Legendary rapper/actor DMX suffered a heart attack on April 2 that left him in a coma for days until he passed away on April 9. He was 50 years old. During the week that he was hospitalized, fans filled their social media timelines with their favorite memories and stories about the rapper. The chart-topping hip-hop giant was beloved around the globe. There’s a clip that fans are sharing on social media of X performing his 1998 hit “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” at Woodstock 1999 in front of a massive crowd of more than 200,000 people. The rapper and the crowd’s high energy in the clip is so captivating that it’s still getting millions of views on Twitter—but his career milestones aren’t the only things fans admire about DMX.
DMX had plenty of hits, three Grammy nominations, and millions of albums sold under his belt, but what stands out among the outpouring of posts about his passing are the heartfelt stories, funny moments, and interactions he had with people—not as DMX but as Earl Simmons. It turns out that some of the most entertaining moments he gifted to the world didn’t take place on a stage in front of thousands of people. He really was at his best in the smaller and private moments where he could be himself authentically with no pretense, enjoying time with his loved ones, dancing, praying, and trying to impart wisdom to the rest of us. He is one of rap’s biggest stars but these behind-the-scenes glimpses humanized him and showed us who he really was. Fans have been sharing the videos of their favorite DMX moments that have gone so viral in the past that they’re now staples on the timeline. Here are some of the best.
DMX’s rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
When: Dec. 3, 2012
There’s no Christmas content to look forward to more than seeing that now-famous clip of DMX singing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” during a visit to Power 105.1. In 2012, an interviewer at the radio station handed him the lyrics to the song and asked him to perform it, and he did it with no hesitation. X said he knew the words by heart and began reciting it on the spot, a cappella, in a way that only he could. The video went viral instantly once fans heard his iconic voice singing a classic Christmas jingle while creating a beat for himself on a nearby table, and adding his own ad-libs along the way. The clip showed his incredible sense of humor and his talent and was viewed millions of times across various platforms. It became so popular that X even recorded a version of the song, which he released in 2017.
DMX talking about orchids on ‘Fresh Off the Boat’
When: Dec. 1, 2015
One scene from a 2015 appearance the rapper did on the ABC show Fresh Off the Boat has made the rounds on social media for years and continues to surface since his death. DMX played himself on Episode 9 of the sitcom’s second season, titled “We Done Son.” At one point, DMX tries to explain romance and love to the main character, Eddie Huang (Hudson Yang), who is working for the rapper part-time. Fans screengrabbed the moment the rapper describes the proper way to take care of orchids and then turned that into a teachable moment of how people should treat each other.
In the scene, the rapper is admiring the orchids and says: “When I first started growing orchids, I thought they needed the most expensive soil and lights to blossom. They died. That’s when I realized that all they really needed was time and attention. You don’t need to get your girl a gift. You need to give her your time.” What a message.
DMX riding the SlingShot with his daughter
A video clip of the rapper and his frightened daughter going on a SlingShot ride at an amusement park has been on YouTube for years. It was reshared this week on Twitter and celebrated as one of the best moments we’ve seen from X. “The finest moment DMX ever gave to the world was him riding the slingshot in Orlando with his daughter,” the fan wrote along with the clip. The SlingShot is a sort of reverse bungee ride that is terrifying for anyone, but more so for a small child.
The rapper’s daughter had nothing to fear, though. Her superhero dad was by her side, comforting her, holding her hand and reassuring her for the entire duration of the ride. “It’s OK, mama. Daddy is here. Daddy is here! Daddy is right here. I got you,” he gently tells her after they are shot up into the air. “We’re going slow. I told you, I’m not going to let you go. Daddy’s got you.” There’s another similar clip of the hip hop star on the same ride but with a man, and his energy is totally different and more in line with his public persona, as opposed to the gentle and comforting person he was with his child. His duality was one of DMX’s best qualities as a human being.
DMX singing along to Taylor Swift
The rapper leads the prayer at Kanye West's Coachella Sunday Service
When: April 2019
DMX shared a lot of his pain and his troubles through his music and that helped a lot of people feel less alone with their own struggles. But that wasn’t all. X also used his gift of gab to celebrate his faith and to encourage others with the power of prayer. He became known for his devotion to his Christian faith, many times breaking out into prayer during his live shows. The rapper was often called on to pray in front of crowds, like when he led the prayer at Kanye West’s Sunday Service performance at Coachella in 2019. There are so many videos circulating the web of moments where X prayed with and for people, by himself or in front of the camera to help inspire them. He was just as passionate and intentional with his prayers as he was with his music and just hearing him deliver his pleads to God is enough to make anyone a believer.
DMX’s 'Verzuz' with Snoop Dogg
When: July 22, 2020
Verzuz series was started by Swizz Beatz and Timbaland as a way for fans to still be able to gather and enjoy music together during the pandemic, but it soon became a way for us to celebrate some of the greatest artists of our time. Thankfully, DMX and Snoop Dogg signed up to do one in July 2020 and people got the chance to express their love and admiration for the “How’s It Goin’ Down” rapper and his influence on music before his untimely passing.
It was refreshing to see two titans in the rap game celebrating each other and playing their best songs back and forth, and X was truly in his element. There were several moments that turned into GIFs during the battle, including meaningful words he shared with viewers, so it’s hard to choose just one. The Verzuz battle is now something fans can look back on as one of the last times X made a public appearance and they can find comfort in the fact that he was able to receive his well-deserved flowers while he was still here.
The rapper dancing backstage at a concert
When: Sept. 2019
If there’s one thing we can take from these DMX viral videos that we’ve seen is that he really knew how to live it up. It seemed like when he really loved something, he didn’t try to suppress it. His love for music went beyond rap and his appreciation for genres like R&B and freestyle were a part of him. There’s a video of him at a concert dancing during a performance of “I Wonder If I Take You Home” by Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam that is a clear example of that. He was in public and he had a tough-guy image to uphold, but when his song came on, he pushed all that aside and danced with childlike innocence. X was open about his struggles in his music and in the interviews he did over the years, but he was also just as open about sharing his joys. You can’t help but smile when you watch him let down his guard and groove along to the music.