Earl “DMX” Simmons death came as a shock to the whole world. He died on April 9 2021 at the age of 50 in a hospital in his hometown New York due to a heart attack after a drug overdose. This happened before the release of his eighth and one of his most anticipated albums. The seventh album, Undisputed, was released in 2012. This was the last album he released when he was still alive. Exodus was supposed to be his biggest comeback in the hip hop industry which he recorded with his previous label Def Jam. The last time he worked with Def Jam was back in 2003.
Swizz Beatz, his producer and longtime friend talks on the recording process of the whole album. He has contributed a lot to the career of DMX both in music and generally his life. Swizz talks on how the verzuz battle with Snoop Dogg helped bring back his confidence. There were positive feedbacks and love from fans and also his peers. At first, it was not easy to lure him to the battle because he was naturally a battle rapper and he wanted to go all in for the battle. Swizz explained to him about the concept of the Verzuz. That it was all about respect and a celebration with two great people and not ripping each other.
After the Verzuz they went to record at Snoop’s studio where the album was completed. The album came out on Friday, 28th May. It has 13 tracks and guest appearances from big names like Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys and Bono. The first part of the album is all about the rawness of his city, New York on songs like “That’s my dog”, “Bath salts,” and “Hood Blues.” The second part he talks about his life struggles to his children on songs like, “Letter to my son”. He then finishes the album with a prayer.
When asked about working with Def Jam, Swizz Beatz says that they have been very supporting and they never turned down any request made by them considering DMX was an older artist. Pop Smoke was also supposed to be in the album but they repurposed the verse for something different. “I put Moneybagg Yo on the song. But this is an album he completed entirely while he was still alive. We didn’t put this together because he’s no longer here. These are songs he has given his approval to. Pop Smoke is the only thing that’s changed.” Says Swizz Beatz.