DMX's legacy was immortalized as a man beloved by his family, honored for his strong faith and respected as one of hip-hop's greatest icons at his memorial service Saturday, with several heartfelt speeches from those who knew the rapper best. Read more below!
In a touching moment, DMX’s 15 children gathered on stage to talk — and sometimes rap — about the star as a father who taught them such lessons as “always say thank you,” “be kind to everyone” and that being afraid can sometimes show a person how to be brave.
“Our father is a king. Our father is an icon,” eldest son Xavier Simmons said, adding that he was honored to be his son: “This man deepened my ability to love.”
Tashera Simmons, DMX's ex-wife, told the audience: “Everything he did, he did for you all. He always wanted to please you. He always wanted to give you his best show.”
“What he wants you to do," she said, “is love Jesus the same way he did. Love his babies. Love his family.”
West’s Sunday Service Choir kicked off the ceremony with a gospel performance. The hoodie sweatshirt-wearing ensemble performed a few songs, including their arrangement of “Excellent” and Soul II Soul's “Keep On Movin’." The choir took the stage during other moments of the ceremony, performing “Ultralight Beam" and Whitney Houston's assisted vocals on the hymn “Jesus Loves Me."
Nas reminisced about having a conversation with a teary-eyed DMX while filming a scene for “Belly,” a crime drama. He said DMX became emotional knowing the rapper was about to embark on a journey to become a “hip-hop icon.”
“It’s a sad day as well as a glorious day,” said Nas, who starred with DMX in the 1998 film.
“That was my brother. We did a great movie together. On that movie, he was just rising up as a star. His first album didn’t even come out yet, but he knew his journey was starting.”
Eve said she was still having a hard time with DMX’s death, remembering him as a “man, a father, a friend.” She stood on stage with the Ruff Ryders collective, which helped launch the careers of Grammy winners Eve and Swizz Beatz and relaunch The Lox, formerly signed to Bad Boy Records.
Before the service, a massive black big-wheel truck with the words “LONG LIVE DMX" on a side of the vehicle carried DMX's shiny red casket for more than 15 miles from Yonkers, New York — where the rapper grew up — to the Barclays Center. A plethora of motorcycles trailed the truck during the procession before arriving at the arena, where thousands of people crowded the streets.
Thousands of motorcycle riders surrounded the monster truck, revving up their engines. Others gathered at the arena while some of DMX's biggest songs from “Where The Hood At” and “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” blared from the crowd's speakers.
The 50-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper delivered iconic hip-hop songs such as “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Party Up (Up in Here).”
DMX's funeral service will be held at 2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday.
Source: NBC News