Entertainment

DMX, in a Coma, Is Set to Undergo Brain Function Tests

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The rapper DMX, who was in a coma and life sustaining four days after his hospital stay, was due to undergo brain function tests on Wednesday, his manager said as fans, relatives and fellow musicians continued to hope for his recovery.

The rapper and actor, real name Earl Simmons, was hospitalized on Friday after suffering a heart attack. His former manager said over the weekend that he was in a “vegetative state”.

“Everything is the same,” said his current manager Steve Rifkind on Wednesday. “I’m just waiting for the results.”

Since Mr. Simmons, 50, had a heart attack at his White Plains, NY home, artists such as Missy Elliott, Ja Rule, and LL Cool J have posted messages of support on social media. Gabrielle Union, an actress who starred with Mr. Simmons in the 2003 movie “Cradle 2 the Grave,” and LeBron James, who described Mr. Simmons as one of his favorite artists, said they prayed for him.

People have posted stories of their interactions with Mr. Simmons, who used his unadorned, gritty voice to rap serious texts about his personal suffering.

On Monday, hundreds of fans joined the rapper’s family outside White Plains Hospital to play his music and pray for him. The crowd grew so large that it slowed down the traffic in some places. Vehicles passing by, including a fire engine from the city’s fire department, honked their horns loudly in support as the crowd cheered and sang “DMX”.

“Everyone set up your X,” said Stephanie Reed, a friend of Mr. Simmons’, as she presided over a prayer for him. The crowd gave in and folded their arms over their heads or over their chests as a clip of Mr. Simmon’s prayer boomed over the speakers.

Some people sobbed, others bowed their heads, and some fans held up balloons with Mr. Simmon’s stage name on them.

Ms. Reed, 52, who organized the event, said in an interview Wednesday that she was overwhelmed by the size of the crowd. Once, she said, she saw hospital workers in the windows holding their arms up in an X.

Ms. Reed said she saw Mr. Simmons two weeks ago when he came to Atlanta, where she lives, and cooked her spaghetti and king crab legs. Mr. Simmons is deeply spiritual and always prayed before performing or eating, she said.

“We have a lot of great, great memories right now,” said Ms. Reed. “He was like my brother. He called me sister. “

Mr. Simmons was born on December 18, 1970 in Mount Vernon, NY, and grew up in Yonkers, north of the Bronx.

In the late 1990s, Mr. Simmons became a hip-hop powerhouse gushing about violence and redemption, what Rolling Stone called “the roughest, dirtiest voice in hip-hop, the sound of gravel hitting the grave.” .

Mr. Simmons was the first musician whose first five albums hit # 1 on the Billboard charts. He became known for electrifying the audience at concerts with hits like “Party Up (Up in Here)” from 1999 and “X Gon ‘Give It to Ya” from 2003. He has also appeared on television shows such as “Third Watch.” ” on. and films like “Never Die Alone”.

Mr. Simmons has been arrested repeatedly over the years. In 2008 he pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, drug possession and theft and was sentenced to one year in prison in 2018 for tax evasion. During the hearing, his attorney played his music in front of Judge Jed S. Rakoff in Manhattan Federal District Court.

“In the court’s view, Mr. Simmons is a good man, far from perfect,” said Judge Rakoff.

Joe Coscarelli contributed to the coverage.

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Robert Dunfee