New details have emerged in the death of late rap icon DMX née Earl Simmons, who passed away on April 9 as a result of a cocaine-induced heart attack, according to the Westchester County medical examiner’s office.
The cause of death, which was determined to have stemmed from acute cocaine intoxication, was reported on Thursday (July 8), nearly three months to the day of his passing. A heart attack caused a blockage in blood flow to Simmons’ brain, ultimately leaving the rapper in a “vegetative state.”
“It was cardiac arrest for a period of time, so there was no circulation to the brain,” a source from the medical examiner’s office told Vulture. “His death literally happened immediately because the brain was dead,” the examiner continued, adding, “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.”
The news comes after months of conflicting reports about the circumstances surrounding the “Slippin'” rapper’s death, with close friends Fat Joe and Irv Gotti suggesting that his hospitalization and death were from a drug overdose.
“They said it was a bad dose of crack and they said some drug Fentanyl was mixed in with the crack and that’s what made him overdose,” Gotti told Chicago’s 107.5 WGCI during a radio interview back in April, also claiming X was diagnosed with COVID-19 upon his hospitalization. “When he got to the hospital, he got diagnosed with COVID and he couldn’t breathe. You know that COVID messes with your respiratory system, so that’s why he had to get hooked up to the ventilator. But they said before he did, he was brain dead.”
Gotti’s remarks drew the ire of fellow stars, including 50 Cent and Swizz Beatz, who blasted the Murder Inc. Records founder for his statements. “This guy is a idiot,” 50 sounded off in a repost of the clip on Instagram that’s since been deleted. “Did he just say DMX died from smoking crack and fentanyl! why would he say that?” Swizz Beatz, who had been a close confidant of Simmons dating back to the genesis of his career, also chimed in in the comments, adding, “Bozo moves can’t lie,” in reference to Gotti’s claims.
In the wake of his death, DMX’s posthumous eighth studio album, Exodus, was released in May, giving him his eighth consecutive Top 10 debut on the Billboard 200. He was also honored with a star-studded tribute at the BET Awards 2021, with stars like Method Man, Michael K. Williams, Busta Rhymes, The LOX, Swizz Beatz, the Ruff Ryders, and Giselda all paying homage to his life and legacy with impassioned performances.