‘He had a gift’: DMX remembered at emotional Brooklyn funeral service

On Sunday, the children of DMX recounted poignant and heartfelt memories of their renowned father, addressing a large gathering of mourners at a private funeral ceremony for the deceased rap legend.

The ceremony at Brooklyn’s Christian Cultural Center, where the rapper’s 9-year-old daughter, Aaliyah, expressed, “It saddens me that my father will never be able to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me again,” was broadcasted online.

I was thrilled to come to New York and spend a week with him and meet some of my siblings. However, God had other plans.

“Father, you can relax. I consider him a legendary father, so I believe I can still communicate with him. Even though I can’t have a conversation with him anymore, I am aware that my father is in heaven,” she added.

DMX funeral procession, Flatbush Ave. on the way to Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
The DMX funeral procession on the way to Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
J.C. Rice

The “FAITH” was prominently displayed at the front of the room, written in bold, black letters, along with the red casket of the famous rapper known as “Party Up”. Mourners at the Brooklyn hall paid tribute to DMX by sharing similar sentiments with several of his 15 children.

Singer-songwriter Alicia Keys and her producer husband, Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, were among the celebrities present.

Dean said, “He was a friend, he was a brother. DMX was definitely not an artist to me.” “He maintained his strength, he maintained his passion, which is the key thing.”

“He expressed, he remarked, that I felt it was my job to protect him. I always wanted to protect him, and he was the most loving and generous person I have ever met. He was a sweetheart. On stage, he portrayed howling and barking to convey the true emotions he was going through.”

“In a tribute videotaped by Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam Records, DMX recalled how calling him the label of resurgence helped my new superhero.”

However, Simmons also remembered how both individuals faced difficulties with substance abuse.

He stated, “I had encountered hardships.” “Therefore, I had all these encounters so I could empathize with this individual, and I acknowledge that I was extremely fortunate to have survived. And this sibling was undergoing the same challenges that I had faced, and I understood it.”

“And I did scarcely anything,” Simmons added. “And I’ll always remember that I didn’t contribute substantially to aid.”

A.R. Bernard, the pastor of the center, informed the crowd that he has only recently started appreciating DMX’s music.

Bernard expressed, “I came to realize that Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons possessed a talent. And I don’t say that casually. I witnessed videos where numerous individuals — individuals of Caucasian descent — were enthusiastically applauding and shouting for this individual. And it was truly extraordinary. He possessed an exceptional talent.”

The service also included additional acknowledgments from Governor Andrew Cuomo, as well as citations from Mayor Mike Spano and the rapper’s hometown of Yonkers. The New York state Senate proclaimed December 18th as “Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons Day,” in celebration of DMX’s birthday, and bestowed numerous official accolades upon the late rapper.

Cuomo also presented the flag flying over the state Capitol on the day of DMX’s death to his family.

Controversial religious leader Louis Farrakhan expressed via video, “The reason DMX had such a profound impact on people in the hip-hop genre and across the globe is because he was authentic and genuinely connected with fellow human beings.”

People gather outside the Barclays Center where a private memorial for late US rapper DMX is being held, in Brooklyn, New York, USA, 24 April 2021
People gather outside the Barclays Center, where a private memorial for late rapper DMX is being held in Brooklyn, New York, on April 24, 2021.

The exclusive service, set aside for relatives and close acquaintances, followed a large-scale memorial ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday.

Earl Simmons, known as DMX, was transported to the public memorial in a crimson casket positioned on a specially crafted Ford F250 monster truck.

DMX funeral, Barclays Center, Brooklyn, NY
A massive memorial service for DMX art Barclays Center followed a private service for family and friends of the late rapper.
J.C. Rice

The parade stopped traffic on Flatbush Avenue and other streets in New York City.

The rapper, who was 50 years old, passed away at White Plains Hospital in Westchester County on April 9. It has been reported that he experienced a drug overdose followed by a heart attack.

DMX’s homegoing celebration at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn.

DMX grew up in the public housing complex on School Street in Yonkers, and rose to rap fame with the release of his debut album “It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot” in 1998.

The record achieved five times platinum status.

Rapper DMX performs in concert at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on March 27, 2016 in New York City
Rapper DMX performs in concert at B.B. King Blues Club & Grill on March 27, 2016, in New York City.
Noam Galai/Getty Images

Within the following year, he released two more albums, which sold over 8 million units collectively. One of these albums was titled “X Was There Then And “…And Blood My of Flesh, My of Blood”.”