‘He was family’: Fans, friends gather to remember rapper DMX at Brooklyn memorial service

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DMX, rapper and actor, dies at 50 after suffering a heart attack

Hip-hop icon DMX has died after suffering a heart attack and being put on life support.

Staff video, USA TODAY

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Whether it was by foot, train, car — or even by motorcycle or monster truck — fans found a way to pay their respects to rapper DMX

Amid police barricades outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, was filled Saturday with public affection and respect for the late DMX, who died April 9 after suffering a heart attack. The roar of motorcycle engines blended with the thumping sounds of the rapper’s hit songs like “What’s My Name,” “Party Up (Up in Here)” and “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem.”

Fans from around the region and even as far as Florida came to support. Self-described “die hard” fan Meia Parker, who showed up in a handmade airbrushed shirt with the rapper sprawled across the front, said in her home DMX “was family.” 

“I remember my grandma’s favorite song was ‘Party Up.’ She would blast that song every Friday after she came home after she cashed her check,” Parker said. “That was her song.” 

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A giant monster truck with some of DMX’s closest friends hanging out the side windows came barreling behind motorcycle escorts playing “What’s My Name.” The truck doors read: “Long Live DMX.” DMX’s shiny red coffin with platinum handles and Ruff Ryders logos stamped on the front rode on the back of the truck closely fastened to the bed. 

“When that red coffin came, I cried,” Parker said. “I was chasing it like a little girl chasing an ice cream truck with her last dollar. Listen, I felt that.” 

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Ruff Ryder motorcyclists filled thesunny New York skies with a thick cloud of smoke. They cranked engines, wearing shiny metallic and black helmets, black leather vests and thick boots. The riders participated in a ride out starting in Yonkers, New York, and took their rubber on the highway all the way to the front of the Barclays Center.

As they approached to the venue, they made their presence known, revving up their engines, eventually surrendering to the voice of DMX over the speakers. It was a symphony of graveling growls. 

A floral arrangement laid out in the formation of the rapper’s “X” emblem stood on what felt like hallowed ground within the marked-off areas of the arena. Above it, like a halo over the Barclays’ dome, was a photo of DMX with angel wings next to his quote:

“We each have a star, all we have to do is find it. Once you do, everyone who sees it will be blinded.”

The memorial services will be streamed live on DMX’s official YouTube page for the public. The next day BET will host a homegoing celebration, “BET Remembers DMX,” to commemorate the rapper’s life. According to a press release, the event will be broadcast and streamed by BET on Sunday, beginning at 2:30 p.m. EST/11:30 a.m. PST. Following the program, the network will air movies and documentaries featuring DMX to honor him.

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