#RIPDMX: timeline of hip hop legend’s battle for his life

Earl Simmons, better known by his stage name DMX, has succumbed to the cruel hands of death on 9 April 2021. He had battled for his life for seven days before eventually passing away surrounded by friends and family.

The rapper was admitted into a critical care unit after suffering a heart attack triggered by a drug overdose. TMZ reports that the American rapper had overdosed in his home in New York on Friday, 2 April 2021, around 11 pm local time. He was then rushed to a hospital in White Plains.

It seems that he had first gotten medical aid before his case worsened and was later transferred to the hospital intensive care unit. Sources have also leaked information that DMX is in a vegetative state.

TMZ further revealed that the doctors are not optimistic about the situation saying, he may not make it. 

News that DMX condition has reached a critical point has spurred many celebrities and brands to start offering prayers on his behalf. See some of the posts below:

See also: Choosing music over family cost Don Jazzy his first marriage at 22

The 50-year-old singer has mentioned his battle with drug addiction in public on several occasions. He said it began after smoking a marijuana cigarette laced with the drug at the age of 14.

This is not the first time that DMX had a public health scare. He had one famous incident in February 2016 when he was found unresponsive in a Ramada Inn parking lot in Yonkers. However, the police found no illegal substances around the property despite a witness claiming to have seen the rapper swallow a ‘substance’ before collapsing. He later explained the incident as an asthma attack.

DMX in critical condition after drug overdose leaves him hospitalised
DMX in critical condition after a drug overdose leaves him hospitalised. Photo from Verzuz battle with Snoop Dogg in 2020.

Recently, he went into rehab again in 2019 after going to one in 2017 as well. In 2020 after his Verzuz battle with Snoop Dogg, DMX took some time to talk about his addiction to crack cocaine. More reports to follow …

4 April 2021, Family release statement

Not long after the news broke that DMX was in a critical condition, additional details emerged that the rapper could not breathe and needed a life support machine. Hours later, his lawyer claimed that the rapper was getting better and has been taken off life support.

This new information served as a breather for well-wishers who had been praying for the hip hop legend to get better. However, the lawyer later came back to discredit the update claiming that he had been misinformed and that DMX was still not breathing on his own.

To further clear the air, DMX family released a statement to TMZ and VladTV on 4 April 2021. “We are issuing this statement to combat all the false and misleading reports that are circulating on social media,” they wrote. “Last night Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons was rushed to the hospital after collapsing at home. At this time he remains in ICU in critical condition. Earl has been a warrior his entire life. This situation represents yet another road he must cross.”

In addition to this, they further said, “the Simmons Family appreciates the overwhelming outpouring of heartfelt love, encouragement, support and prayers for Earl. Earl is someone whose life and music has been a source of inspiration and strength to so many people around the world. It is reassuring to see his fans return that same passion and energy to him during his time of need.”

8 April 2021, DMX to undergo brain test

After nearly six days hooked to a life machine and in a vegetative state, critically ill American rapper DMX is set to undergo a brain function test. This update comes from a statement that the rapper’s long-time manager Steve Rifkind released to NBC News on Tuesday night.

He also tried to debunk the overdose narrative that has been circulating since DMX hospitalisation. “There are multiple people with inaccurate information about his well-being, and it is not helpful and productive,” Rifkind said. DMX’s longtime lawyer Murray Richman also claimed that the overdose reports are unconfirmed.

Earlier on Tuesday, the rapper’s children flew into New York to be by his bedside. Outside the hospital, his fans and well-wishers held a prayer vigil for him and honoured him by playing some of his greatest hits like “Party Up” and “Where the Hood At.” His fiancee and son also joined the crowd outside.

People at DMX vigil near White Plains Hospital

Rifkind hinted that the family will make a decision soon on how to proceed after the brain function test on Wednesday, 7 April 2021.

What is a brain function test or a test for brain death? These are tests used to determine brain stem death. Some of the processes including shinning a torch into both eyes to see if they react to the light and stroking the patient’s eyes with a tissue or piece of cotton wool to see if the sensitivity of the eyes kicks in and forces it to react.

DMX confirmed dead

Earlier on 9 April 2021, rumours spread that DMX was dead and the hashtag #RIPDMX started trending. After some hours, the news was debunked and traced to a cryptic Instagram post by comedian Luenell who wrote:

“It is over, my friend is gone. Soar. Join the best that ever did it. RIP DMX.”

Steve Rifkind, who has been in charge of debunking false news since DMX was hospitalised, was once again on hand to clear the air. “Everybody, please stop with the posting with these [rumours]. DMX is still alive. Yes, he is on life support. But, please it’s not helping anybody by seeing these false [rumours],” he said. “Let the family relax for a night. You will be hearing a statement from the family sometime tomorrow. I’ve been with DMX for the past three years. So, the only thing I ask is just stop with the rumours. He is still alive and he is on life support. Thank you.”

However, later in the evening, his family released a statement confirming that DMX died on 9 April 2021 at 50.

“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end,” the public statement reads. “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.”

His fans were thrown into mourning with many posting some of their favourite DMX songs, quotes and lyrics to honour the late “Party Up (Up in Here)” crooner.


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About The Author


Obinna is a fiction writer from Lagos, Nigeria, and grew up loving comic book characters and superheroes. He watches lots of action films and writes entertainment and technology articles. He is also interested in science and how things work.

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