Culture’s biggest night will honor the legendary rapper DMX with a special tribute. Curated by Swizz Beatz, this special celebration at the BET Awards 2021 will honor the late MC and feature performances of his iconic songs by Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Swizz Beatz, Griselda, and more, along with a special appearance by Michael K. Williams. The performances will honor DMX from his early days with the label Ruff Ryders to his most recent hits. The rapper, whose real name was Earl Simmons, passed away from a heart attack on April 9, 2021. The Yonkers, New York native was 50 years old.
“We look forward to celebrating DMX’s indelible mark in music and pop culture,” said Connie Orlando, Executive Vice President of Specials, Music Programming & Music Strategy.
“DMX inspired fans around the world with his signature raspy voice, the delivery of raw emotion through his lyrics and performances, and his giving spirit. We are proud to pay our respects to a hip-hop legend on our biggest stage, the BET Awards,”
BET announced Tuesday (June 22) that the songs set for the tribute are “Slippin’,” “Party Up,” “What’s My Name?,” “Where the Hood At?,” “MY N**** / X Gon’ Give It to Ya,” “Get at Me Dog,” “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem,” and “DMX Prayer”.
The tribute will also include a performance of a new song from X’s posthumous album Exodus, which was released by Def Jam Recordings on May 28. Exodus, which shares its name with X’s son Exodus Simmons, is the rapper’s first Def Jam album in 18 years, since 2003’s Grand Champ.
DMX is the only artist in history to have his first five consecutive albums debut at no. 1 on both the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop charts, and he’s the only rapper to have his first two albums debut at no. 1 in the same calendar year. He sold more than 74 million records worldwide in his lifetime, and went platinum 14 times in the U.S.
DMX’s longtime collaborator and friend Swizz Beatz curated the tribute, with video choreographer Fatima Robinson serving as creative director.