On Saturday (April 24), friends and family of DMX gathered at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center for an in-person “celebration of life” and memorial service. Though it was closed to the public due to coronavirus restrictions, the memorial for the late rapper (real name Earl Simmons) was also broadcast live for fans to watch online.
Ahead of the service, DMX’s casket was carried through the streets on the back of a black monster truck, with the words “long live DMX” painted on the side. The procession was also followed by hundreds of motorcyclists, including the Ruff Ryders hip hop collective.
Inside the Barclays Center, the service featured memorials from DMX’s family, as well as friends and collaborators including Nas and Swizz Beats. Jay-Z and Beyoncé, Kanye West, and A$AP Ferg were among those in attendance to pay their respects, as reported by Vulture.
Kanye West also paid tribute via a performance from his Sunday Service choir. Following a clip of DMX reciting a spoken word poem, the stage fell dark, before the choir appeared bathed in red. The group went on to perform a rendition of Soul II Soul’s “Keep On Movin’”, hymns, and their original song “Excellent”. In 2019, DMX himself made an appearance as part of Kanye West’s Sunday Service gathering at Coachella, reciting an atmospheric and emotional prayer.
Saturday’s memorial service follows the rapper’s death at the age of 50, on April 9. A week earlier, he had suffered a heart attack that left him on life support. A private funeral will be held in New York today (April 25).
Watch the “celebration of life” memorial service for DMX, including the Sunday Service choir performance, below.