DMX Dead At 50, Hip Hop Mourns An Icon

Rap icon DMX has died.

After a week of being on life support, DMX has passed, his family confirmed via a statement. Last night rumors of his death started spreading on social media, but that was cleared up by his manager, who assured us that he was still on life support. Nevertheless, this morning TMZ reported that he had multiple organ failures forcing his family to make a difficult decision to take him off life support.

“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,” a statement from his family reads. “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.”

DMX’s family also thanked his millions of fans and peers in hip hop who prayed for him while asking for privacy as they grieve his death.

DMX, who is widely regarded as one of the most commercially successful rappers in history, suffered a drug overdose last week and was rushed to the White Plains Hospital in New York. His brain was deprived of oxygen for a reported half an hour which left him hospitalized in a vegetative state. He had remained on life support since then while doctors figured out if he had any brain activity. That test concluded on Wednesday this week that there were no brain activities. That devastating news left the rapper’s family with the difficult decision to take him off life support.

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, started rapping in the 1980s, where he would regularly perform with Ready Ron. In a previous interview, X blamed his former mentor, Ready Ron, for letting him try drugs as a 14-year-old, the day he said his long battle with drug addiction started.

After a slew of stints behind bars for various crimes, DMX started taking his music career more serious in the 90s, signing a deal with Columbia Records’ Ruffhouse label and went on to deliver his debut album, It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, in 1998 and a second album that same year, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, making him only the second rapper after Tupac Shakur to release back to back albums. It’s Dark and Hell is Hot has since been certified 4X platinum, and Flesh of My Flesh is 3X platinum.

DMX also went on to be the face of Ruff Ryders Records, founded by brothers Darrin Dean, Joaquin Dean, and Chivon Dean. He also had a budding acting career with roles in films like Belly, Exit Wounds, Cradle 2 The Grave, Last Hour, and the hit movie Romeo Must Die, starring Aaliyah and Jet Li.

Last year, DMX reminded us of his talent when he did Verzuz with Snoop Dogg, making that episode one of the most memorable moments on the show, which started on Instagram Live.

As news of his passing spreads, tributes have been pouring in from all corners of hip hop.