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DMX’s official cause of death revealed

The rap icon passed away on April 9.

DMX BIG3/Getty Images

DMX died from a cocaine-induced heart attack that caused a lack of blood supply to his brain, Vulture reported on Thursday (July 8). An official cause of the rap icon’s April 9 death was found by the Westchester County medical examiner’s office, which told Vulture, “It was cardiac arrest for a period of time, so there was no circulation to the brain.” The source reportedly added that cocaine intoxication “caused this chain of events.”

X was hospitalized on April 2 after suffering what was reported to be a heart attack and drug overdose, though specific details were initially unclear. The 50-year-old stayed on life support for one week before tragically passing away at New York’s White Plains Hospital.

According to Vulture, the medical examiner’s office did not perform an autopsy and said X’s urine contained traces of cocaine. Paramedics arrived at the scene of X’s emergency within minutes, the source told Vulture, and tried to revive him after the cardiac event. However, although his heartbeat returned, his brain showed no activity.

“His death literally happened immediately because the brain was dead,” the source told Vulture. “So obviously, there were a number of days where he was on ventilatory support and so forth in the hospital. However, he was diagnosed brain-dead early on... He never woke up from [the] coma.”

After X’s death, his family said in a statement: “Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end.”

“He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever,” they added.

The immense impact of DMX’s career and life was felt throughout the country in the weeks and months after his death, with a Homegoing Celebration in New York, a tribute concert in Texas and, most recently, an honorary performance at the BET Awards 2021. His eighth studio album, Exodus, also debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200 this May.

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