It’s hard not to listen to DMX’s posthumous album “Exodus” — which the rapper completed just weeks before his death on April 9 — without feeling wistfulness, but there are many classic moments on the set.
One in particular is a rare team-up between DMX’s fellow New York rappers Jay-Z and Nas, bringing three of the greatest MCs of all time — not to mention one of its legendary producers in album executive producer Swizz Beatz — on a single track.
Over rich, thumping rhythms, Jay raps “To be loved, Shakespearean, experienced to be honest/ Jumpin’ off boats, hoppin’ off another cliff/ Every six months, I think I need a new bucket list”; Nas follows with, “My instincts guide me through this Kurtis Blow culture/ Good angel, bad angel sittin’ on both shoulders.”
On the third verse, DMX goes in with lyrics so violent that, well, we’re not sure they’re suited for this family publication. Listen for yourself below, and check out Variety’s review here.
The new album shares its name with DMX’s son Exodus Simmons. Other guests on the album include Bono of U2 (on a song called “Skyscrapers”), Usher (on the closing track “Letter to My Son”), Snoop Dogg, Alicia Keys. Lil Wayne and the Lox.
DMX’s longtime friend and collaborator Swizz Beatz, who executive produced the album, talked with Variety about him earlier this month.
“There was no one like him, and never will be,” he says, before referring to X by his real name. “Earl Simmons was, and is, my brother. Still my best friend. A great father. A great philanthropist. There are a lot of people who shadow his shortcoming and hard goings, but, I’ve seen way more light than dark, knowing him for real. He was the most giving, caring person I know. He would give people anything they needed, be it prayers, clothes or money, before he took any for himself.”