18 years after his last release on Def Jam, nine years after his most recent LP Undisputed, and seven weeks after his death, Earl “DMX” Simmons will be heard on the new posthumous album Exodus. It’s out May 28th via Def Jam and Ruff Ryders, and Swizz Beatz is serving as executive producer.
UPDATE – May 14th: Swizz has shared the tracklist and it’s absolutely stacked with guest appearances. Led off by features from JAY-Z, Nas, and Lil Wayne, the LP also includes contributions from the Griselda crew, The LOX, Snoop Dogg, and Bono. Check it out below.
After DMX suffered the heart attack that would end his life, his team released “X Moves” and the posthumous single “Been to War” featuring Swizz Beatz. Neither of those tracks appear on the upcoming album.
The New York legend’s return to Def Jam feels like the closing of a circle. The label began to flounder in the mid 1990s as it suffered from money problems, changed owners, and searched for its voice in a shifting hip-hop landscape. Well, if you can’t find an identity yourself, then X gon’ give it to ya. His 1998 Def Jam debut, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, debuted as the No. 1 album in the country. Neither label nor rapper looked back.
In 2006 DMX signed to Columbia Records for Year of the Dog… Again, after which his career was paused amid mounting legal troubles and a self-professed desire for a quieter life. He would only put out one more album, 2012’s Undisputed, by which time some of the magic had been lost. If you believe in the power of labels, then X’s return to Def Jam is cause for optimism.
“My brother X was one of the most pure and rare souls I’ve ever met,” Beatz said in a statement. “He lived his life dedicated to his family and music. 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.”
The album artwork was created by Jonathan Mannion, the photographer who captured some of DMX’s most iconic moments, and you can check it out below.
01. That’s My Dog (feat. The LOX and Swizz Beatz)
02. Bath Salts (feat. JAY-Z and Nas)
03. Dog’s Out (feat. Lil Wayne and Swizz Beatz)
04. Money Money Money (feat. Moneybagg Yo)
05. Hold Me Down (feat. Alicia Keys)
06. Skyscrapers (feat. Bono)
07. Male Stick Up Skit (feat. Cross, Infrared, and Icepick)
08. Hood Blues (feat. Westside Gunn, Benny the Butcher, and Conway the Machine)
09. Walking in the Rain (feat. Nas, Exodus Simmons, and Mr. Porter)
10. Take Control (feat. Snoop Dogg)
11. Exodus Skit
12. Letter to My Song (Call Your Father) (feat. Usher and Brian King Joseph)