The Ruff Ryders to the Rescue Foundation, an organization helping urban communities in various ways, focusing on the mind, body, and soul; organized “Prayer for DMX,” a vigil outside of White Plains Hospital on Monday (April 5), where DMX is currently hospitalized in grave condition.
If it hasn’t been clear to everyone already, it is now exceedingly evident that being one of the OGs, Earl Simmons, professionally known as DMX, has made a tremendous impact not only in hip hop and the culture as a whole, but also on people’s lives.
A countless number of fans gathered around White Plains Hospital at 5 p.m. EST on the day in order to pray for this New York legend. I was one of them.
There were many reasons why I chose to go to the vigil. The most important reason why I attended was that my soul deemed it necessary to go show love and support. Ever since I heard the news about DMX, my heart was broken. Knowing many people who were affected by drug addiction, I couldn’t imagine the pain that his family was going through. I have a great connection to music, especially hip hop, and I am an entertainment attorney.
Growing up in the Bronx, the birthplace of hip hop, X was one of the artists I grew up listening to. “Lord Give Me A Sign” is still one of my favorite tracks, and also a song that was blasting at the vigil after his family gave a speech. In fact, if you search this track on YouTube, one of the top comments from four months ago says, “You have helped me with my pain pill addiction 10 years ago.” X has always helped others while struggling himself, whether he knows it or not.
The speeches given by his friends and family were extremely emotional, putting tears in the eyes of many, especially his fiancée, who was also in attendance. It was heartbreaking to see the pain yet it was also beautiful to see the support of them all hugging each other; crying yet raising their hands to the sky in hopes that X will somehow get better. One of the people on his team even told everyone in the crowd — including reporters — to not ask his family and friends questions, but instead, ask him directly. He was demanding that everyone respects them as they deal with this tragedy.
“Let’s not forget to show each other love like we show him love. DMX would want us to show each other love. Think about each other and those who stand right next to you,” said one of X’s friends.
Stephanie Reed, another friend of X’s and a motivational speaker, gave an emotional speech, calling out to God to help DMX by saying:
“Lord God, by your strength you are here. No weapon formed against DMX Earl Simmons will prosper. The weapons will form, but they won’t prosper. We thank you God. We ask you Lord, God. We thank you for the father that he is. We thank you for the son that he is. We thank you for the brother that he is. God, we know that you are a miracle worker. We know that whatever the doctors can’t do is right for you. God you raised the dead, so this is nothing for you. God, we thank you today. I’m going to need everybody to put up the X.”
It was in that moment when everyone put their hands to the sky and the MC’s presence was undeniably felt. Some people were screaming, “Get well soon” while others were shouting, “Prayers up for DMX.” Then, his music started blasting in the air.
It was beautiful to see that through music and speech, so many united in order to send prayers up for DMX’s healing. Praying that he remains here with us longer, the energy was magnetic and spoke loudly. It spoke of hope and it spoke of faith. We all have faith that X’s work is not done here yet although, at the end, we know that it is up to God — as the rapper’s faith in God was extremely strong.
It was crystal clear that DMX meant a lot to everyone there. He was the epitome of overcoming struggle time and time again. He battled demons for so long and yet still found a way to pull through. And his struggles helped many.
“There was a point where DMX saved my life,” one person at the vigil said out loud in conversation with another.
“They didn’t think that it was possible to mix the streets and God, but DMX showed us the way,” said another fan.
“He gave me strength. That’s what he did,” a next fan at the vigil admitted.
Although there was pain present in everyone’s voice, there was such great optimism and a widespread belief that X has so much more to offer to the world.
You would hear people on the street repeatedly saying, “God isn’t through with you yet” and “You have a lot more work to do on this Earth. You can’t go.”
Watching people convene on both sides of the street, screaming “DMX” over and over again was powerful to say the least. The Ruff Ryders were also present, many of the crew were driving their motorcycles and playing his music, revving their engines, and chanting his words loudly.
Plenty of fans in their cars were driving by, honking and blasting his music. People were rapping along to his tracks. You heard the music from streets away, and it got louder and louder as you got closer. That in itself was moving and metaphorical. The closer you got, the stronger the energy and vibrations.
It was beautiful to see people of different generations there. You not only saw people who grew up listening to DMX, but you also saw a very young crowd. Seeing that showed that he had an impact on more than some on social media like to admit. It was evident to see that many still respect those who helped build the foundation of hip hop. They respect and love DMX.
They say that prayer comes in all forms. Last night, it came in the form of music, speech, unity, the letter X in the form of hand gestures, and revving engines. We hope that DMX will remain alive to see it all. We know that his spirit will feel it regardless. Love is the most powerful force in the world and that was shown. The power was felt in all of our souls.
One thing is for certain: This New York legend will live on forever no matter what the outcome is. We’re continuing to pray for the best.
Ruff Ryders and DMX for life.