DMX fans have been anticipating the Ruff Ryder legend’s ninth studio album since his 2019 release from prison. And by the looks of it, the project is slowly but surely taking shape. During a recent interview with the popular REVOLT series Drink Champs, X spoke to co-hosts DJ EFN and N.O.R.E. about the impending release and confirmed at least two of its special guests.
In a preview clip from the episode, X reveals Griselda’s Conway The Machine, Westside Gunn and Benny The Butcher as well as the late Pop Smoke are all featured on the album.
“I got the Griselda boys, Pop Smoke,” he says. “That’s what type of new I’m doing.” When asked if he’d ever met Pop Smoke, X replied, “No. The growling was just a coincidence,” prompting N.O.R.E. to say, “If you and 50 Cent had a baby, that’s Pop Smoke.”
X thought about it for a split second and said, “That would be awkward. But he would have the baby! He would have the baby! It would be ours, but he would have it! I get it.”
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DMX hasn’t released a proper studio album since 2012’s Undisputed but following his epic Verzuz battle with Snoop Dogg last July, he’s clearly raring to go, especially since he’s finally secured his freedom. X walked out of Gilmer Federal Correctional Institution on January 25, 2019 after serving roughly one year behind bars for tax evasion.
X turned himself in July 2017, posted $500,000 bail and was briefly allowed to go home on house arrest. However, after delivering a dirty drug test, a judge ordered him to go to rehab as long as he was wearing an ankle monitor.
The 50-year-old rap vet has struggled with substance abuse for the majority of his adult life but has seemingly been on a good path over the last couple of years. As part of the 2020 Ruff Ryders Chronicles documentary, he opened up about his battle with multiple personalities, something he rarely addresses in public.
When asked if there were parts of himself to help him cope with his mental health, X (born Earl Simmons) replied “yes” then paused before adding, “They’re different things. There’s a few things, a few people in me and they get me through life.”
Pressed for more information, he added, “I wouldn’t want anyone to know anything. I don’t talk about them. You already got me talking about them. Nope.”
But in another segment, X’s ex-wife Tashera Simmons suggested “Earl” is the child who was there before his father left and his mother “didn’t know how to handle him.” Consequently, Simmons said the more aggressive persona of “X” was created “to protect Earl to take on all the trauma of his childhood” called him “the angry one.” Meanwhile, “DMX” is the entertainer who looks out for “Earl,” but he’s “so much nicer.”
X later explained, “They’re there to get me through life. I don’t know if I made ’em or if God gave ’em to me, or maybe circumstances and situations did.”
Watch the clip below.