DMX ‘Uncensored’: Rapper’s Mom Tells Her Side of the Story in TV One Special
The celebration of DMX’s life continues, as TV One’s Uncensored is spotlighting the beloved icon in a special episode airing on May 16.
In his final interview before his death, X opens up about how hip-hop changed his life, his upbringing, faith, and love. The show is peppered with appearances from friends and family of the late rapper, including former wife Tashera Simmons, uncle Ray Copeland, and his mother, Arnett Simmons.
Uncensored executive producer Nikki Byles spoke with Showbiz Cheat Sheet about DMX’s artistry, legacy, and why it was so important to bring his mom onto the stage as part of this story. Ms. Simmons’ presence on camera is a rare but necessary glimpse into who and what molded him in his formative years.
DMX was raw and candid about his childhood
Longtime fans are familiar with DMX’s backstory and the anguish he carried through life about his childhood. Dogs and music brought him comfort. Crime was a way of life. And stints group homes were a harsh part of his reality. But DMX attributed many of his feelings of loneliness and abandonment to his mother.
On Uncensored, he recalls his experience on VH1’s Couples Therapy and how Dr. Jenn surprised him with a visit from his mom. Shortly before she appeared, he told Dr. Jenn that his mother never told him she loved him. It was a long overdue reunion that — as he said — helped him let everything go.
In the past, DMX shared that she physically abused him and broke his heart when she dropped him off at a group home called Children’s Village. He wrote about her in his autobiography and spoke on their fractured relationship in multiple interviews.
Arnett Simmons on ‘Uncensored’ with DMX is part of his healing
Fans will hear Arnett Simmons share tales about her son Earl’s childhood in Uncensored. Executive producer Nikki Byles explained that DMX wanted his mother to be part of the show as they were repairing their relationship.
“It was important to him for her to be around, and she was willing to talk,” said Byles, adding that Simmons was enthusiastic to talk about her son though she didn’t have to. “She just came in there and she gave everything up.” At first she was scared, but after they put her at ease about going on camera, she let it out.
“She told us about everything. She talked to us about him as a kid, and she only broke down right at the end,” Byles shared. In that moment when Simmons’ tears flowed, her emotional response moved others in the room. But she mustered up the strength to say, “He’s at peace.”
As Byles put it, fans will get some semblance of closure as they watch Uncensored on May 16. At times, DMX is prophetic when he speaks, reminding the audience that he realized the beauty in who he was and to be thankful. He also leaves fans with one last piece of advice about blessings.
Tune in for DMX’s Uncensored interview on Sunday, May 16 at 8 p.m. EST, followed by a special tribute An Uncensored Special: DMX The Icon on Monday May 17 at 10 p.m. EST.