'He was never afraid of passing': DMX's ex-wife Tashera Simmons on rapper's final interview

·6 min read

DMX left the world with poignant messages to unpack after his death.

The Ruff Ryders rapper (real name Earl Simmons) gave his last interview three weeks before he died. His words are airing for the first time in "Uncensored: DMX," a two-part docuseries that started Sunday on TV One. The second installment, "Uncensored Special: DMX the Icon," aired Monday.

His ex-wife Tashera Simmons opened up about his final interview during a Monday episode of the "People Every Day" podcast saying the rapper never had a fear of death.

"I used to think that this was insensitive to say, but I do believe he is in a better place, just because of the words he left me with," Simmons said. "He was never afraid of passing on. And I used to be aggravated with that, but now I understand."

Last month, the "Party Up (Up In Here)" star was admitted to the hospital and put on life support after experiencing a heart attack. A week later, he died at age 50.

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"I always feel like I'm going to look back on my life, just before I go, and thank God for every single moment," DMX says in Part 1 of the docuseries. "When (the moments) come together, you see the beauty of who you are and why you are."

DMX used some of his final words to share positive messages. Here are the biggest moments from the interview:

Diddy rejected the rapper from Bad Boys

Before DMX signed with Def Jam, the rapper said he was talked with the founder of Bad Boys Records P. Diddy.

DMX said Diddy rejected the "What's My Name" rapper from joining the record label after saying his voice was "too rough and not really marketable."

"That's the first time I think I've heard that said about me," DMX said. "I wasn't mad at it though, I was like 'OK.' It just made me go harder."

Ali Samii, who used to manage DMX, said that Diddy ended up circling back on his decision and asked to sign DMX to Bad Boys for more money than he was getting at Def Jam. Despite the increase in pay, Samii said DMX stuck with Def Jam and completed five platinum albums.

DMX dies at 50: Rap legend, a pinnacle of the '90s and 2000s hip-hop scene, suffered a heart attack

DMX grieved Aaliyah's death

In the 2000 film "Romeo Must Die," DMX got the opportunity to work with late R&B singer Aaliyah. DMX called her a "beautiful spirit" who always made him feel comfortable.

The rapper said he had many fond memories with Aaliyah, including getting a hug from her after filming "Romeo Must Die," shooting a music video together and arriving with the "Try Again" singer in a Rolls Royce for an awards show.

DMX said when he found out that she died in a 2001 plane crash, he had a hard time accepting it, calling her death a "rough situation."

"You never know when God is going to call his angels home." he said.

DMX believed he met an angel as a child

While visiting a family friend with his mom and younger sister in Yonkers, New York, DMX said he felt like he met an angel after he was hit by car.

He was 4 and had been told to watch his sister outside the building where his mom was visiting a friend. He found a dime and abandoned his post to buy a lollipop and a ball.

"As soon as I stepped off the curb coming down from the store, a car hit me (and) knocked me way over on the other side of the street up under another car," he recalled.

DMX's most iconic lyrics and quotes: On hip-hop, family, addiction and faith

He worried about being in trouble with his mom, so he tried to get off the ground until a white woman approached him with a clipboard and told him to lie down. After his mom came to the scene and emergency vehicles were called, the woman disappeared.

"You'd think that she would've stuck around because she saw the whole thing. I don't know, I felt like it was an angel," DMX said. "She got no business being in the 'hood with a (expletive) clipboard."

A woman holds a picture of late rapper DMX at his "Celebration of Life Memorial" at the Barclays Center on April 24, 2021, in the Brooklyn borough of New York.
A woman holds a picture of late rapper DMX at his "Celebration of Life Memorial" at the Barclays Center on April 24, 2021, in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

DMX had a special connection with dogs

Fellow Ruff Ryder rapper Styles P describes DMX in the docuseries as a "dog man."

The rapper was known to own dogs throughout his lifetime and would often feature dogs on the cover of albums including "Year of the Dog" and "Grand Champ." DMX described dogs as "companions" and a "genuine gift from God."

"(There are) two things capable of unconditional love: a dog (and) God. Same word spelled backwards," he said. "I really feel like dogs are close to God."

DMX's dog Boomer was one of the rapper's closest friends. The rapper said that people were more scared of a dog than a gun, so he would commit robberies with Boomer by his side.

Boomer died after being hit by car. "I watched my boy die right in front of me," DMX said.

DMX was tricked into smoking crack at age 14

An older friend that DMX used to beatbox for gave the rapper a blunt laced with crack cocaine when he was a teen.

DMX had committed a robbery on his friend's birthday, and gave him $50 to go celebrate. The friend came back with what the rapper thought was marijuana.

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The rapper said he recently wrote about the experience in a song called "Pain" and recited the verse on camera: "I smoked crack at 14 for the first time / given to me by a (expletive) that I idolized / My love was real, but after that what I saw in his eyes / was a snake, do I love? or just disguise?"

"I guess I really never knew the real him," he said.

DMX performs at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York on Sept. 23, 2009.
DMX performs at the VH1 Hip Hop Honors at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York on Sept. 23, 2009.

'Blessings come in the form of a hard time,' DMX says

In "Uncensored," DMX directs a message "to everyone watching."

"Sometimes blessings come in the form of a hard time or a difficult situation," the rapper said.

Throughout his life, DMX faced many "difficult situations," from multiple arrests and charges to repeated stints in rehab. In 2019, he was admitted to a facility and had to cancel a 32-date tour marking the 20th anniversary of “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot.”

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"Whatever you're going through will be easier to go through because you know on the other end, God is waiting with your boarding pass: 'C'mon let's go,'" he said. "Don't let a bad memory stay a bad memory, give it to God."

Contributing: Rasha Ali and Hannah Yasharoff, USA TODAY; Christopher J. Eberhart, The Journal News; and The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: DMX last interview reveals rapper's final message, wife Tashera speaks

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