DMX has died at age 50

DMX © John Mueller
© John Mueller

The rapper, real name Earl Simmons, passed away five days after suffering a heart attack.

DMX has died, aged 50. The artist was hospitalised and placed on life support after suffering a drug overdose and heart attack at his home in White Plains, New York. He passed away “with his family by his side” at White Plains Hospital.

“Earl was a warrior who fought ’til the very end,” his family said via a statement. “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. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX.”

Simmons was born in Mount Vermont, New York, in 1970. His debut album, Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood was first released in 1998 and over the course of his decades-spanning career, Simmons collaborated with the likes of Jay-Z, Kanye, Ja Rule and LL Cool J. His best-known hits include 1999’s Ruff Ryders’ Anthem, 1999’s Party Up (Up in Here), What’s My Name and 2003’s X Gon’ Give It To Ya.

Beyond music, Simmons was also an actor and starred in films such as Cradle 2 the Grave and Romeo Must Die.

The artist was open about substance abuse, and in October 2019 he announced online that he’d checked into a rehab facility. During a 2020 interview with Talib Kweli, he spoke about the trauma behind his drug use. “Drugs were a symptom of a bigger problem,” he said. “There were things that I went through in my childhood where I just blocked it out but there’s only so much you can block out before you run out of space.”

“I really didn’t have anybody to talk to about it. So often talking about your problems is viewed as a sign of weakness when actually it’s one of the bravest things you can do. One of the bravest things you can do is put it on the table, chop it up and just let it out.”