The death of rapper DMX at age 50 on Friday was a sad day for music fans who loved his work. As musicians and fans mourned his loss and the legacy he leaves behind, many fans pointed to one of the more unique parts of his work outside of the recording studio. Namely, his legendary role in 2003 video game Def Jam Vendetta.
The game, an EA Sports BIG classic, was gratuitous and absurd — a wrestling/fighting game hybrid that used street fighting as a vehicle for Def Jam artists to get their own video game. But the voiceovers from the actual artists, and the very violent gameplay, made it a fan favorite among fighting game enthusiasts. It even spawned a sequel the next year: Def Jam: Fight For NY.
His special move — an absurd combination of flips, kicks and using his feet to snap an opponent’s neck — was a favorite among players. Which is why many shared clips of the fighting game along with well wishes and sad nostalgia for his work on social media.
DMX had the BADDEST special move in Def Jam Vendetta. RIP to a rap legend. pic.twitter.com/aEZHQpPCBy
— SilkyJohnson_51 (@NowBackTooMe) April 9, 2021
In the wake of his death, many shared the video of him actually breaking down the move in real life, too.
DMX explaining his finisher on Def Jam Vendetta still legendary to this day pic.twitter.com/h5fZmnWE7I
— AuxGod (@AuxGod_) April 9, 2021
There was also mention of his post-victory catch phrase, which is hilariously fitting as well.
Gotta run that Def Jam Vendetta when I get off!
DMX victory quote was forever burned into my memory when I was younger! pic.twitter.com/MWH7y5zU9y
— 🎍 𝐑 𝐲 𝐞 𝐚 𝐥 𝐞 . 𝐜 𝐨 𝐦 ⚔️ (@YokaiRye) April 9, 2021
Others simply got nostalgic about their childhoods, many of which both included DMX’s music and his presence in a PlayStation 2 and Gamecube classic.
— 1800 (@1sika_) April 9, 2021
Glad this was the intro to Def Jam Vendetta. RIP DMX ❤️❤️pic.twitter.com/vKVuic1aqL
— Ulises (@Ulidagloden1) April 9, 2021
My mind immediately goes back to Def Jam Vendetta. So many hours and hours played with my brother lol
So many different ways of impact ❤️ pic.twitter.com/3WEefZB03m
— Jonathan Morrison 🙋🏻♂️ (@tldtoday) April 9, 2021
We need another rapper fighting game like Def Jam Vendetta, with DMX in it & your team should make it, Ed.
Ruff Ryde in Heaven, X 🙅🏽♂️ pic.twitter.com/giN7f2VWqo
— Sir Saltine ❁ (@WackyW3irdo) April 9, 2021
Every person who had a PS2 and Def Jam Vendetta know how raw DMX was on there and he was just as raw in life. The energy and postivity he preached later in life despite all the hardships he was dealing with is something to admire. RIP to the Ruff Ryder who sold out a continent pic.twitter.com/vtOmpPDPg9
— Todoroki: Glacier Flame ❄🔥 (@KillaCJ93) April 9, 2021