BET Awards 2021: Why The DMX Tribute Featuring Busta Rhymes, Method Man, And Swizz Beatz Will Be One To Remember

The line-up of performers includes X’s frequent collaborators, longtime friends and those who respected him beyond words.

This Sunday, the BET Awards 2021, will pay tribute to late rap legend, DMX, with the help of some of his longtime collaborators and friends. Ruff Ryders Entertainment announced today that members of the Ruff Ryders family will join in to celebrate their most notable alumni’s decades-long career from its beginnings to his posthumous album, Exodus. Busta Rhymes, Method Man, Swizz Beatz and Griselda will perform and actor Michael K. Williams will make an appearance.

RELATED: BET Awards 2021 Announces Special Tribute For Legendary Rapper DMX

The artists in the line-up for the tribute, which was curated by Swizz Beatz, includes rappers who have worked with DMX since the beginning of his career, as well as those who were influenced by his artistry. Ahead of the BET Awards 2021 this Sunday (June 27), get to know the performers and their history with X.

  1. Swizz Beatz

    The producer, rapper and longtime DMX collaborator curated the upcoming tribute and is set to perform. He first worked with X on 1998’s “Ruff Ryders Anthem,” when they were both signed to the label. The two remained friends over the years, with Swizz recently coordinating the Verzuz between X and Snoop Dogg. Swizz executive-produced Exodus and completed the album after X’s death.

  2. Busta Rhymes

    Busta Rhymes and DMX first collabed on Busta’s Anarchy album in 2000, but they’ve been in each other’s orbits since high school. The duo attended George Westinghouse Career and Technical Education High School at the same time, though DMX is two years older. Last April, Busta posted an Instagram video where he and X reminisced about their 30-years-plus friendship, including an early concert where X opened for Busta

  3. Method Man

    Former Def Jam labelmates Method Man and X did the legendary “Hard Knock Life” tour with Jay-Z and Redman in 1999. He’s connected with X multiple times since, on "Grand Finale," "4,3,2,1," and Limp Bizkit's "Urban Assault" remix to "Rollin." In his Verzuz battle with Redman, he paid tribute to X, saying, “We just want everybody to put they X’s up. If you in your house, put them X’s up for X.”

  4. Griselda

    Buffalo rap crew Griselda is made up of Westside Gunn, Conway the Machine, and Benny the Butcher. The family trio–Gunn and Conway are brothers, and Benny is their cousin–is known for their rugged beats and intricate flows reminiscent of grimy old-school hip hop. The trio collabed with X on the first single from Exodus, “Hood Blues.” In a tribute post on Instagram, Gunn said, “They’ll NEVER be another X, nothing but respect and Thank you.”

  5. Michael K. Williams

    The Emmy-nominated actor, best known for playing Omar Little on The Wire, is another alumnus of Westinghouse High School. He told New York Magazine in 2009 that he grew up in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, but attended Westinghouse because his mother doctored their address on the admission form. He posted on his Instagram when X died that while they didn't know one another well, he always felt a kindred connection to the late rapper. 

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