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In the iconic opening scene of Belly, the film introduces DMX and Nas in the coolest way possible. Under the direction of Hype Williams, who was making his cinematic debut at the time, the two stroll through a nightclub, completely bathed in a neon blue light that makes their pupils turn green. DMX (as Tommy “Buns” Bundy) and Nas (as Sincere) pull off a robbery in technicolor, cementing themselves in hip-hop lore for their 1998 performance.
Nas, speaking at DMX’s memorial service inside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday, reminisced on working with his “longtime friend” and “brother” while making the film.
“We did a great movie together and in 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,” Nas said. “We stood outside the Tunnel nightclub about to shoot a scene and he looked at me with tears in his eyes because he knew of the journey he was about to embark on, becoming a hip-hop icon.”
On April 9, DMX passed away at the age of 50 at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York. He suffered from a heart attack and remained on life support and in a coma. Initial reports said his hospitalization was caused by an overdose, but neither his family members nor his manager has confirmed.
DMX’s life was celebrated from inside an invite-only event at the Barclays. Outside, crowds grew larger throughout the day as fans gathered in front of Barclays and the adjacent sidewalks to honor the legendary MC. They were there to remember a man who wasn’t afraid to express his pain with the world. DMX’s relatable stories about his struggles helped many navigate through their own troubles, and his hurt was his success, which was a tough realization to let sink in now that he’s gone.
Here are the most memorable things we saw while we were in attendance. Long live DMX.