

But what is clear – according to the family member – is that DMX did take the Covid vaccine.

The grieving kin explained, “He took that vaccine, and he had a heart attack. I’m not saying the vaccine did it, but he never had a heart attack before.”

Over 167 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines were administered in the United States from December 14, 2020, through April 5, 2021. During this time, The CDC received only 2,794 reports of death among people who received a COVID-19 vaccine.

EXCLUSIVE: DMX OD’S AND IN GRAVE-CONDITION!

DMX suffered a drug overdose Friday night and is currently in the hospital … and the prognosis is not good.

Sources close to the rapper tell TMZ, the OD occurred at his home at around 11 PM. Our sources say the overdose triggered a heart attack.

DMX was rushed to a hospital in White Plains, New York and is in the critical care unit. We’re told he has “some brain activity.” Another source says he’s in a “vegetative state” and doctors have cautioned he may not make it.

As we have reported over the years, DMX, who was the cornerstone of the Ruff Ryders label, has battled substance abuse and has been to rehab several times. His last rehab stint back in 2019 came after he completed a 12-month sentence for tax evasion.

At the time, we were told DMX hadn’t relapsed, but checked himself into rehab out of fear he might again, as he felt temptations to use creep up on him again.

DMX made his return to the stagefollowing rehab in December 2019 when he hit Hakkassan in Las Vegas, chatting it up and taking photos with fans before he hit the stage.

During the Vegas show, he took a moment to tell fans, “When you fall down, get back up, everyone here has been through some s**t and you never know what God is willing to do for you until you need him to do something for you.”

Last we saw him perform was in July 2020, when X faced off with Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle which saw more than 500K viewers tune in, proving he still had an incredible ability to bring an audience.

We will, of course, update as information becomes available regarding his current situation.

Story developing …