Los Angeles, CA – DMX passed away on April 9 at White Plains Hospital after suffering a catastrophic heart attack. Although the Ruff Ryders legend died way before his time, he left behind an impenetrable legacy that continued with release of Exodus last month.
At the 2021 BET Awards on Sunday night (June 27), X’s longtime friend and producer Swizz Beatz, Method Man, Busta Rhymes, Griselda and more honored the late Hip Hop luminary with a special tribute performance.
“You see a lot of tributes and you can almost predict [what’s going to happen],” Swizz Beatz told Complex ahead of the performance. “This time we wanted to do something a little different. We wanted to add some curation and [include] different types of artistry. Everybody that’s coming on stage, X had a serious respect for them.
“BET picked the songs that did well on their platforms for him. I had different songs in mind, but the way BET picked the songs made sense. Then we just started picking artists who matched those energies. I mean, DMX had his own energy. But everybody is bringing their energy to it as well.”
Beginning with an A Cappella verse from Method Man, the tribute quickly exploded into spirited performances from Griselda, The LOX, Swizz Beatz, the Ruff Ryders and Busta Rhymes, reimagining songs such as “Party Up” and “X Gon’ Give It To Ya.”
Backed by a haunting violin, DMX’s voice then came over the speakers as a somber mood suddenly engulfed the audience.
BET also featured several other prominent Black figures who passed away over the past 12 months in a video montage, including Digital Underground’s Shock G, Whodini’s John “Ecstasy” Fletcher, Black Rob and, of course, DMX.
However, they left out Blackalicious MC Gift of Gab whose unexpected death was just announced on Friday (June 25).