Hip-Hop

DMX Remembered By Chance The Rapper, Missy Elliott, Questlove & More: 'Rest in Heaven'

After a week of prayers, the hip-hop world reacted with reverence and heartbreak on Friday (April 9) when gruff-voiced rapper DMX died at age 50 after suffering a heart attack triggered by a drug overdose last week.

The hard-charging MC (born Earl Simmons) who built the rugged Ruff Ryders label into a rap powerhouse in the late 1990s had been in a "vegetative state" since Sunday (April 4), according to his former manager.

And though the grim reality of his situation had been in the atmosphere for nearly a week, the weight of X's loss still hit the rap world like a shock to the system. "Rest in Heaven," tweeted Chance the Rapper, whose pop-leaning, spiritual flow can surely be linked to X's deeply faith-based foundation, which mixed a believer's conviction with a grimy, hard-edged attack that made the Yonkers-bred MC a favorite of both fans and fellow rhymers.

"Def Jam Recordings and the extended Def Jam family of artists, executives and employees are deeply and profoundly saddened by the loss of our brother Earl 'DMX' Simmons," read a statement from his longtime label Def Jam. "DMX was a brilliant artist and an inspiration to millions around the world. His message of triumph over struggle, his search for the light out of darkness, his pursuit of truth and grace brought us closer to our own humanity. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and all those who loved him and were touched by him. DMX was nothing less than a giant. His legend will live on forever."

"Earl Simmons was a wonderful, caring father, and a sensitive, thoughtful man. Unfortunately, Dark Man X took over and ran amok, tormented and struggling to find the light," Lyor Cohen, global head of music for YouTube and former Def Jam president, tells Billboard in a statement. "DMX gave me the inspiration to keep going at Def Jam when rap became soft and silly."

Check out some of the tribute tweets below.