The following article includes mention of substance abuse.
Music legend DMX is in a critical state after he suffered an overdose, triggering a heart attack on April 2, 2021. The rapper, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was “rushed to the hospital after collapsing at home,” his rep told TMZ just one day after he was admitted. “At this time, he remains in ICU in critical condition.” Despite reports of a drug overdose, his lawyer Murray Richman didn’t comment on what lead to his heart attack, but told NBC News, “Earl is a sweet guy,” adding, “Earl was a person who could tell such a story. He was a person with such depth. It’s a heartbreaker.”
DMX previously opened up about his struggles with addiction and other hardships in his life, and his team is hoping he’ll weather this storm just like the rest. “Earl has been a warrior his entire life. This situation represents yet another road he must conquer,” his rep told the outlet. “The Simmons Family appreciates the overwhelming outpouring of heartfelt love, encouragement, support and prayers for Earl,” the rep continued. Earl is someone whose life and music have 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.” Keep scrolling for more details about DMX’s condition.
What we know about DMX's condition
Shortly after TMZ broke the news that DMX was rushed to White Plains Hospital in Westchester, N.Y., we learned he was in the critical care unit after paramedics tried to resuscitate him for 30 minutes, according to a family member. However, he was deprived of oxygen during that time and doctors informed his family the “lack of oxygen severely impacted X’s brain.”
The artist was said to have “some brain activity” after arriving at the hospital, but another source told the outlet he is in a “vegetative state” as doctors prepare his family for the worst. “It’s not looking good,” an additional source revealed.
Following the horrific news, DMX’s children have been reportedly rushing to his bedside and visiting the father of 15 “one at a time” in the ICU. As of April 5, 2021, TMZ revealed “he’s on life support and his outlook remains grim.”
Family and fans are standing by his bedside
In the wake of the tragic news about DMX’s fate, friends, family, and fans gathered to pray for his recovery during a prayer vigil outside of White Plains Hospital on April 5, 2021. According to photos obtained by TMZ, his fiancée, Desiree, joined fans outside of the hospital, along with his ex-wife Tashera Simmons, and fellow baby mama Yadira Borrego. Some of his children joined in during the vigil including his toddler-age son Exodus, whom he shares with his fiancée. Desiree and the artist’s mother, Arnett Simmons, were said to have been with DMX since he was admitted.
Hospital workers also participated in the vigil as they were seen waving an “X” sign from a hospital window. Additionally, members of the “Ruff Ryders” motorcycle crew, a sort of fan club of the rapper’s label, pulled up outside of the hospital to pay their respects during their own impromptu vigil on April 4. They were seen blasting his music and revving their engines in solidarity.
DMX has a long history of drug abuse
Drug abuse has been a theme throughout DMX’s life since he was given a laced blunt at the age of 14, he revealed on the People’s Party in November 2020. He was previously hospitalized for a near-fatal drug overdose in 2016. According to Page Six, the rapper had no pulse and had stopped breathing in a parking lot outside of a Westchester, N.Y., hotel. He was given Narcan to “reverse the effects of a heroin overdose” and became “semiconscious” before receiving treatment at a nearby hospital.
It appeared he was committed to his sobriety after he paused his 20th-anniversary tour to check into rehab in October 2019. “In his ongoing commitment to putting family and sobriety first, DMX has checked himself into a rehab facility,” an Instagram announcement read at the time. “He apologizes for his canceled shows and thanks his fans for their continued support.”
He was clean ahead of his hospital stay
Previously, DMX revealed he got clean as a way to “deal with the things that hurt me,” he shared on the People’s Party in November 2020. He admitted he was once reluctant to speak out about his struggles with addiction, saying he saw it as a “sign of weakness,” however, he realized sharing his story is “one of the bravest things you can do.”
After his 2016 overdose, he said he wasn’t using hard drugs anymore during a 2017 interview with HipHopDX. “I think we kinda knew that was the problem… Of course, it was the problem,” he said at the time. “I got in trouble and all that s**t. It’s not worth it. I spent too much time doing things. It’s just not worth it.”
More recently, he seemed to be optimistic for the future as he teased his upcoming album in February 2021 on N.O.R.E.’s Drink Champs podcast. He said a bunch of famous faces were set to make an appearance on his records including Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, and U2’s Bono.
Asides from his drug use, life hasn't been easy for DMX
Outside of DMX’s struggles with drug abuse, the rapper had a complicated relationship with the law as well. In a 2019 interview with GQ, he revealed he was incarcerated at least 30 times for a variety of crimes such as resisting arrest, reckless driving, driving without a license, animal cruelty, drug possession, disorderly conduct, possession of a weapon, tax evasion, and failure to pay child support, per Medium. He’s also had several financial issues which lead to his most recent conviction in 2018 after he was charged with 14 counts of tax fraud and sentenced to one year in prison. He was released from prison in January 2019.
During his last stint in prison, he spent 90 days in solitary confinement, he told GQ. “If you don’t got a strong mind, it’ll f**k you up,” he said of his time in the hole. “I didn’t get out of my cell at all.” Only time will tell what fate holds for DMX.
If you or someone you know is struggling with substance abuse and mental health, please contact SAMHSA’s 24-hour National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).
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