Rap legend DMX was laid to rest on Saturday, April 24, 2021; and his fellow Hip-Hop icons and Ruff Ryders labelmates showed up to pay homage to the life of the late Earl Simmons.
Kanye West's Sunday Service Choir gave the tribute service for Simmons a powerful soundtrack, as some of the biggest names in music and entertainment spoke about how much DMX meant to fans, friends and family.
Hitmaking producer and longtime DMX collaborator took the stage to share words about their bond. While expressing his sympathy for DMX's loved ones, Swizz also called out anyone who'd turned their backs on the rapper during his darkest moments.
“I just wish all these people showed up for him when he was here,” Swizz said. “You got thousands of people claiming who they are and tickets and things like that. This man needed everybody. He didn’t need everybody when he’s not here, he needed everybody when he was here. We have to learn to celebrate each other while we’re here.”
Peers like Nas remembered working with X. Nas and DMX both appeared in the 1999 action drama Belly. “His first album didn’t even come out yet, but he knew his journey was starting.”
And DMX's family spoke about Earl Simmons as a father.
“Our father is a king,” his sons Xavier, said. “Our father is an icon.”
“I am so honored to have a father, a father like we have,” he said. “This man deepened my ability to love.” He remembered lessons that DMX taught him, such as “always say ‘thank you,’” and “no matter where you go, a blessing is everywhere,” and “be kind to everyone.” “DMX was not just a rapper, he was the best dad ever,” another son, Manny, said, sharing a rap he wrote about his father. One of his young daughters, Sonovah Junior, performed a rap she wrote in his memory, saying, “I learned so much from my father. He taught me to be strong.”
Jadakiss reflected on his fellow Ruff Ryders star.
“This is a big hit for us, the world. It hurts anytime you lose a soldier, but this one hurts different.” Jadakiss said, sharing that in his last days, X was in good spirits. “He was the happiest he ever was.”