Grammy-nominated rapper DMX was taken off life support Saturday and was breathing on his own following a heart attack, his lawyer said.
DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, was at his home around 11 p.m. Friday when he suffered the heart attack, his longtime lawyer, Murray Richman, said. He was immediately hospitalized in grave condition, he said.
Medical personnel at the critical care unit at a White Plains, New York, hospital began working on Simmons immediately and had to resuscitate him, he said.
“He was on life support,” Richman said. “He’s been taken off of life support. He is breathing on his own but there is a little brain activity.”
The attorney said he did not know what caused the heart attack.
“Earl is a sweet guy,” Richman said. “Earl was a person who could tell such a story. He was a person with such depth. It’s a heartbreaker.”
The rapper, 50, has opened up in the past about his struggles with drug addiction, for which he attended rehabilitation on several occasions.
In an interview last year on rapper Talib Kweli’s People’s Party show, DMX said his drug abuse started at age 14 when his then-mentor gave him a blunt laced with crack.
“He passed the blunt around and … I hit the blunt. I never felt like this before, it f—– me up. I later found out that he laced the blunt with crack,” he said. “Why would you do that to a child? He was like 30, and he knew I looked up to him. Why would you do that to someone who looks up to you?”
DMX, who got emotional during the interview, said he had never smoked anything before that night.
“I wouldn’t do that to my worst enemy,” he said.
Diana Dasrath is entertainment producer and senior reporter for NBC News covering all platforms.