DMX’s highly anticipated posthumous album Exodus arrived on Friday (May 28), extending a legacy that began to take shape in the 1990s. Prior to its arrival, longtime friend and producer Swizz Beatz hosted a listening party for a handful of people.
Before Swizz pressed play on album opener “That’s My Dog” featuring The LOX, he said a few words about his fallen brother and recalled a time when DMX once customized a rental car.
“He’s the same person who rented a car and then fucking bought rims to put on a rented car — rims, put tint, wrapped the car,” Swizz Beatz told HipHopDX. “I said, ‘Dog, you rentin’ the car. What you doing?’
“He said, ‘Ah it’s mine right now. When I give it back to them, if they want to take it off, fuck it.’ He rented a car and decked it out like it was his. Like he just didn’t even care.”
Part of what made DMX such a revered artist was his ability to relate to his fans. With every album, beginning with 1998’s It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, DMX rapped through his pain, vulnerability and anything else he was feeling at the time. Nothing was off limits.
“X was just different,” Swizz continued. “He was a philanthropist. He was a people’s person. A lot of people like to lead with a lot of negativity with our culture and our music, but X was just different. Even the things he got locked up for, they weren’t like big things. They were little things. You never heard of him hurting people.
“X was a real serious people. He was getting in trouble for stupid shit. He was a teddy bear. He was a good guy.
Swizz added, looking up at the sky, “Sorry for calling you a teddy bear, but you know you was a teddy bear [laughed].”
Exodus boasts 13 tracks and guest features from JAY-Z, Nas, Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys, U2’s Bono, Usher and more. True to form, “Letter To My Son (Call Your Father)” finds X opening up about his struggles with addiction and wanting better for his child.
DMX passed away on April 9 at White Plains Hospital. He was 50.
Check out the album in full above.