The Ruff Ryder known as Dark Man X or DMX died at White Plains Hospital Friday morning.
During the entirety of his week-long hospitalization, the 50-year-old rapper and actor was supported by family, friends and fans, who held a prayer vigil for him.
DMX, whose birth name is Earl Simmons, was on life support and in a vegetative state for several days before his family made the difficult decision to withdraw life support.
DMX left his imprint on hip-hop culture with his raspy voice and aggressive hooks. He was the first artist in history to have five albums all debut at No.1 consecutively on Billboard’s Top 200 albums chart.
Not only was he a three-time Grammy nominated artist and a two-time American Music Award-winner both in 2000 and 2001, but DMX starred in movies too. Some of his most famous films being “Belly” and “Romeo Must Die.”
His impact was not relegated solely to music or movies. The words he shared in interviews held a tremendous amount of weight as his fans were moved by his voice alone. They felt his pain and believed in his message. Fans especially understood the difficult road he traveled that eventually led him to stardom.
DMX, a New York native born and raised in Yonkers, had a troubled childhood. He rarely saw his father and dealt with different kinds of abuse from a young age.
He used music to cope with his pain and as a tool to further express not only his frustration but his suffering. For so long his story has served as an inspiration to many as DMX touched lives all over the world.
“He truly was an inspiration,” Kaiya Rodriguez, a junior journalism major, said. “I would just listen to his songs when I was down and I wanted to get my energy going. It pumped me up.”
College students were among the many that were touched and impacted by the life of DMX and his numerous musical masterpieces. He had a special gift that allowed him to connect with his fans and audience on another level. They believed in what he was saying and his music connected and became a part of their life as well as his.
“I remember listening to “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” before every football game to get me amped up,” Oloruntoba Boluwatife, a senior business management major, said. “It was a part of my routine and I felt like I couldn’t play without it. He inspired me to keep going.”
Music was an outlet for DMX to express himself and his musical creations were used by his fans to push through whatever issues they faced. His music aided others in persevering through the negative and maintaining good energy.
DMX and his music have not only touched the younger generations, but he was also respected and kept in high regard by his peers. He was loved by many but especially by the rappers, musicians and celebrities who spoke out upon his untimely death.
“We love you X forever,” musician Tory Lanez said in an Instagram post.
Tory Lanez and DMX spent time together in Jamaica, where they discussed DMX’s musical legacy.
“You’re at peace now King,” rapper Busta Rhymes posted on Instagram.
Busta Rhymes often collaborated with DMX. One of their popular tracks was “Why We Die” which also featured Jay Z.
“Life is so short..Broken hearts for DMX and his family.” choir director Kirk Franklin wrote on his Twitter.
DMX showed us that the underdog can turn into the top dog. He will forever be remembered as a hip-hop icon. From his explosive cadence to his electrifying performances, DMX will never be forgotten.