Earl Simmons, best known as MC DMX, has died today at White Plains Hospital in New York five days after suffering a heart attack. He was 50 years old.
“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. 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.”
Last Friday DMX was rushed to the hospital and was later confirmed to be in a coma and on life support. The artist remained in a vegetative state while family, friends and supporters gathered outside for a prayer vigil in his honor. Today. he was taken off life support.
DMX made an incredible arrival into the music industry in the 1990’s. At the time, hip-hop was becoming a global phenomenon as artists like N.W.A. were packing stadiums. DMX, arguably one of the most influential voices from New York’s sprawling scene, provided a gritty and aggressive narrative to the big budgeted party tracks that were peaking. He was instrumental in revitalizing the Def Jam label and provided the template for artists like Jay-Z to reach an audience.
Even though DMX had a persona that fit a popular hip-hop archetype in the 90’s – muscular street rapper with an aggressive edge – fans will long remember his voice, unique delivery and the incredible energy. Listening to him was like driving over gravel – forcing the music to traverse over his identifiably loose and aggressive flow.
He once told MTV;
“I”m definitely a free spirit, I could go with no direction. Just go. I’ll find what I find. I’ll end up where I end up. I’ll end up there, and ‘there’ is never a bad place, because you always learn something from it. Go with the wind.”