Rapper DMX on life support in New York hospital after heart attack

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, reigned over the late 1990s and early 2000s with hits such as 'X Gon' Give It To Ya'

DMX's longtime lawyer, Murray Richman, said the rapper was on life support at White Plains Hospital. "He had a heart attack. He's quite ill," Richman said. AP Photo
DMX's longtime lawyer, Murray Richman, said the rapper was on life support at White Plains Hospital. "He had a heart attack. He's quite ill," Richman said. AP Photo

Gritty US rapper DMX was hospitalised and put on life support on Saturday after a heart attack, his lawyer Murray Richman told AFP.

"He was hospitalised at 11pm last night at the hospital in White Plains," the New York suburb where he lives, after suffering "a heart attack", said Richman, who has represented the rapper for 25 years.

"As far as I know, he is still on life support," Richman said, also saying he was "very worried".

Richman said he could not confirm a report by entertainment website TMZ that DMX, 50, known for his previous battles with drug addiction, had overdosed.

DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, reigned over the late 1990s and early 2000s with hits including X Gon' Give It To Ya and Party Up.

He has eight albums, his most recent in 2015, and is among hip-hop's darkest stars, laying his inner demons out there for the masses in hard-driving anthems that gained him commercial and critical acclaim.

DMX released his debut major-label single Get At Me Dog in 1998 with Def Jam, which came off his first studio album It's Dark and Hell Is Hot. The album debuted at No 1 in Billboard's album chart and featured another hit single, Ruff Ryders' Anthem, ushering in commercial success that would last for years.

The artist endured a grim childhood, growing up with his mother and five sisters in housing projects, where he suffered abuse. He had continued run-ins with the penal system throughout his life, even after he became a celebrity.

In November 2017, he pleaded guilty to evading $1.7 million in tax payments between 2002 and 2005 and spent a year in prison.

FILE PHOTO: Earl Simmons (C), also known as the rapper DMX, exits the U.S. Federal Court in Manhattan following a hearing regarding income tax evasion charges in New York City, U.S., July 17, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo
Earl Simmons, centre, also known as DMX, exits the US Federal Court in Manhattan, New York, after a hearing regarding income tax evasion charges, in 2017. Reuters

DMX has been addicted to drugs, including crack cocaine, from as early as aged 14. "I didn't really have anybody to talk to," he said in November 2020, in an emotional interview on Talib Kweli's weekly podcast People's Party.

"In the hood, nobody wants to hear that ... Talking about your problems is viewed as a sign of weakness, when actually it's one of the bravest things you can do. One of the bravest things you can do is put it on the table, chop it up, and just let it out."

Updated: April 4, 2021 01:22 PM

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