The children of DMX — he had 15 — filled a stage at Brooklyn Barclays Center Saturday night, offering touching tributes to the Yonkers rap icon during a worth-the-wait “Celebration of Life” memorial.
One young daughter sang a poignant song she wrote herself, based on the rapper’s hit, “Slippin.”
“I’m growing, I’m learning to hold my head, my daddy’s still holding my hand,” she sang.
“So I gotta stand up,” the child sang with great confidence and poise, to loud applause from the socially distanced crowd in the arena.
The celebration featured performances by Kanye West’s Sunday Service Choir, and words of grief and remembrance from New York hip-hop artists including Nas, Jadakiss, Eve and Swizz Beatz.
Yeezy himself did not appear.
“I am seriously the luckiest, the luckiest woman in the world to have been adopted by the Ruff Ryders … but to have known DMX in the way that I knew him, a man, a father, a friend… this is so hard y’all,” recording artist Eve said.
“It hurts anytime you lose a soldier, but this one hurts different because he was the main piece on the board,” rapper Jadakiss said.
“X bring people together, he leave us to bring us together,” Ruff Ryders CEO Joaquin Dean said.
“We never walked away from Earl. We never will. Ride or die,” Dean added, using DMX’s given name, Earl Simmons.
The program began with a haunting recorded spoken-word soliloquy about life and death by the late rapper.
Next Kanye West’s Sunday Service Choir took the stage to perform a set of spiritual songs alongside DMX’s casket, including “Back To Life” and “Keep on Movin.’”
A female member of DMX’s large family then took the stage, and brought out many of his 15 children.
“You know Earl Simmons as DMX, he was Earl to us, the woman, who was not introduced, said.
“Everything he did, he did for you all. He always wanted to please you, he always wanted to give his best show… What he does want you to know is to carry the love of Jesus in your heart.”
Several of the kids grabbed the mic to talk about their father.
“I am so honored to have a father like we had. This man, deepened my ability to love,” one of his sons said
“I cry so much tears of joy. So much. So much peace. Every lesson he taught me, always say thank you… be kind to everyone,” the adult son continued
Another much younger child took the microphone and broke down in tears.
“He was the best dad ever,” the boy said as he remembered the rapper’s lessons about music and Jesus.
The livestream was preceded by stunning aerial footage of DMX fans on motorbikes accompanying his casket from Yonkers Raceway, over the RFK Triborough Bridge and into Downtown Brooklyn.
The procession arrived at Barclays just after 2 p.m. in a bright red coffin, set in the flatbed of a monster truck emblazoned with the words “Long Live DMX.”