DMX’s official cause of death revealed: He ‘fought till the very end’

Months after hip-hop icon DMX’s April 9 demise, his official cause of death has been revealed: The rapper died at 50 from a cocaine-induced heart attack which cut off blood flow to his brain, a fatal combination. 

“It was cardiac arrest for a period of time, so there was no circulation to the brain,” a source from the Westchester County medical examiner’s office told Vulture. The lethal series of events was caused by acute cocaine intoxication, the source added. 

“His death literally happened immediately because the brain was dead,” the source noted. “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 [a] coma.”

Soon after the legendary “Ruff Ryders” emcee was hospitalized on April 2, his family revealed he was in a “vegetative state” following a drug overdose-induced heart attack. 

“We ask that you please keep Earl/DMX and us in your thoughts, wishes, and prayers as well as respect our privacy as we face these challenges,” the family of the rapper (born Earl Simmons) wrote in a statement at the time. “Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end.”

Fans gathered around Westchester’s White Plains Hospital, where the “X Gon’ Give It to Ya” singer remained on life support, and held prayer vigils for his recovery. 

It was soon reported, however, that DMX was in grave condition. 

On the day he died, the rapper dropped a posthumous track. “I make moves to get me where I’m going,” he declared at the start of his unofficial swan song, “X Moves.” In May, his collaborator Swizz Beatz, 42, released a full album, “Exodus,” which the producer revealed was intended to be a major comeback for DMX.

A memorial service for him at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center featured performances by Kanye West’s Sunday Service Choir and touching tributes from friends and family. 

“It hurts anytime you lose a soldier, but this one hurts different because he was the main piece on the board,” rapper Jadakiss, 46, said at the service. 

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A view of the exterior during the memorial service held for rapper DMX at Barclays Center on April 24, 2021.
Getty Images
DMX performs during the BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta on Oct. 1, 2011.
DMX performs during the BET Hip Hop Awards in Atlanta on Oct. 1, 2011.AP

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