HBO’s DMX: DON’T TRY TO UNDERSTAND debuts THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25 on HBO and will be available to stream on HBO Max, is part of the Music Box series, directed by Christopher Frierson and co-directed by Clark Slater, and executive produced by Bill Simmons, focuses on a year in the life of rapper Earl “DMX” Simmons as he is released from prison in early 2019 and attempts to rebuild his career in the music industry and reconnect with family and fans.
A deeply personal exploration of Faith, Addiction, Loyalty, and Family, the film chronicles a year in the life of a man with a burning desire to reconcile decisions of the past. A depiction of his true love for Desiree Lindstrom and their son Exodus, his last album named after his son called Exodus, and the relationship he shared with his ex-wife, Tashera Simmons, their kids, and others including Pat Gallo and Tara Thomas. The film bears witness to a man searching for reinvention and redemption, striving to stay true to himself while reestablishing his role as a father, an artist, and an icon.
The documentary follows the musician through his 2019 comeback tour “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot” after serving a year in prison for tax evasion. With archival materials showcasing some of the rapper’s highs and lows over the years, the film remains focused on DMX’s present, including his struggle to battle his own demons with addiction and the aftermath of an abusive upbringing, his deep faith and belief system, his dedication to his community of fans, his desire to mend bonds with his children, and his efforts to help troubled youth.
The film features intimate moments of DMX relating to young people and spending time with old friends in his hometown of Yonkers, New York, and we witness the powerful affirmative effect he has on the people who look up to him. The film also shows the disappointments he experiences as he grapples with an ongoing drug addiction and its impact on his loved ones.
Tragically, the life of DMX was cut too short and DMX: DON’T TRY TO UNDERSTAND stands as a fitting tribute to the man who was fighting to regain all he had lost and to win back the love and trust of family, friends, and fans. With unflinching honesty and candor, DMX shows us the man behind the myth and the true artist behind the headlines.
About Earl “DMX” Simmons
DMX was born on December 18, 1970 in Mount Vernon, New York, USA as Earl Simmons. He was an actor and composer, known for Exit Wounds (2001), Cradle 2 the Grave (2003), and Romeo Must Die (2000). Within a year, rapper DMX rose from the streets of Yonkers to become one of hip-hop’s most popular and prolific stars. His raw, aggressive lyrics focus on strength and survival, keys to overcoming the adversity of life on the streets. He died on April 9, 2021 in White Plains, New York.