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Thousands fill Brooklyn streets to celebrate life of late rapper DMX

DMX fans bid their farewell outside the Barclays, where the memorial service of the rapper was underway. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

The life and music of late rapper Earl ‘DMX’ Simmons was celebrated with a memorial service at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on April 24. The event was closed to the public and restricted to close friends and families, but thousands filled the streets outside the arena to celebrate the late rapper’s life.

The procession had begun Saturday morning in Yonkers, the birthplace of the hip-hop icon, who died on April 9 at the age of 50 after he had suffered a cardiac arrest. A gigantic monster truck painted with “Long Live DMX” on the side carried his bright red coffin to the Barclays Center, followed by thousands of bikers, ATVs, and luxury cars.

Brandon from Queens was one of the bikers who participated in the procession.

“I love it. His death just is something that just came out of nowhere. He was somebody that meant a lot to a whole lot of people; that’s why we all came out to show how much we love him,” Brandon said.

The coffin of DMX arrives at the Barclays, where the memorial service for the rapper was held. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)
A monster truck that brought in DMX Coffin.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell
A rider does a wheelie on a dirt bike during DMX’s memorial service.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell
Thousands of motorcycles accompany the memorial procession for DMX to the Barclays, where the memorial service for the rapper was held. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Outside Barclays, people danced to the music of DMX, which blared from some vehicles and motorcycles, bringing the procession to a stop at times.

Christine took the day off to attend the memorial service outside the Barclays. She came all the way from Patterson, New Jersey, to show her respect to the late rapper, her all-time favorite.

“It’s a historical moment. I’m here to celebrate his life,” she said.

Friends Damian, aka Primo, Sam, aka Robin, and Jeff, aka Heavy from Long Island, accompanied the procession from Yonkers, and agreed that the turnout was great.

“I think it’s great. I had a lot of fun. I thank the NYPD for closing the streets and keeping us safe. You know, yeah, that’s great. I didn’t expect it to be like this, but it was great. It was an awesome experience,” Damian declared.

A fan holds up a picture of DMX during a public memorial for the late hip hop superstar.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell
The Nation of Islam at the memorial for Hip Hop Superstar DMX.Photo by Lloyd Mitchell
Thousands of motorcycles accompany the memorial procession for DMX to the Barclays, where the memorial service for the rapper was held. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)
Thousands of motorcycles accompany the memorial procession for DMX to the Barclays, where the memorial service for the rapper was held. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)
DMX fans bid their farewell outside the Barclays, where the memorial service of the rapper was underway. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Fans remembered DMX as an “innovator” of his genre.

“His music was stuff you could related to. His music had longevity and truth,” said Ruff Ryder member Troy Porter.

“His lyrics spoke to everyone standing here. He was as real as they come,” added fan Angel Pegan.

“I had all of his albums. Every one of them helped me get through a terrible time in my life,” said Mike Richards. 

“We can all learn from his song ‘Stop Being Greedy.’ We all have enough in life,” Shaniqua Rogers added.

With reporting by Lloyd Mitchell

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