DMX’s posthumous album Exodus has been officially announced for May 28 release on Def Jam. It was recorded shortly before his passing and consists of all-new original material.
Before he died, DMX announced plans for this comeback album following his release from prison in 2019. He had spent a year in jail for tax fraud, and was looking forward to sharing new music because he hadn’t released a record since Undisputed in 2012. He also commented that New York rap group Griselda and the late Pop Smoke had features on the new LP, but a tracklisting hasn’t been revealed yet.
On the day of his passing in April, a new single called “X Moves” was released featuring Parliament/Funkadelic’s Bootsy Collins on bass, Deep Purple’s Ian Paice on drums and Steve Howe of Yes on guitar. There’s been no comment on whether the song will be on Exodus. His only other posthumous track so far is “Been to War,” which was recorded for Season 2 of EPIX Network’s Godfather of Harlem and features Swizz Beats and French Montana.
Swizz Beats is the one who revealed the release date of Exodus as well as its album artwork. He added, “My brother X was one of the most pure and rare souls I’ve ever met. 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 artwork is a black-and-white close-up of DMX’s neck tattoo reading Exodus 1:7, which is a passage of the bible that reads, according to The New International Version, “But the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.” It was photographed by Jonathan Mannion, who reportedly captured several other iconic DMX images.
Snoop Dogg claimed recently that the album had been recorded at his studio in LA following their Verzuz battle. He stated, “He actually did his whole album at my studio when we finished Verzuz. He never left, he stayed in L.A. and rented my studio out and did his whole album. I cooked for them, I laid it out for ‘em. I made it feel like ‘mi casa es su casa.’ That was the best moment, that he felt comfortable enough to do his album at my spot and he didn’t leave L.A. until it was done.”
Exodus will be DMX’s eighth studio album and his first on Def Jam since his 2003 classic Grand Champ, which spawned the hit “Where the Hood At.” Some of his other highly-acclaimed albums include It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot (1998), Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood (1998) and …And Then There Was X (1999).
Smokey D. Fontaine, the journalist who co-authored DMX’s autobiography, wrote about the rapper, “The only artist who has spent a career inspiring fans around the world to bark and rhyme in loud bursts of manic energy; only then to get them to read, rap, think and cry in private moments of honest thought and introspection. He was a man of faith who proudly and publicly depicted aspects of his life through his prayers. No one in hip-hop has ever done it better. No one has meant more.”