- Share this article on Facebook
- Share this article on Twitter
- Share this article on Email
- Show additional share options
- Share this article on Print
- Share this article on Comment
- Share this article on Whatsapp
- Share this article on Linkedin
- Share this article on Reddit
- Share this article on Pinit
- Share this article on Tumblr
Hip-hop legend and actor Earl “DMX” Simmons was celebrated on Saturday by family and close friends with a music-filled memorial held at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.
Footage and photographs of the New York rapper, who was behind such iconic songs as “Party Up (Up in Here)” and the star of action movies including Exit Wounds, was projected above and below the stage as the Sunday Service Choir performed a number of songs under deep red lighting.
The presentation also included a video of DMX with one of his daughters riding a rollercoaster.
DMX’s fiancée Desiree Lindstrom appeared onstage beside his children and other family members. “Everything he did, he did for you all,” the audience at Barclays Center were told.
“He always wanted to please you, he always wanted to give you his best show. … He changed your lives, one lyric at a time.”
One of his sons said in an emotional tribute, “This man deepened my ability to love.” Another said, “We have lost an icon and the best father anyone could ask for.” Beside them, one of his daughters shared a rap about how her father, who the rest of the world knows as DMX, taught her to be strong and get up when she falls. “Because I know I’m big even though I look small,” was one of the lyrics.
Nas paid his respects onstage to DMX, referring to the rapper as his “brother.” He said, “It’s an honor to be here tonight. At the same time it’s a sad day, it’s a glorious day.” Nas spoke of a movie they did together, during the time DMX was just “rising up” as a star. “He knew his journey was starting. … He looked at me, tears in his eyes because he knew about the journey he was about to embark on: become a hip-hop icon,” recalled Nas.
Rapper Eve said, “To have known DMX the way that I knew him, as a man, a father, a friend … this is so hard, y’all. What I pray, what I hope, I pray to God, I pray to our angels, I pray to our ancestors that his journey was smooth. I know that he will rest in power, rest in love, but most of all he will rest in peace.”
Ahead of the event’s live stream, aerial footage showed the rapper’s casket being driven to Barclays Center atop a monster truck with the phrase “Long Live DMX” written on its side, as well as a motorcycle caravan riding behind.
The ceremony was live-streamed on the rapper’s YouTube channel. Tomorrow, April 25, a “Homegoing Celebration” will start at 2:30 pm ET and air live on BET and its YouTube channel. Attendance to the “Celebration” memorial was limited to 10 percent of the stadium’s 19,000-seat capacity.
DMX died on April 9 in New York following a drug overdose and subsequent heart attack. He had been in a vegetative state for a week prior to his death after being admitted at White Plains Hospital. He was 50 years old.
“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end,” read a family 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. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”
Sign up for THR news straight to your inbox every day