“DMX: Don’t Try To Understand” premiered last night.
At the beginning of November, HBO announced their new Bill Simmons-led music documentary series, HBO Music Box, and included clips from a handful of films focused on some of music’s biggest and most storied legends. Included within films were documentaries about two late hip hop icons, DMX and Juice WRLD.
Two weeks after HBO’s announcement, the television giant released the trailer for DMX: Don’t Try To Understand, and previewed an extremely emotional look at a chaotic time towards the end of DMX’s life. Filmed between January 2019 and March 2020, the Christopher Frierson-directed documentary was finished before the “How’s It Goin’ Down” rapper tragically passed away in April 2021, but Frierson says the film is hopeful, even in the context of his death.
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“We live in the tragedy of his passing, but at the end, I believe this to be a hopeful film because any of those things—the child abuse as a very young child, incarceration as a very young child, crack and drugs as a very young child, poverty, then as an adult being sort of victimized by the industry—could have led to self-destruction way before the monumental success,” Frierson told Complex in a recent interview. “Instead of everything that he did achieve in his life and everything that he means to everybody. Despite the fact that he passed away, I think that everything I just listed [shows] people that there is hope. It’s weird because he’s gone, but there’s hope.”
DMX: Don’t Try To Understand premiered last night (November 25) and was added to HBO Max, and fan reactions have poured in all over social media. Across the board, it’s clear the documentary was emotional for DMX fans, and for hip hop fans in general. With references to his overwhelmingly difficult upbringing, and a focus on his struggle with drugs, the HBO documentary is heavy, and gets into the “real-life” parts of DMX’s real life.
Check out social media’s reaction to DMX: Don’t Try To Understand below and let us know what you think of the documentary down in the comments.