2 d Newsdesk
Nas, Eve, and Swizz Beatz were among the hip-hop stars who gathered in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday to salute DMX at a special memorial.
The tragic rapper, real name Earl Simmons, died on 9 April after suffering a heart attack following a suspected drug overdose, and this weekend, his loved ones headed to the Barclays Center to honour his legacy.
The Celebration of Life event was closed to the public due to limited capacity as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but fans around the world were invited to watch the proceedings online – although they kicked off almost two hours later than planned.
Kanye West's Sunday Service Choir helped to get things underway with a gospel performance, including church favourites Keep On Movin' and Oh Lord, How Excellent. The rap superstar himself was noticeably absent, although he is said to have helped design the stage set up.
As DMX's red casket sat centre stage, his fiancee, Desiree Lindstrom, appeared with their four-year-old son, Exodus, before they were joined by the rest of the rapper's 15 children to pay tribute, sharing key life lessons learned from their late father and remembering his love of God.
One particularly touching moment came as one of his daughters delivered a revamped version of his 1999 classic Slippin', turning the introspective song about DMX's troubles into a musical testimonial, crediting him with helping her in "growing, learning to hold my head up".
Ruff Ryders producer Swizz Beatz, also honoured his close pal and shared his love for his family, but took aim at some unnamed members of the audience for failing to really support the Party Up (Up In Here) hitmaker, who had long struggled with addiction and a string of legal issues, while he was still alive.
"I just wish all these people showed up for him when he was here…," Swizz said, pointedly. "He needed everybody when he was here. We gotta learn how to celebrate each other while we here."
Prior to the memorial, more than 1,000 people, including members of the Ruff Ryders motorcycle club, staged a procession from DMX's childhood home of Yonkers to Brooklyn, led by a monster truck carrying the star's coffin, which was inscribed with the words, "Long Live DMX".
DMX's relatives will bid a final farewell at a private funeral service, dubbed his Homecoming Celebration, which is set to take place in New York on Sunday from 2.30pm ET. That event will also be broadcast online for fans to tune in.