DMX : The Fight in the Dog

DMX is the last of a dying breed in Hip-Hop – the unpredictable. These days everything from singles to beef has become formula concocted within boardrooms and color-by-numbers marketing plan. But, nobody gave the plans to DMX, the Yonkers-bred lyricist. And fortunately, if they did make him privy to what he’s supposed to do, he […]

DMX is the last of a dying breed in Hip-Hop – the unpredictable. These days everything from singles to beef has become formula concocted within boardrooms and color-by-numbers marketing plan. But, nobody gave the plans to DMX, the Yonkers-bred lyricist. And fortunately, if they did make him privy to what he’s supposed to do, he probably wouldn’t do it anyway. The Rap maverick is set to release his new album, Here We Go Again, but X is already expressing his mind state on producer Dame Grease’s “Gangsta Breed” mixtape. “The industry don’t give a f**k about you/ The industry couldn’t make a dime without you/ I’m sick of this industry s**t/ The industry playing you like a industry b*tch,” he spews.

Yet, after once announcing his retirement and distaste for the Rap game, DMX is back. And the Dog is as vocal as ever with an opinion on Def Jam under president Jay-Z, the police, his record and his own capricious nature. A lot of artists like yourself are facing the situation of your album dropping at the same time they are doing jail time. Will you, like others use that as a marketing tool?

DMX: That ain’t marketing, that’s the police! Going hard on n***as for nothing nahmean? It’s like “driving while Black”, “walking while Black,” all them s**ts are felonies. But aren’t you not supposed to be driving at all?

DMX: Listen, that ain’t got nothing to do with nothing aight? If I ain’t break the law, you shouldn’t pull me over anyway. How do you know it’s me? My windows are tinted. Nahmean? I still got my name on the back of my truck. But you shouldn’t assume that it’s me driving! Why do you have your name on the back of the truck and you know the cops are watching you?

DMX: Yo, one cop told me-he pulled me over- cool brotha, I forgot his name. I wouldn’t blow him up anyway but, he pulled me over and he told me one precinct has a betting pool, a f**kin’ betting pool on who was gonna bring me in next. It was up to like $2,000. See, you should be ridin low, in a Celica or something!

DMX: F**k that! I go hard. I ride with the dog. Reach in here and try to turn something off if you want to muthaf**ka, you’ll pull back a nub. You don’t play around. How much of your amped energy is the liquor and how much is just “you”?

DMX: It’s just me, it’s just me. It’s all me. This is how I am. I’m just an amped muthaf**ka ya know what I’m sayin? POW! Bang a n***a, all that! You know what I’m sayin? You know what I mean? So tell me about your new album?

DMX: Ha! Typical X. Hot to death. It’s like, ya know, it’s a listener’s album. I got the bangin beats and all that – but I mean please, please listen, that’s what it’s for. So what should your audience be listening for?

DMX: The truth. What’s different on this album than on your previous releases?

DMX: Nothing. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it. It’s been a minute since you dropped your last joint.

DMX: Yeah, but I walk the streets and it’s like I just dropped one. N***as is like, “Ya s**t is hot, ya s**t is hot!” What keeps you continuously dropping records and making new music?

DMX: Real life. I love music man. I just f**kin’ love music so I’m always gonna write. Whether I decide to give it to the world or not, I’m gonna write it. And I’m gonna capture it you know what I’m sayin’? So you don’t do this only for the bread?

DMX: S**t, if I did this for the bread I would quit a long time ago! It took me 13 years just to get signed yo! So if I did for the money I woulda been quit, like “You can’t be serious”. I never did it for the money. I did it cause I love doing it and I was pretty much the best at it. Like on and off the radio – the best at it, period. Tell me this, you’re at Def Jam…

DMX: Yup, Left Jam. “Left Jam”? Elaborate.

DMX: They carry n***as to the left. N***as let feelings get involved with s**t, you know what I’m sayin? It’s not business at the end of the f**kin’ day. It’s “I don’t like him,” and “He doesn’t cooperate,” and “He won’t have dinner with me.” and you’re like “Come on buddy, am I f**kin you? What the f**k is the f**kin’ problem? Why do I gotta be up in your muthaf**kin face every f**kin day?” But there’s a whole new system now and a whole new stuff. How does it feel having Jay now as a boss, when he was formerly your peer?

