Saturday Night Live paid tribute to late rapper Earl "DMX" Simmons along with original Not Ready for Prime Time writer Anne Beatts on Saturday night's show. On Friday, DMX passed away at the age of 50 following a drug overdose and subsequent heart attack. As such a popular hip hop star across the world with beloved hits like "Party Up (Up In Here)," the news was both shocking and devastating to family, friends, and fans who had spent the prior week praying for a miracle as DMX clung to life on life support.
On Saturday night's new episode of Saturday Night Live, it wasn't long before the news of DMX's death came up, as it warranted a mention in the show's cold open segment. In the bit, Kenan Thompson, Ego Nwodim, Kate McKinnon, and Alex Moffat portray four Minnesota news anchors discussing the Derek Chauvin trial. After some bickering between the anchors about the trial, McKinnon attempts to change the subject by referencing the death of Prince Phillip by remarking, "We lost royalty yesterday."
"Yes, the rapper DMX died," Nwodim responded, prompting applause from the audience. "I was talking about the prince," McKinnon noted. Nwodim then clapped back: "Girl, Prince been dead!"
After the segment, DMX's name would come up later again in the same program. When SNL returned from its final commercial break near the end of the show, an image of DMX appeared on the screen in honor of the hip hop legend. The "X Gon' Give It to Ya" rapper had previously appeared as a musical guest on an episode of SNL in the year 2000. Julianna Margulies served as the host of that episode.
Also at the end of the newest show, after host Carey Mulligan thanked the audience for watching, performer Chris Redd held up a handwritten sign that read, "R.I.P. DMX." In the clip, which you can watch below, musical guest Kid Cudi can also be seen strolling across the stage wearing a dress. This is in fact another tribute to another late music legend, as the dress is a reference to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain wearing a similar outfit when he performed nearly three decades ago. The 27th anniversary of Cobain's death had just recently passed.
Redd had also joined many other celebrities in mourning the death of DMX on social media in the wake of the news. In a Twitter post, Redd wrote: "My childhood and love for music would not have been the same without this man. DMX was easily my favorite artist growing up. I had every album, every ruff Ryder song, followed any artist he endorsed. Man....RIP the dog. There will never be another like him."
After the Weekend Update segment on SNL, an image of Anne Beatts, a longtime SNL writer who passed away last week, was shown in silence. Portrayed by Natasha Lyonne in the Netflix movie A Futile and Stupid Gesture, Beatts had spent years working on SNL in the 1970s. Needless to say, it hasn't been the greatest week for the SNL family. This news comes to us from Saturday Night Live.