DMX, also known as Earl Simmons, was a rapper and hip hop icon who passed away from a heart attack brought on by drug addiction on April 6, 2021. Simmons left behind daughter Sonovah Hillman Jr., who is now 10 years old.
Sonovah Jr. has been following in her father’s footsteps, creating her own music since his death.
She is now being raised by her mother, also named Sonovah Hillman in Oakland, Calif.
On January 23, Sonovah Jr. dropped her own docuseries sizzle reel about fentanyl awareness and said she hopes to produce a four-episode docuseries.
“My daughter is one of the most extraordinary people I’ve ever come across and I’m not just saying that because she’s my daughter,” Hillman said.
One day after school Sonovah Jr. mentioned that she was taking a 10-week Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program at school.
“She just told me, ‘hey, we’re learning about drugs and drug awareness at school,’ and said, ‘It’s pretty tense,’” Hillman said.
Around the same time, Hillman and her daughter came across a TikTok video of rapper Master P talking to his daughter about drug addiction.
“I told her how his daughter died of a fentanyl overdose, which then made her look into her father’s addictions,” Hillman said.
DMX had often spoken publicly about his struggle with drug addiction.
Sonovah Jr. saw some past interviews where her father was talking about rehab. Hillman said her daughter then asked if she could visit an actual rehab facility, to which Hillman agreed.
“I was kind of shocked,” said Hillman. ”She immediately started to talk to the people there and ask them questions about their experiences. The way they reacted to her was really, really beautiful.”
As they were leaving, Hillman received a call from an old friend of Simmons concerning a jacket he had made with Sonovah Jr.’s and her father’s name on it. Hillman then told him about how they had just left a rehab facility and how her daughter connected with many people there.
The friend then asked if Hillman had filmed the interaction. She hadn’t. He encouraged her to begin documenting these conversations with Sonovah Jr.
“I asked her, would that be something she’s interested in and she said, ’Yeah,’ and we just went from there,” Hillman said.
Two of the Hillman’s family members have passed away from fentanyl.
Sonovah Jr. said the deaths of her loved ones, the DARE program, the Master P TikTok video and talking to individuals struggling with drug addiction have all inspired her to create this four-part docuseries.
“I want to talk to other kids whose parents have died of an overdose or are still currently using. My goal is to educate, spread awareness and save lives,” said Sonovah Jr. “I’m ready to have the conversation that some adults aren’t ready to have.”
Hillman believes in and supports her daughter’s vision and goal to produce this series.
“I think she just wants to get more information out there and maybe get some closure along the way and make sure the kids don’t feel left out or abandoned while they’re going through, dealing with parents and loved ones on drugs,” Hillman said.
The mother and daughter team has created a GoFundMe to raise funds for the project.
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