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DMX Cause of Death Reportedly Released

by Emily Morgan
(Photo by Vallery Jean/FilmMagic)

Nearly three months after the hip-hop legend DMX passed away, we now know the cause of his death. 

According to reports, the “Party Up” rapper, whose legal name was Earl Simmons, died at 50 on April 9 from a cocaine-induced heart attack. After suffering the heart attack, it cut off blood flow to his brain, resulting in a deadly combination. 

“It was cardiac arrest for a period of time, so there was no circulation to the brain,” a source from the Westchester County medical examiner’s office told Vulture. The source also added that the fatal series of events was induced by acute cocaine intoxication. 

“His death literally happened immediately because the brain was dead,” they added. “So obviously, there were a number of days where he was on ventilatory support and so forth in the hospital . . . However, he was diagnosed brain-dead early on. . .He never woke up from [a] coma.”

Not long after doctors admitted the iconic “Ruff Ryders” rapper on April 2, his close family and friends revealed to the public that he was in a “vegetative state” due to drug overdose-induced heart attack. 

Close Family, Friends Come Together for DMX Memorial

“We ask that you please keep Earl/DMX and us in your thoughts, wishes, and prayers as well as respect our privacy as we face these challenges,” a family member of the rapper, Earl Simmons, wrote in a statement at the time of the tragedy. “Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end.”

Following his death, fans gathered around Westchester’s White Plains Hospital, where he remained on life support. There, his loved ones held prayer vigils, praying for a miracle. Sadly, doctors later announced that DMX was in grave condition and passed away a week after he was admitted into the hospital. On the day he died, he released a posthumous track titled “X Moves.” 

During his memorial service at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, Kanye West and his Sunday Service Choir performed along with tributes from his friends and family. “It hurts anytime you lose a soldier, but this one hurts different because he was the main piece on the board,” rapper Jadakiss said at the memorial. 

Simmons started performing in 1984. He first found notoriety in the underground rap scene, working as a beatboxer. In the ’90s, he landed his own recording contract with Def Jam Recordings— this time as a rapper. His debut single with Def Jam, “Get at Me Dog,” quickly became a hit and landed on the Hot 100’s Top 40. 

He released his debut album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, in May 1998. It debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and set the scene for him to become a titan in the industry. His eighth album, Exodus, was posthumously released in May.