An Interview With DMX’s Son: Xavier Simmons Opens Up

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Do you think you’d be as interested in music as you are if it wasn’t for your dad?
You know what? No. It’s weird because I have my influences, and then I have the influences that my parents brought into me. So I get like the ‘60s ‘70s soul, like Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, I get that from my dad. And my mom, it’s like ‘90s R&B, Mary J. Blige, a lot of that stuff.

What is your favorite song by him? Do you even like his music at this point?
[Laughs] There is one song, it’s with him and Marilyn Manson, I think it’s called “The Omen Part 2.” I really like that. I love all the voices—he’s kind of like talking to himself—addressing his inner demons. That’s really something I can relate to.

On that topic, the episode of Ilyana, how do you feel about that? I always feel like shows like that say they’re trying to help… but sometimes it seemed like she was trying to set him up. What do you think?
I think... I think she tried. She really did try to help. But, it’s almost… he was kind of reluctant to receive the help. I think she did try. I wish it would’ve been a better outcome. What are you going to do? It kind of hurt. The reviews I got back, the feedback was mostly positive. Like 95% positive… but there were a few people that tried to attack me. It’s funny, but I had to step back and just say to myself, okay, I can’t just be all high and mighty like it was such a noble thing that I did. It’s hard. After a while, I didn’t want to accept or take in all the praise. Because I took in too much of it. If you’re willing to accept praise, you have to be willing to accept blame and criticism. In my heart I know what I did was right, and that’s it. I don’t care what anyone else has to say.

Have you ever thought about leaving New York, going somewhere else?
I think about that all the time. That’s what I want. I get really down on myself and really sad about it sometimes. Because I want to do so much, and it’s like I said you know, I just feel stuck. Sometimes I think about getting a backpack and going across the country, like three outfits, a guitar. Like Into the Wild—I was back in school, I read this one quote: “man is the only creature who willfully strays away from nature.” That's part of the reason why some of us might be unhappy, because we're out of our natural state.

What do you think the next step is for you?
I wish I knew. Right now I guess I’m working more on the image, the persona of me. I want to do more shows. That’s what I need to do. I’m trying every day. But I don’t know, one day at a time.