DMX memorial: Rapper’s daughter, 12, raps song in heartbreaking tribute
DMX was remembered with an emotional memorial service in his native New York, following the rapper’s death at the age of 50.
The X Gon’ Give It To Ya rapper – real name Earl Simmons – died on April 9 after a heart attack at his home.
His family, including fiancee Desiree Lindstrom and his 15 children, were in attendance at the Barclays Center event.
Celebrity mourners included DMX’s Ruff Ryders members Swizz Beatz, Eve and The Lox, as well as rapper Nas, while Kanye West produced the memorial with his Sunday Service choir providing the music.
The event was filled with heartwarming tributes to the legendary Yonkers rapper, but it was his children who truly moved the audience to tears.
DMX’s daughter Sonovah Junior bravely took the microphone and rapped his iconic song Slippin’ with her own personalised lyrics.
‘I am growing, I am learning, to hold my head up/My daddy’s still holding my hand, so I gotta stand up/I learned so much from my father… He taught me to be strong, but it’s OK to be afraid/‘Cause sometimes it’ll show you how to be brave,’ Sonovah, 12, rapped.
Other lyrics included: ‘I never give up, I give it all/‘Cause I know I’m big, even though I look small/Lookin’ at my daddy’s picture on the wall… My brothers and sisters, we all stand together/Throw up the X, daddy forever.’
It appears Sonovah might follow her dad’s footsteps into music as she has an Instagram account where she posts teasers of her own songs.
DMX’ eldest son Xavier Simmons delivered an impassioned speech hailing the rapper ‘a king’ and ‘an icon’.
‘This man deepened my ability to love,’ he added.
Nas recalled his time working with DMX on the classic movie Belly, and said: ‘As my brother, we did a great movie together and on that movie he was just rising up as a star … His first album didn’t even come out yet but he knew his journey was starting.
‘He looked at me, tears in his eyes, because he knew the journey that he was about to embark on.’
Ruff Ryders’ first lady Eve also paid tribute and said: ‘To have known DMX the way that I knew him, as a man, a father, a friend… this is so hard, y’all. What I pray, what I hope, I pray to God, I pray to our angels, I pray to our ancestors that his journey was smooth. I know that he will rest in power, rest in love, but most of all he will rest in peace.’
Swizz Beatz, one of DMX’s closest friends, closed the service with an emotional speech calling out the late rapper’s fake friends who have only shown love for him after his death.
‘Words can’t describe our loss, but our gain is heavy as well because we got a real serious person upstairs that’s looking down on us, and that’s going to guide us through our journey,’ he began.
He then added: ‘I just wish all these people showed up for him when he was here. 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.’
The producer continued: ‘I need everybody to do a will. You have to do your will. You do not want strangers — bloodsuckers — handling your business when you’re not here.
‘You want the ones that you love handling your business. But, imma make sure my brother straight. Imma make sure my brother’s kids is straight and everybody in here better do the same, as well. ‘Cause this is not a fashion show, this is not a performance, this is a real-life day-to-day.’
The Barclays Center was a fitting location for the memorial as it was where DMX delivered one of his final performances in 2019.
His casket arrived at the concert arena on a monster truck and was followed by a procession of around 2,000 motorcyclists.
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