Earl Simmons, the rapper known as DMX, was on life support on Sunday afternoon and was in a “vegetative state,” said his former manager, who said she has been in contact with his family. Mr. Simmons’s longtime lawyer said he had been hospitalized after a heart attack.
“We’re just praying,” the ex-manager, Nakia Walker, said, adding that some of Mr. Simmons’s relatives had been allowed to see Mr. Simmons in the hospital.
Murray Richman, a lawyer who has represented Mr. Simmons for 25 years, said that Mr. Simmons was hospitalized after he had a heart attack at his home in White Plains, N.Y., on Friday.
“He is truly an amazing person,” Mr. Richman said. “He walked into a room, he lit up the room. He couldn’t help making you feel good in his presence.”
Mr. Richman acknowledged that Mr. Simmons, 50, had lived a “difficult life,” adding that he shared it with the world through his music.
“He expressed the pain and suffering in a very unique way,” Mr. Richman said. “He truly is reflective of a whole segment of our society whose pain and suffering go unrecorded.”
In an interview with PIX11 News on Saturday, Mr. Richman said he was concerned about Mr. Simmons.
“It would be disingenuous for me to suggest that I’m not a worried man at this particular point,” Mr. Richman told the station.
Mr. Simmons sold millions of records and was the first musician whose first four albums debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard chart. He became known for electrifying audiences at concerts with hits that include “Party Up,” from 1999, and “X Gon’ Give It to Ya,” from 2003.
Mr. Simmons was arrested repeatedly over the years, for fraud, assault, driving under the influence and without a license, and weapon and narcotics possession. He served time in jail after pleading guilty in 2008 to animal cruelty, drug possession and theft.
Born in Mount Vernon, N.Y., on Dec. 18, 1970, Mr. Simmons is the only child of Arnett Simmons and Joe Barker. He grew up in Yonkers, a city just north of the Bronx.
Several performers took to Twitter over the weekend to offer prayers and support for Mr. Simmons, including Missy Elliott and Marshall Mathers, the rapper known as Eminem.
“Pullin 4 u please stay strong!!” Mr. Mathers said on Twitter.
Chancelor Bennett, the performer known as Chance the Rapper, recalled that Mr. Simmons once prayed over him.
“I could feel his anointing,” Mr. Bennett said on Twitter. “I’m praying for his full recovery.”