NEW YORK — Rapper DMX died Friday at the age of 50, according to his family.
The Mount Vernon native, who grew up in Yonkers and called New York home, was hospitalized in White Plains on April 2 after suffering a heart attack, his attorney Murray Richman told PIX11 News.
Richman said on Saturday that he could not confirm reports that DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, overdosed on drugs and he was not sure what caused the heart attack. Sources told TMZ that DMX overdosed at his home around 11 p.m. last Friday.
“I’m very sad about it, extremely sad. He’s like my son,” Richman told PIX11 on Saturday, following the rapper’s hospitalization. “He’s just a tremendous person, tremendous entertainer, tremendous human being. And so much to offer, so much to say. Not the run-of-the-mill rapper. A person of great depth.”
The rapper’s death came a day after his manager, Steve Rifkind, said DMX remained on life support despite phrases like “RIP DMX” and “Rest in Power DMX” that trended globally on Twitter Thursday evening.
DMX made a splash in rap music in 1998 with his first studio album “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot,” which debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The multiplatinum selling album was anchored by several hits including “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” “Get At Me Dog” and “Stop Being Greedy.”
The rapper had four other chart-topping albums including “…And Then There Was X,” “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood,” “The Great Depression” and “Grand Champ.” He has released seven albums and earned three Grammy nominations. By 2014, DMX had become one of the best-selling rappers in history, moving over 23.3 million copies worldwide.
Along with his music career, DMX paved his way as an actor. He starred in the 1998 film “Belly” and appeared in “Romeo Must Die” a couple years later with Jet Li and the late singer Aaliyah. DMX and Aaliyah teamed up for the film’s soundtrack song “Come Back in One Piece.”
The rapper also starred in “Exit Wounds” with Steven Seagal and “Cradle 2 the Grave” with Li, which topped the box office, accomplishing the rare feat as an artist to star in a number one movie and make a number one record. Simmons also occasionally poked fun at his tough guy persona in comedies like Chris Rock’s “Top Five” and the ABC sitcom “Fresh Off the Boat.”
Over the years, DMX has battled with substance abuse. The rapper canceled a series of shows to check himself into a rehabilitation facility in 2019. In an Instagram post, his team said he apologized for the canceled shows and thanked his fans for the continued support.
Last year, DMX faced off against Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle, which drew more than 500,000 viewers.
Richman, who represented the rapper for over 25 years, reflected on DMX’s legacy during an interview with PIX11 on Saturday, just days before he died.
“Earl Simmons, in my opinion, is one of the great poets of our time,” he said. “What he had to say, if people bothered to listen and could overcome their hostility to rap, would learn a great deal. He was a person who understood our times.”