DMX: I don’t have a boss. I don’t have a boss. I honestly have to say, that whoever or whatever entity gave him that position, it’s putting a strain on our relationship. We have a good relationship. It’s a mutual respect. We came up together. We done had battles and got over it. We did songs together! We rocked together! And for them to put-it’s like they’re pitting us against each other. Typical f**king cracker s**t that they do. Typical s**t that they do to break a muthaf**ka down: “Here, I’ma put him against him, and we’ll see what happens. Either way, we win.” It’s hard man, but it’s nothing that I’ll let him do to influence my project. Nor do I think there’s anything that he would do, out of the respect that we have for each other to influence my project. We’re both artists. He’s cool as s**t. We have that respect for each other. And when we say “What’s up?” and “How you been?” it’s real. It’s not dick riding s**t. No industry n***a to another. It’s “What up, dog? How you been man!?” Namean? About 15 years ago, we was rockin’ together on the pool table – goin’ hard! So it’s like, it’s real s**t! But the fact that they set it up like that then make me the first major project- I don’t like the way they did that. But I’m not gonna change what I do. And I’m not gonna let anybody interfere with what I do. Speaking of Jay, there were rumors that you had also retired from the game, but now you’re back. What made you leave, and what sparked your return?

DMX: I did announce that I was walking away from the industry because I got tired of dealing with fake ass n##### and I knew that if I kept dealing with these muthaf**kas I was gonna end up putting somebody in the dirt, you know what I’m saying? I was gonna end up f**king somebody up. So before I did that, I said, “You know what, I’ma walk away,” because this ain’t the industry I came in to. It ain’t the industry that I fell in love with. It ain’t the industry that I wanted to be a part of. It’s some other s**t. It’s about money. It’s being manipulated. And y’all n##### don’t even have talented muthaf**kas making it right now. Y’all n***as are making artists. God makes artists! Y’all n***as are playing God right now! Y’all making and creating artists and s**t and saying, “If I play the record a thousand times a day muthuf**kas will like it.” It’s like if you give a muthaf**ka nothing but bulls**t to eat, he’s gonna learn to enjoy it. Ya know I’ll throw a lil’ gravy on it-they gonna learn to enjoy the bulls**t. In the absence of the truth, bulls**t will prevail. So I got tired of dealing with it you know what I’m saying. So I stopped. And I called Mase, ‘cause I know my true calling in life is to become a pastor. I decided I was gonna be a pastor. So I said, “F**k it, I’ma walk away from this s**t and I’ma just, “Alright Lord I’m ready.” And I waited, and I waited. What were you waiting for?

DMX: You know, for him to give me a sign. So, I called Mase. Powerful word in that brotha. I hit him and I’m like, “Yo dog, wassup man? God ain’t ready for me.” He said, “Yo, he gave you a talent for a reason and I mean what gives you the right to turn your back on that talent just because you gotta deal with fake muthaf**kas? N***a, he done put you through worse than that and it was nothing. You looked forward to that!” I used to look forward to it. Like when I was robbing n***as and I used to look forward to seeing fake muthaf**kas, those was the easiest n***as to get. It’s like, what gives me the right to turn my back on my talent, on my God given gift. Just cause I gotta deal with a lying muthaf**ka or anotha one talking s**t. Nothing gives me the right. I just gotta start bangin ya’ll muthafuckas around like [sound effects of beating someone up] I said, “Yo. F**k it. That’s what I’m gonna do. I’m going hard.” I think it’s safe to say people have been missing that talent.

DMX: You know what? That’s another thing. Everywhere I went, “Dogs the streets miss you!” “Dog the hood needs you!” I was like, “Aight, I gotta do it. I gotta do it!” I love the people. The people feel you, but you get your share of negative of press…

DMX: Believe enough of what you hear, and half of what you see. What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?

DMX: I really don’t even know, because I don’t pay attention. If a muthaf**ka don’t say it to me, he don’t mean it. N***as talk s**t all day, around corners, under tables and all that extra s**t, but if they don’t bring it to me they don’t mean it. You know what I’m sayin’? Were you always like that, or did the game condition you to be that way?

DMX: Nah, I’ve always been like that. ‘Cause that’s some sucka s**t. If I got something to say about a n***a I’m a bring it to him. Like, “You listen. You p*ssy”. Straight up. I bring it to n***as, “Yo, f**k you.” All that talking around b*tches, that s**t is some sucka s**t. I ain’t got time for that. If you mean it let me know you mean it. And it’ll be what it is.