As the world continues the mourn the death of DMX, more information about the rapper’s tragic overdose and resulting heart attack is coming to light. Here are more details on DMX’s cause of death.
Updated (July 8th, 2021): A just-published report in Vulture now states that DMX died from a “cocaine-induced heart attack that caused a lack of blood circulation to his brain,” citing a a source from the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office. The partially coincides with earlier information on the rapper’s cause of death, though other lethal agents like fentanyl and alcohol were not mentioned. The same source also claimed that an autopsy was never conducted, despite earlier reports to contrary.
The following is our original report published shortly after the death of Earl Simmons, aka DMX.
Weeks after the death of legendary rapper DMX on April 9th, legions of hip hop fans continue to mourn his loss. Saturday, April 24th marked the official date of DMX’s funeral at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a ‘celebration of life’ that drew thousands of fans and clogged nearby streets. DMX’s coffin arrived in a monster truck with “Long Live DMX” written on the sides, part of a massive procession that started in the rapper’s nearby hometown of Yonkers, NY.
Sadly, DMX’s cause of death could have been prevented, and appears to have been triggered by a lethal concoction of drugs, alcohol, and COVID-19. Digital Music News has now learned that DMX’s overdose was likely prompted by multiple toxins, including crack cocaine, the ultra-potent opiate fentanyl, and unknown quantities of both alcohol and prescription pills. Autopsy details are also likely to show that DMX had COVID-19, which may have complicated efforts to revive the rapper and draw oxygen into his system.
It remains unclear exactly what quantities of the various drugs were in DMX’s system at the time of his death, though some substances could have been present in trace amounts. Throughout his career, DMX suffered numerous issues with drug abuse and entered rehab multiple times. In 2016, DMX had been found unresponsive in Yonkers, and was revived by medics using Narcan, an opioid blocker. He also reported first trying crack cocaine at age 14 after smoking a joint unknowingly laced with the substance.
Earlier reports on DMX’s hospitalization and cause of death have pointed to a massive drug overdose, which resulted in a heart attack and ultimately pushed the rapper into a vegetative state. After DMX — whose real name is Earl Simmons — could not be revived, the family made the difficult decision to pull the plug and remove life support.
Separately, record executive/producer and DMX collaborator Irv Gotti has reported that DMX overdosed on ‘a bad dose of crack’ that overwhelmed the rapper’s system. Gotti also pointed to fentanyl use and COVID complications as contributors of DMX’s cause of death. “They said it was a bad dose of crack and they said some drug fentanyl was mixed in with the crack and that’s what made him overdose,” Gotti revealed in an interview with 107.5 WGCI in Chicago (as first reported by HipHopDX).
“When he got to the hospital, he got diagnosed with COVID and he couldn’t breathe — you know that COVID messes with your respiratory system — so that’s why he had to get hooked up to the ventilator,” the Murder Inc. cofounder continued.
“Before they [connected him to the ventilator], they was like, his brain died,” he continues. “They said even if he comes through, there’s a good chance he’s going to be brain dead. Once they said that, I was like, ‘I don’t want to see X like that.’ I said, ‘If he comes back, I want him to come back and be X. If he’s gonna be brain dead and a vegetable, I don’t want to see him like that,’ you know what I’m saying?
“I think when it got down to it, he couldn’t survive without being on that machine. He’s gone.”
Already, a posthumous DMX track has been released, and a full album finished just before the rapper’s passing is also expected. Separately, it remains unclear how DMX’s considerable royalties and assets will be divided up — the rapper reportedly fathered more than 15 kids with multiple partners, and was routinely hundreds of thousands of dollars behind on child support payments.
DMX was just 50 years old at the time of his death.