By Deon C. Jefferson
In April, hip hop legend and rapper DMX passed away due to a heart attack. According to several reports, DMX dies due to complications from a drug overdose. This is not the first time DMX has been linked to drugs. He has been in rehab at least three times. Despite the death, his legacy still lives on through his music. Def Jam released his last album Exodus last week.
“You let me touch so many people and it’s all for the good; I influenced so many children, I never thought that I would And I couldn’t take credit for the love they get Because it all comes from you, Lord. I’m just the one that’s givin’ it” says DMX on the track Prayer”, which was co-produced by Kanye West and Fonzworth Bentley.
Those words reminded fans of the power and importance of a classic DMX album. Exodus boasts some very high profile features. The album includes appearances from Jay Z, Nas, Lil Wayne, Money Bagg Yo, and the Lox. DMX also was not shy about working with longtime collaborator Swizz Beats. DMX and Swizz Beats have been working together since Swizz Beats was 17 years old. Exodus also features a song with Swizz’s wife of two kids, Grammy Award Winner Alicia Keys. As always, DMX has built a career collaborating with diverse artists, and he also has a song on the album that features Bono..
There have been some mixed to positive reviews about the album. According to Rolling Stone Magazine, they mentioned that the album feels cold in its context. They also feel like the album “lands somewhere between a posthumous tribute and a completed album and it feels like a product instead of showing DMX the artist”. Hip Hop is known for being influenced by samples, and today’s artists are relying on it more than ever. DMX manages to include one sample on the album. It is a far departure from some of the other tracks on the album. “Take Control” features a sample of “Sexual Healing” by Marvin Gaye. Take Control” features Snoop Dogg and is reminiscent of “What they really want”, the 1999 track that features Sisqo.
The album is called Exodus, which is also the name of his youngest child. His son also makes an appearance on the album. He is featured on the emotional track “Walking in the Rain”. Fans couldn’t help but notice the song “Letter to my son”. The father of 15 seemed to be speaking about his estranged relationship with his oldest son, Xavier Simmons. Apparently the two have not been on the best of terms.
“Dear son, I look in your eyes, I see my own. You look in my eyes, you see my throne. As many times I tried to talk to you, explain to you. See it didn’t mean a thing to you. Love you, but right now I wanna bite you, says DMX in the heartfelt song.”
All in all, the album helps most of his fans cope with his death. The album seems cohesive and well produced. Although he had plenty of features on the album, they didn’t take away or distract fans from receiving everything DMX was trying to give on this album. Some tracks he talks about death as if he knew it was on the way. Listening to this new album, carries on the tradition of DMX being one of the most transparent and brilliant song writers in Hip Hop. All of those songs were written by him, so if the album gives autobiography vibes, that’s the reason why.
DMX leaves a long legacy of trailblazing music and videos and thought provoking movies. Throughout his career, he has been seen in movies like hip hop classic Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, and Last Hour. He is the first artist to have his album debut at #1 fives time in a row. His most successful album was 1999’s “And then there was X, featured hit single “Party Up”, which became his most successful single. DMX has 3 Grammy nominations and one Billboard Music Award. He was also instrumental in the career of rapper Eve, he served as her mentor.