Incredible Features and Moments Throughout this Project
Whenever we hear that a posthumous album hits the streets, we pray to the rap gawds for one thing and one thing only: Please, get it right
. This was especially true for the final DMX album “Exodus”. While we came into this project cautiously, we were comforted by the fact that the album was basically completed while he was still with us. With Swizz Beatz at the helm
, we figured “Exodus” was in good hands and gave it a listen as soon as it dropped. So hereee we go
From the project’s very first track “That’s My Dog”, DMX establishes quickly that he’s willing to share the stage and the mic with his contemporaries. With features from Swizz Beatz and The Lox, this joint is a family affair that sets a Gritty tone for what’s to come. The next track “Bath Salts” showcases X in rare form. He’s still got the ferocity and lyrical punch of yesteryear, with his bars holding up against the likes of fellow legends Jay-Z and Nas. The latter two have been teaming up rather often as of late and while this track wasn’t our favorite beat selection or Hov verse, Nas and X clean things up nicely enough to deliver a quality track.
In “Dogs Out” featuring Lil Wayne, Weezy dances over production reminiscent of “Special Delivery”, with K-9 inspired schemes that have all the charm we’d expect from a Tunechi verse. DMX plays anchor here once again, with lines like “When I hear you niggas spit, all I hear is bitch” that just hit differently when X says em. While X linking up with legends is cool, what we really liked about this project is the fact that X also joins forces with some of the premier voices in the modern rap game as well. On “Money Money Money”, X is still adamant on calling out bitches (“Say cheese, now I got pictures of what a bitch is”), but this time he’s doing it with buzzing rapper Moneybagg Yo, and the pair have some surprisingly great chemistry as well.
If you’re a fan of DMX, you know that each of his albums showcase a prevalent vulnerability that goes beyond his radio singles. From the moment we saw the track list, we knew “Hold Me Down” featuring Alicia Keys was one of those joints. X fought his demons till the end, and on this track, we hear it on wax. He continues this shift of perspective on his next track “Skyscrapers” featuring Bono before shifting gears to join forces with Griselda. Westside Gunn and Benny the Butcher talk that Mafiosa talk amongst a backdrop of amazing X adlibs. DMX himself delivers a great verse too, complete with bars about hog tying his enemies and cannons that’ll “Remove your head and shoulders” . It’s just…..*Chefs Kiss* .
By the time we get to the velvety smooth “Take Control” featuring Snoop Dogg and a top notch Marvin Gaye sample, we realized something: This album really doesn’t have any skippable moments. In the tracks that follow, “Walking in the rain” and “Letter to My Son”, we truly get a glimpse at the man DMX has become. His growth as an artist and as a person was always on public display for us as fans, and his willingness to share the good and the bad with us along the way is why we always loved him so deeply. Exodus is X in his final form, still showcasing his signature artistry and humanity to his last days. In the first track of this project, he drops the line “I’m the best…something that I’m takin to the grave”, and it’s almost haunting how true that is. DMX left the game a legend, and his final album “Exodus” gets it all the way right.
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