Music History

No, the COVID Vaccine Didn't Kill DMX

Rapper DMX died April 9. Anti-vaxxers are using his death as a way to scare from people COVID vaccines.
Rapper DMX died April 9. Anti-vaxxers are using his death as a way to scare from people COVID vaccines. Kevin Winter/Getty
On April 9, the world lost rough-voiced rapper DMX. He was 50. Born Earl Simmons, he claimed his spot in hip-hop around the world in the 1990s and early 2000s with hits such as "Slippin'" and "Ruff Ryders' Anthem."

The rapper had reportedly suffered a drug overdose and died a few days later from a heart attack in a New York hospital. Leave it to the internet, though, to claim that it was it really the COVID vaccine that led to DMX's death, as social media conspiracy theorists may lead you to believe.

Since the rapper's death, unproven claims have been floating around the internet claiming that DMX had received the COVID vaccine just days before his heart attack.

Celebrity gossip site MediaTakeOut, also known as MTO News, lit the fire under the burning claim, with a "report" from an unnamed source claiming to be a family member of DMX's. The alleged family member told the site that reports that a drug overdose led to DMX’s heart attack were false, and the real cause was a COVID vaccine.

“He took that vaccine, and he had a heart attack,“ the unnamed family member said in the report. “I'm not saying the vaccine did it, but he never had a heart attack before."

MTO News has a history as an unreliable news source, but this is just next-level tasteless. The site once claimed rapper Lil Nas X came out as transgender after wearing a Nikki Minaj costume.

Other media outlets, such as the Washington News Post (not to be confused with the Washington Post) and, took the story and ran with it, republishing the claims on their sites. The "unnamed source" even made it abroad into International Business Times in Singapore.

Even wilder, instead of linking the COVID vaccine to his death, a tweet on social media connected Lil Nas X's birthday to a DMX sacrifice.

"DMX was a sacrifice as he died on Lil Nas X's bday," Crumbtv said in the tweet. "No such thing as chance."
Fact-checking website Snopes debunked the claims, and his family put out a statement following his death.

“We are deeply saddened to announce today that our loved one, DMX, birth name of Earl Simmons, passed away at 50 years old at White Plains Hospital with his family by his side after being placed on life support for the past few days," the family said. “Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time. Please respect our privacy as we grieve the loss of our brother, father, uncle and the man the world knew as DMX. We will share information about his memorial service once details are finalized.”

There’s no evidence DMX got a vaccine or, if he did, that it contributed to his death. Of the 167 million vaccine doses administered so far in the U.S., no deaths have been directly attributed to a COVID vaccine. Adverse effects have been reported to the CDC, however.

Using DMX’s death to promote an anti-vaxxer agenda is low, but it’s nothing new. A star dies and a conspiracy is born. That’s just how it’s goin’ down.
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Raven Jordan is a music and culture intern for the Dallas Observer. At the University of North Texas, Jordan wrote for the arts and culture section of the North Texas Daily student paper. She enjoys writing about race and social justice, pop culture and local events.