As promised by Swizz Beatz, DMX’s posthumous album Exodus has arrived. The 13-track album released May 28 through Ruff Ryders and Def Jam Recordings includes a range of features from Nas and Jay-Z to Alicia Keys and U2’s Bono. Ahead of the official drop, the lead single “Hood Blues” featuring Griselda rappers Conway the Machine, Benny the Butcher, and Westside Gunn offered a glimpse at what to expect from the full-length LP.
“My brother X was one of the most purest and rare souls I’ve ever met. He lived his life dedicated to his family and music,” said Beatz in a provided statement. “Most of all, he was generous with his giving and loved his fans beyond measure. This album, X couldn’t wait for his fans all around the world to hear and show just how much he valued each and every single person that has supported him unconditionally.”
In an interview with GQ, the producer detailed the creation process behind the posthumous album, giving a breakdown of each track. He even shared DMX was prepared to tour this project, working out to get back in shape for on-stage performances. He went further to explain why the late Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke was not featured on “Money Money Money,” despite DMX announcing the collaboration in February. Memphis rapper Moneybagg Yo handled the guest verse on the official release. The song is the only track of 13 finished after DMX’s tragic death.
“That song originally had Pop Smoke on it, but then the vocals that we had ended up being used [elsewhere]. So we had to change the [feature],” Swizz said to GQ. “If I asked him about a [rapper], he would know everything about them. I’d say ‘How you know about that person and I never heard you play them?’ I know he would’ve liked Moneybagg for sure.”
As VIBE reported, DMX, born Earl Simmons, died at the age of 50-years-old in early April. His family issued an official statement announcing the death, saying “Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end. He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever. We appreciate all of the love and support during this incredibly difficult time.”
Exodus is the latest offering ensuring his legacy continues. During his career, X became one of the most commercially successful rappers of all time, selling more than 4 million records worldwide in his lifetime, and amassed in excess of 14x-platinum RIAA certifications in the U.S. alone. The Yonkers native still holds the unique distinction of being the only artist in history to enter both the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop charts with #1 debuts for his first five consecutive career albums.
With Swizz Beatz as the album’s executive producer, additional production credits include Kanye West, Fonzworth Bentley, Musicman Ty, Mr. Porter, and others. In addition to the aforementioned artists, Usher, Lil Wayne, The Lox, and Snoop Dogg also appear on the Exodus.
Stream the album here or down below.