Family, friends memorialize DMX at homegoing ceremony in Brooklyn
NEW YORK - Family members, friends and clergy members dressed in white and red honored the life and faith of hip-hop icon DMX at his homegoing celebration Sunday in New York.
Religious leaders and musicians prayed, sang and delivered moving tributes as members of DMX's family sat in the first rows of the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn. The private funeral service began 2:30 p.m. EDT Sunday and was broadcast live on BET and the network’s YouTube channel.
The iconic rapper was also mourned at a memorial with family and close friends at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
The ceremony was livestreamed on DMX’s YouTube channel but began more than two hours late.
The speakers included friends Swizz Beatz and Nas, as well as his daughter, who rapped in honor of her father.
Kanye West and Busta Rhymes were among the big names who attended the two-hour ceremony at the Barclays Center in New York. The service at the Brooklyn arena was closed to the public and restricted to close friends and family because of the coronavirus pandemic.
In a touching moment, DMX’s 15 children gathered on stage to talk — and sometimes rap — about the star as a father who taught them such lessons as "always say thank you," "be kind to everyone" and that being afraid can sometimes show a person how to be brave. Relatives emphasized his love of Jesus and his drive to make his fans happy, giving audiences the best show he could every time.
A massive black big-wheel truck with the words "LONG LIVE DMX" on side of the vehicle carried DMX's shiny red casket for more than 15 miles from Yonkers — where the rapper grew up — to the Barclays Center. A plethora of motorcycles trailed the truck during the procession before arriving at the arena, where thousands of people crowded the streets.
Thousands of motorcycle riders surrounded the monster truck, revving up their engines.
DMX, whose birth name is Earl Simmons, died April 9 after suffering a "catastrophic cardiac arrest." He spent several days on life support after being rushed to a New York hospital from his home on April 2.
The beloved rapper's death has been met with an outpouring of stories and memories about DMX's kindness and charitability.
"My brother was a different type of brother, different type of artist, different type of creative, different type of spirit, different type of zone, different type of soul," said producer and friend Swizz Beatz. "Since the day that I met him, he lived his life for everyone else."
The 50-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper delivered iconic hip-hop songs such as "Ruff Ryders’ Anthem" and "Party Up (Up in Here)." He was the first artist to have his first four albums enter the charts at number one.
He also starred in several films including "Belly" and "Romeo Must Die."
DMX was a father of 15 children.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.