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The legacy of DMX: students shed light on rapper's influence

New York rapper, songwriter and actor Earl Simmons, also known as “DMX,” died on April 9 after an alleged drug overdose.

Paramedics responded to a 911 call from the residency on April 2 after DMX reportedly suffered a heart attack caused by a suspected drug overdose. He was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support after he fell into a coma. The family decided to take him off life support on April 9.

Ariel Herrera, a senior marketing major said, she has been following the situation since DMX was admitted to the hospital.

“I found out that day through social media, and I was definitely shocked because it felt unreal that someone who I grew up listening to [was going] to leave this world,” Herrera said.

After learning about the 50-year-old musician’s life-threatening condition, fans gathered outside of New York Hospital, White Plains, where DMX was admitted, and held a candlelight vigil.

DMX-Photo-via-WIkimedia-Commons
Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Jarrod Jackson, a graduate student in the Master of Public Administration program, said he found out about the death through Twitter.

“I was on Twitter and I saw so many tweets about DMX passing away and I immediately got off the app,” Jackson said. “I wasn’t a huge listener of his music, but I have always respected his artistry and his accomplishments in the music industry.”

DMX had been in the music industry since the early ‘90s and left an impact on those who idolized his work and on those who knew his contribution to the industry.

“I’ve been playing his albums nonstop, reason being his music always resonated with me in ways in which I can listen to him when I feel energetic, sad, angry, etc.,” Herrera said. “Not to mention that the content of his lyrics also resonated with me in regard to living in poverty, mental health issues, and more.”

DMX received three Grammy nominations in his career. His nominations included “Best Rap Solo Performance” for “Who We Be” and “Part Up,” in 1999 and 2001, respectively, and one Grammy nomination for “Best Rap Album” for “…And Then There Was X.”

“I’m never going to forget the feeling of being on the field hearing my band play [X Gon’ Give It to Ya] in high school,” Wilnir Louis, a senior sports management major, said. “He made his mark at a time where hip hop was mainly Tupac and Biggie. It was just the two of them and here came DMX touching records that we still haven’t really seen be touched again.”

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Fans mourned the passing of DMX by creating a makeshift memorial wall outside of White Plains Hospital, creating posters and playing his music.

Herrera said she believes his passing has shaken the music industry and thinks his music will continue to withstand the test of time and remain popular.

The family of DMX announced that they will be holding a public memorial service on April 24 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, before the private funeral service on April 25.

“His music was truly legendary for so many reasons, he made it possible for other rappers to be able to talk about their relationship with God and talk about their own mental health issues because at the time he first debuted it was almost unheard of,” Herrera said.

Tierra Boyd can be reached at tierra.boyd@student.shu.edu.

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