Thousands came out Saturday to say farewell to hip hop legend DMX in a massive motorcycle procession leading to Barclays Center ahead of a public memorial.
A massive black big-wheel truck with the words “LONG LIVE DMX” on side of the vehicle carried DMX’s shiny red casket for more than 15 miles from Yonkers — where the rapper grew up — to the Barclays Center. A plethora of motorcycles trailed the truck during the procession before arriving at the arena, where thousands of people crowded the streets.
Thousands of motorcycle riders surrounded the monster truck, revving up their engines.
Cynthia Roberts, a 57-year-old Brooklyn native, said she has been a fan of DMX since his Ruff Ryders days. She showed up at the arena to pay homage to the rapper who she said was struck by his rhymes, voice and musicianship.
“He was a true guy. He spoke his truth. He touched my soul,” said Roberts, who was sporting a DMX T-shirt. She called the rapper’s music “timeless.”
“I tell myself he was put here for that,” she continued. “We all have a job to do, and he did his job.”
The memorial will be held for him at the arena in Brooklyn on Saturday at 6 p.m. EST. The event will be closed to the public and restricted to only close friends and family due to pandemic conditions.
Organizers said in a statement they will follow New York COVID-19 testing guidelines and protocols. The statement said that New York State limits indoor arenas to 10% capacity.
The ceremony will be livestreamed on DMX’s YouTube channel.
No details were given about who may be appearing, performing or speaking.
DMX, whose birth name is Earl Simmons, died April 9 after suffering a “catastrophic cardiac arrest.” He spent several days on life support after being rushed to a New York hospital from his home April 2.
The 50-year-old Grammy-nominated rapper delivered iconic hip-hop songs such as “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” and “Party Up (Up in Here).” He also starred in several films including “Belly” and “Romeo Must Die.”
DMX was a father of 15 children.
His funeral service will be held Sunday at 2:30 p.m. EST. It will be broadcast live on BET and the network’s YouTube channel.