Swizz Beatz calls out fair-weather friends, fans at DMX memorial
"We got to learn how to celebrate each other while we're here," Beatz says in comments at Barclays Center
Thousands of fans descended on downtown Brooklyn Saturday to pay their last respects to the late DMX.
As a large crowd gathered outside the Barclays Center during the memorial, Swizz Beatz had some words for people who only showed up now after the rapper/actor’s passing.
“I just wish all these people showed up for him when he was here,” said Beatz, whose real name is Kaseem Dean, when he took the stage to speak before DMX’s family, friends and fellow artists.
“This man needed everybody. He didn’t need everybody when he’s not here; he needed everybody when he was here,” he continued. “We got to learn how to celebrate each other while we’re here.”
DMX, who’s real name was Earl Simmons, died on April 9 at age 50 after suffering a heart attack the week before. Although the arena was closed to the public, the event was live streamed online.
“I don’t want y’all to show up to my sh*t when I’m gone, unless you were showing up while I was here. I want to be sent off with the same love that I had when you were standing next to me,” said Beatz, who produced DMX’s hit song “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem.”
Beatz was joined on stage by other members of the Ruff Ryders label, including The Lox and Drag-On. While he spoke about his love for his longtime collaborator and friend, he had some choice words for all of those who weren’t there for the troubled MC during his life.
Beatz went on to say that he’s learned from the commotion surrounding DMX’s death. “The things that I’m witnessing from my brother’s passing, it was a big educational thing for me to learn. I’m glad I got to see it at this age,” he continued. “A lot of people ain’t your friends, a lot of people ain’t your family.”
In addition, Beatz warned those watching that they need to be mindful of the people around them and make provisions against those who would take advantage on them.
“I need everybody to do a will. You have to do your will. You do not want strangers, bloodsuckers handling your business when you’re not here. You want the ones that you love handling your business,” said Beatz, vowing to do right by his late friend and his loved ones.
“I’m going to make sure my brother’s straight. I’m going to make sure my brother’s family is straight, my brother’s kids [are] straight and everybody in here better do the same as well. This is not a fashion show. This not a performance. This is a real life day-to-day,” he said.
DMX and Beatz had a fruitful personal and professional history. They collaborated to make some of the Yonkers, New York rapper’s biggest hits, including “Ruff Ryder’s Anthem,” “Party Up (Up In Here)” and “Get It On The Floor.”
The event was proceeded by a massive procession. DMX’s body in a red casket that featured the Ruff Ryders’ emblem was carried on the back of a large monster truck down Flatbush Avenue towards the Barclays Center. The truck was followed by a large contingent of motorcycles and dirt bikes, a tribute to the “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” music video that introduced both DMX and Swizz Beatz to a mass audience.
Lox member Jadakiss was among those who spoke about his former labelmate, speaking about how DMX had been enjoying his life toward the end.
“Anybody that’s seen him in his last year or two, he was the happiest he ever was in life,” he said.
Included in the memorial was a performance by Kanye West‘s Sunday Service Choir. The choir sang renditions of The Clark Sisters’ “You Brought The Sunshine” as well as gospel versions of Soul II Soul‘s “Back To Life” and “Keep On Moving,” and West’s own “Ultralight Beam.”
A private memorial service for DMX’s close family and friends will take place Sunday.
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