DMX’s former publicist and radio personality Domenick Nati gave an emotional speech on Instagram Friday where he described the rapper, who died the same day after being hospitalized for a heart attack, as a highly creative soul who had no regrets about life.
Nati, host of celebrity podcast “The Domenick Nati Show,” worked for the hip-hop legend from 2010 to 2014. He said DMX, born Earl Simmons, was “one of the most talented and most intelligent men and clients I have ever met.” (Watch the full video below.)
The 50-year-old rapper, who consistently topped the Billboard 200 with his albums and was responsible for chart-smashing hits like “Ruff Ryders Anthem” and “Party Up,” became known for multiple arrests and battles with drug addiction — specifically crack cocaine — later in life.
Despite the rapper’s personal demons, Nati said in his video that DMX was the sort of man who never asked for sympathy, and recalled an incident when the pair of them had been riding around in Los Angeles.
“He would always make me sit in the front when we were driven around in the car because as he said, ‘The white guy has to sit in the front so the cops don’t bother us,’” Nati said with a laugh. “... As he was behind me talking to his friend, I remember clearly him saying, ‘When I go, I don’t want people feeling sorry for me ... I lived life, I want people to know that.’”
Nati said the memory came from about a decade ago, but he still remembered it like it was yesterday. Nati also reflected on interviewers frequently asking DMX if he had regrets, and often reacting in disbelief when they heard his answer: “If I could do it all over again, I wouldn’t change anything.”
“I understand that it’s difficult for people to accept what has happened in his life, but it’s also important that we listen to the words of that person,” Nati said. “That is how DMX was and that is how he felt about his life. So I respect that as his friend and as his former publicist ... I would want the world to remember him the way that he wanted you to remember him, which is a man without regrets. A man who lived life.”
Nati is far from the only person to react to DMX’s death — a number of other prominent voices, from fellow rapper Xzibit to LeBron James, chimed in on social media on Friday to pay their respects to the hip-hop luminary.