In tribute of the life and legacy of late rap legend DMX, Swizz Beatz and the rest of the Ruff Ryders family rounded up a few of X’s closest friends and collaborators for a performance honoring the rapper at the BET Awards 2021. Wu-Tang Clan member Method Man sets things off with an acapella of DMX’s opening verse from his breakout 1998 single, “Get At Me Dog,” while Ruff Ryders cofounders Joaquin “Waah” Dean and Darin “Dee” Dean stand beside him in a show of solidarity.
Griselda Records also partakes in the tribute, performing “Hood Blues,” their collaboration with DMX from his posthumous album, Exodus.
Things take a surprising, albeit pleasant, turn as actor Michael K. Williams appears, barking lyrics from X’s 1998 single, “Slippin'” while wearing a black tank-top and chain in accordance with the late rapper’s defacto uniform. DMX’s Yonkers brethren The Lox also sends X his flowers, performing their portions of “Ruff Ryders Anthem (Remix), before Busta Rhymes brings the crowd to a fever pitch with a rendition of DMX’s 2001 hit single, “Party Up.”
Closed out by a prayer from DMX himself, recorded prior to his death, the tribute was a bittersweet moment, as it reminded hip-hop fans that we’ve lost one of our strongest voices to ever impact the culture. The death of DMX, who passed away April 10, took a huge toll on the music community, as the rapper was one of the biggest stars to ever touch a mic and helped break new ground numerous times throughout his career. Following his death, Def Jam Records released Exodus, DMX’s eighth studio album and first posthumous effort, on May 28, which debuted at No. 8 on the Billboard 200.