DMX ‘Uncensored’: Executive Producer Details Supernatural Way Things Aligned for DMX’s Last Interview
A series of serendipitous events led to Earl “DMX” Simmons sitting down for an interview for TV One’s Uncensored. Some may even call it “divine timing.” As fans, friends, and family continue to celebrate his legacy, many are looking forward to watching him share his story once more.
Shot only weeks before his death on April 9, DMX: Uncensored not only offers raw, personal testimony from the revered rapper himself, but it also pays homage to the hip-hop legend and his mythology.
Uncensored executive producer Nikki Byles spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet about how they landed DMX for the series, his warm disposition, and what fans can expect to see on May 16.
DMX’s last interview was filmed on anniversary of Notorious B.I.G.’s death
While DMX made a few appearances on the small screen in 2020, — most notably on Verzuz — many fans were hoping to hear more from him in 2021, especially with a new album due out. Uncensored unknowingly captured his final formal sit-down, and the breath of hip-hop flowed through the entire production.
Nikki Byles explained that once their team locked DMX in for this project, the interview took place on March 9, 2021, the 24th anniversary of Biggie’s death.
Further, the Brooklyn, New York filming location is popular for music videos, including Jay-Z’s “99 Problems.” They set the lighting and backdrop to make it fitting for DMX’s entrance.
DMX’s family provided major input
Though DMX’s footage is front and center, Byles assures that his family was part of the process from start to finish. “We worked with the family the entire way,” she said. “The family is in it.”
Viewers will hear from his mother, ex-wife Tashera Simmons, and other family members, as well as his crew of friends. Byles added that they all helped complete the project, with some making additional filming contributions after his death.
Byles explained how giving DMX was during the experience, genuinely offering prayers, sharing personal stories, and speaking on his ambition to become a deacon. Many of these interactions happened off camera, but the Uncensored crew walked away with some lessons from him too.
What fans can expect in ‘DMX: Uncensored’
Byles shared that when it comes to this episode, what you see is what you get. DMX is real and raw.
“You get to see him talk about his life, and you get closure — kind of,” she said. During his Uncensored conversation, DMX touches on Ruff Ryders’ impact, his spirituality, the early days of his career, and his family. He also teases new music, which has since been confirmed to be released on May 28.
Something else Byles wants fans to know is that X was ridiculously funny and loved to keep the party energy going. And he let himself be vulnerable in certain moments, especially when speaking about his new album. He offered her team a sneak listening peek.
According to Byles, DMX’s collaboration with Usher is extremely meaningful to him as the song is about his children. “He couldn’t get through it without crying,” she said.
DMX: Uncensored airs on May 16 at 8 p.m. EST, and the special follow-up tribute An Uncensored Special: DMX The Icon airs on Monday, May 17 at 10 p.m. EST.