So the riff between you and Jay is actually a personal matter? I know a lot fans over the years were really curious to know if you and Jay were actually real life friends.
We were real good friends. He came down and heard the album, was like ‘Yeah, that’s wassup. The album’s hot. When you shoot the video?’ Directly after that he started doing some funny shit. You know, that night we went out and shot pool together. He could call me anytime. He called me one time in New York like ‘Yo I want you to come hear this Beans joint.’ I jumped in my truck. I’m a free spirit. I’m not running around with 10 people all the time. I drove down there. I lived in Upstate New York, Mount Kisco and shit. So I jumped in the Suburban, flew down there, ‘What’s up nigga? I’m here for you. That’s how I get down. We played pool there, we hung out in the studio. We ain’t get no work done, but we had a good time. Our birthdays are like a few days apart. So we had a lot in common. And the thing that’s crazy about us is our relationship was a relationship. Because initially, I didn’t like him and he didn’t like me, so we began to battle. And the battle was like maybe 91 or 92. When he was with Original Flavor.
DMX doesn’t normally do with every single artist.
Yeah, cause I don’t fuck with too many artists.
That’s what I mean.
I fuck with Swizz Beatz. I fuck with Nas, I fuck with Busta, Cam, Ghostface, Raekwon—if we see each other somewhere, we hanging out. I’m like ‘Yo where you going’ or if they ain’t doing nothing they’ll roll with me and if I ain’t doing nothing I’ll roll with them, that type of shit.
Speaking of Nas, he actually just put out a new single. I don’t think you heard it but it’s called “Nasty” and he’s jus spitting with no hook.
Hmm, I was gonna do something like that too. See, we on the same page. I went to his show maybe 3 weeks before I got locked up. I went to see him do a show out here, so I went by. But anywhere he’s at man, I’ll go check on him. I’ll go holla at him, sit down, kick it, whatever. We are good friends. There’s been a couple of times where it’s just me, him, and our wives all went out to eat. No security.
That’s crazy. So Is there any chance that another DMX and Nas can do another record?
That’ll work. I’m glad you said that. I’m a reach out to him for this album.
You gotta make that happen.
I got about 6 songs that I left spots open for features. And I did that on purpose because whatever label I go to, they might have ideas for features. I’m come correct this time.
Belly is still a hip-hop classic. I don’t care what barbershop, what radio station, people still talk about this movie man.
Yeah, they play it on BET a lot. You know how many times I’ve seen it since I been here?
I’m saying! It’s on regular rotation now.
And they fucked up with the Belly 2. All they had was the title. Someone bought the title. Got people thinking it’s a part 2 to our movie when it’s really not. It’s just the name Belly 2. But, I been working with a couple of writers man where we can bring it back. A part 2 with a crazy story.
Oh really? With all the original characters maybe, hopefully?
No. it would really just be me, Nas and Meth. Some new hot chicks in there. But the story—the thing that most important to me with a movie is not so much the cast. It’s the story. See, this cast is important. You gotta have a good story. And it makes sense. It’ll show that I did some time for murder or whatever, and it’s really 10 years later. So it works out perfect.
I know a lot of the people that worked on the movie said that the way that Belly came out wasn’t how it was originally cut. Is that true?
The cut the budget, maybe 3 quarters of the movie. They just cut the budget right there.
Damn. Do you think it affected the storyline and how you were able to put the message out there?
Well, you know what it became a different message. Part of the original message was in there, but it also became a different message. There’s like a lot of loose ends, you know. And like the chemistry was so good, that people didn’t really focus on that. You still walked away from it thinking that you saw the entire movie. Feeling like you didn’t get cheated.
And that movie sparked the careers for a lot of people. I remember Vita, that was like the first time people saw her.
Yeah. I was trying to fuck her too. I’m like ‘we’re in this situation anyway, come on girl let’s get it for real.’ Nah we was cool though. She’s a cool girl. [Laughs]
Definitely. I have to ask how did you verse on “Money Power Respect” come about. It still rings off in the club. Anytime, people still go crazy.
I still perform that on stage too… Fuck they telling me I got to get off the phone. Before I go, let me just get these shout outs out there. I want to let the people know who my real crew is in here. These are my peoples. They good dudes. When they get out, you might see me with them so I’m just planting the seed now. X, Mac, Elbow, Bear, N-O, Sleeze. But like, this prison is different. It’s not like you’re from New York. Out here, It’s racially segregated. Its’ different races at different tables. You’re not allowed to smoke or share a cigarette with someone of a different race. It’s really weird. It’s kinda sad too. Because I like who I like. You ain’t gonna tell me, I gotta just chill with somebody just because they black. That don’t make sense to me. I made some new female friends since I been locked up. Some women who are really in my corner to support me and let me know they believe in me. Like most of my fanmail is letting me know that thye believe in me man and I can do it. They’re people praying for me. It’s incredible. It’s incredible how similar the message is in all the letters. I’ll be home soon, peace kid!