DMX Gon’ Give It To Ya…But He Now Wants Trap Beats To Do It
For more than one year, DMX has reportedly been preparing his eighth album. In May of 2016, Swizz Beatz, one of X’s longest collaborators, confirmed his deep involvement, as well as potential tracks from Dr. Dre and Kanye West. While Dre and X have never released work together, a pre-College Dropout West produced “Dogs Out,” an album cut from 2003’s Grand Champ.
While the Dre and West work has yet to surface (and neither producer has confirmed their involvement), Swizz Beatz led off the year assuring fans that X’s album was coming. Days later, he dropped collaborative track “Bain Is Back.” The true treat followed though, as Swizz Beatz dropped an audio bomb in February when he premiered an unheard song by DMX, Jay Z, Nas, and Jadakiss. Four onetime Def Jam Records hit-makers (who have worked together in different factions) on one song made Hip-Hop rejoice, and crave more.
While Swizzy presumably produced that song, DMX surprised some this past weekend when he took to social media to solicit “Trap Beats” from followers. Not only was a onetime #1 Hip-Hop artist crowd-sourcing sounds when he was thought to be working with proven hit-makers, he was seeking a new pastiche altogether.
Throughout the last 25 years, DMX’s music has traditionally been aggressive, matching his vocal delivery. The highest charting song of Earl Simmons’ career came from early ’98’s feature on LOX single, “Money, Power, Respect.” Also featuring Lil’ Kim, the Hitmen-laced song was distinctly East Coast, made at a time when many Hip-Hop anthems were broken in mainstay clubs like The Tunnel. On his own, several months later, X’s first Top 40 single, “Get At Me Dog” featured the same sample, played similarly to an EPMD classic. Produced by Dame Grease, that song would be a crucial introduction to the Yonkers, New York MC, in his first of five #1 albums. The highest chart appearance within his catalog is X’s beloved “Party Up.” Released in 2000 and produced without samples by Swizz, the song was a charged, highly electronic release that lived up to its name.
As X asks for a Trap sound, a term that did not appear to exist in Rap music in the late ’90s, Heads may want something to compare to. One of the biggest appearances of X’s career since his last release was care of MGK’s Lace Up. On that album from Cleveland, Ohio’s Bad Boy Records artist, The Dog appeared on “D3MONS.” While the tempo and energy of that song differed from what Heads may expect on D’s albums, it was produced by longtime musical partner Dame Grease.
Other early 1990s New York City veterans have been able to transition to Trap tracks. Roc Nation’s Fat Joe and Jay Z are two prominent examples, while X affiliates such as N.O.R.E. and Styles P (by way of Rick Ross’ “Blowin’ Money Fast”) have also converted successfully.
Although completely independent, X’s last album, late 2012’s Undisputed, was a Top 20 debut on the charts.
As DMX makes his current sonic direction clear (and he never explicitly stated the beats were for his album), the Internet is up in arms. Should they be?