Earl Simmons, professionally known as DMX, has tragically followed in the footsteps of a number of musicians gone too soon. The beloved rapper was announced dead on April 9, 2021, via The New York Times, following an overdose. He was 50 years old.
Music lovers are looking back to the songwriter’s friendship with Aaliyah, who also met an ultimately death in August 2001 in a plane crash in the Bahamas after filming the music video for one of her last songs, “Rock The Boat.”
According to The Sun, DMX not only worked with Aaliyah musically, but they also acted together in the 2000 film Romeo Must Die. As the outlet explained, the pair also teamed up for the song “Come Back in One Piece,” which was featured on the movie’s soundtrack.
In a August 2011 Billboard interview, DMX spoke candidly about how Aaliyah asked him to be a part the film, which would go on to be his second acting credit following his iconic role in the 1998 film, Belly, per IMDb. “When I was on tour [Aaliyah] and Joel Silver came to my dressing room to see if I wanted to be a part of the movie,” he recalled. “Most people would have there people call, but she came herself. I’m like, ‘Is this a trick question? You have to ask me if I want to be in a movie with Aaliyah? Hell yeah.’ We [then] met up in Vancouver to [do] Romeo Must Die.”
DMX found Aaliyah to be "incredible"
Although DMX and Aaliyah never explored a romance with one another, DMX shared with Billboard how highly he thought of the young star. “She had a presence on TV that was incredible,” he explained. “It was sexy but kind of gangster.”
After hitting it off on the set of Romeo Must Die, DMX took Aaliyah to Mount Vernon and Yonkers in New York, where they filmed the music video for “Come Back in One Piece.” Looking back on their time together on set, DMX said Aaliyah “was easy to talk to and down to earth” and noted that she made him feel comfortable both with her, and with himself. “That’s one hell of a combination,” he admitted. Nearly two decades after Aaliyah’s death, fans are now grieving DMX’s own death.
His family released a statement following the tragic announcement, per People, which read, “Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”
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