Earl Simmons, better known as rap star DMX, was rushed to a hospital Friday night following an alleged drug overdose that resulted in a heart attack, TMZ first reported.
The 50-year-old hip-hop legend was said to have been transported to a hospital in White Plains, New York, and placed in the critical care unit. Initial reports indicated that Simmons was nearly in a “vegetative state” but still showed “some brain activity.”
“Last night Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons was rushed to the hospital after collapsing at home. At this time he remains in ICU in critical condition,” a representative for Simmons told TMZ Saturday. “Earl has been a warrior his entire life. This situation represents yet another road he must conquer.”
“The Simmons Family appreciates the overwhelming outpouring of heartfelt love, encouragement, support and prayers for Earl,” the rep added. “Earl is someone whose life and music have been a source of inspiration and strength to so many people around the world. It is reassuring to see his fans return that same passion and energy to him during his time of need.”
The TMZ report went on to indicate that Simmons’ children were being flown in to see him. It was also noted that, according to unnamed sources, paramedics attempted to revive the rapper for some time, a period during which his brain was likely deprived of oxygen, leading one family source to acknowledge, “It’s not looking good.”
“Not the run-of-the-mill rapper”
Breitbart reported Saturday that Simmons’ attorney, Murray Richman, told the media, “He had a heart attack. He’s quite ill,” though he declined to confirm or deny whether the reported heart attack had been caused by an alleged drug overdose.
“I’m very sad about it, extremely sad. He’s like my son,” the attorney added. “He’s just a tremendous person, tremendous entertainer, tremendous human being. And so much to offer, so much to say. Not the run-of-the-mill rapper. A person of great depth.”
According to Yahoo Entertainment, there were unconfirmed reports Saturday that Simmons had been removed from life support and was breathing on his own, suggesting that he was beginning to recover, but those reports were later countered by a spokesperson and it was unclear exactly where such mistaken news had originated.
“We are concerned. It would be disingenuous of me to suggest that I’m not a worried man at this particular point,” attorney Richman told the media. “Earl Simmons, DMX, in my opinion, is one of the great poets of our time and what he had to say — if people bothered to listen and can overcome their hostility to rap — they could learn a great deal.”
History of substance abuse problems
Breitbart noted that DMX first burst onto the rap scene in 1998 with his multi-platinum debut album It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, and, in conjunction with his Ruff Ryder’s label as part of Def Jam Records, he went on to release seven full-length albums, four of which topped the charts, while earning three Grammy Awards along the way.
While the lyrical content of his rap music contained ample references to drugs, sex, and violence, his lyrics also, as alluded to by Richman, touched on deeply philosophical thought and contained underlying themes of religiosity and sincere faith in God.
TMZ noted that Simmons has battled a substance abuse addiction off-and-on for many years, even voluntarily checking himself in and out of rehab on several occasions. Hopefully, if the allegations of an overdose are true, and assuming he manages to pull through this incident, he will seek the help he needs to crush that life-threatening addiction once and for all.