Lets talk a little bit about the album, ďGrand ChampĒ. The producers youíve worked with. Youíve always found new people but thereís also some people youíve worked with in the past. Who are they?
DMX- Ummm people that like, you know what Iím saying, that I work with are the same people Iíve always work with. Grease, P.K., Swiss. You know. I always pick up new cats. Whoever got a hot beat. Iím not dick riding. Iím not chasing down the same nigga everybody else chasing down in order to get one beat. It ainít that serious. Iím not looking for a beat to sell my music.
Two heads is new ďWhere the Hood atĒ. How did u get hooked up with that?
DMX- D brought it to me in the studio. I was close to being done. I was pretty much like close to being done. I was planning on writing or coming with no new songs. But as soon as I heard the beat, it was like theres no way I can get away from this. I gotta blaze this one. Just like, thereís another one I just did a couple days ago. Have u heard it?
DMX- Itís about the blow. As soon as I heard the beat, I was like thereís no way I can walk away from this beat. Thereís no way.
Do you find that when youíre near the end of the creative process, finishing the album, thatís when all these hot new beats come in.
So its just a continuous flow. Ummmm you worked in a lot of different cities: Arizona; Chicago; L.A.
Is there some reason why you picked these cities?
DMX- Yea I pick them for different reasons. I pick each city for different reasons.
DMX-Arizona for instance is the desert. Its like peaceful. I can really get into the thought process out there. And I can ride the quads. You know. Ride all day, rap all night. You know. Arizonaís good for the soul.
What about the other cities?
DMX- I went to Chicago because Chicago was the hood. When I thought about ghetto, I though about Chicago. I hadnít been there in a while. So I said, let me go out there. I met my man Kato out there, rest in peace. You know.
Lets talk a little about Kato because in the video, thereís quite a few people wearing Kato shirts. Who is Kato to you?
DMX- First, he was a friend to me. You know what Iím saying. He was a friend to my family. His wife, my wife friends. Heís a husband, father and CEO of Denaro Records. Record label out of Chicago, got a couple artists just got signed. Just got a deal. That was my dawg. Dawgs for life. Kato rest in peace.
You have so many other things that youíre working on, Bloodline films for instance. You want to talk a little bit about ďNever Die AloneĒ and what people can expect from it.
DMX-ďNever Die AloneĒÖ.People can expect to see what theyíve never seen out of me in a movie, in a character. You know. Its not what Iíve been doing, you know, thus far. But its definitely something interesting, new. Something I think I carried. I carried better than my last two roles. Something I can relate to more. I read the books. Itís the first of the authorís, Donald Goines, books to be made into a movie. Iím honored to be the first to be given permission by his estate to do that. Like I said, its not what my fans have seen from me in movies.
Youíve been in like 8 movies already. So how is this one any different. Besides your personal involvement,Ö.
DMX- Because I think besides ďBellyĒ, this is like the realest role Iíve ever done. Its real with an undeniable truth to it. Its wrong, with an undeniable right to it. Thatís what it is. You know. Thatís what truth is.
And your son is in the movie?
DMX-Yea my son, my 10 year old son, Xavier. He playsÖHe plays my son. He plays the younger version. Because the son is also younger in the movie. Thereís a time lapse of 20 years, I think in the movie. You know, so Iím a young guy then Iím a older guy. So he plays the younger version of my son. And I bust him in the head with a bottle, like ďSit down, donít you get up.Ē Talk greasy to him, all crazy. I asked him while he was doing it if he enjoyed doing it. Because just because Iím doing it doesnít mean its something Iím going to push on my kids. ďYouíre going to do this and Ö..Ē. I want to let them pretty much be themselves and help them along the way. And he enjoyed doing it, wants to do more of it. So Iím going to be there for him.
Youíre involved in quite a few charitable efforts: the Mary Ella foundation and your summer camp , Camp Ureka. But not a lot of people know that youíre involved.
DMX- You said a lot of people donít know?
A lot of people are unaware that you have been very active in charity work and reaching out to the community.
DMX- I donít reallyÖI donít really do what I do, for people to know about what Iím doing. You know what Iím saying. Whoever Iím benefiting, they know. And thatís all that really matters. I donít do it for ďCall channel 7! Call channel 9! Call channel 11. Tell them Iím over here giving away ď It ainít that serious. Im ah go, and Iím ah do it. And be out. Cause thatís what I came for, was to do it. I ainít come around to do it and sit back and have u tell me how great I am for doing it. You know what I mean. Its like ďYea man, I see you needed it. Iím outĒ You know what I mean.
Tell us a little bit about what the Mary Ella Foundation does.
DMX- Umm, Well what it does and what its going to eventually do are two different things. Right now what weíre doing isÖ.uhhh we have an annual thanksgiving dinner. You know for the homeless or kids in group homes. Stuff like that. They can have family on Thanksgiving. Iím there myself, you know what Iím saying, serving the food and all that. We give away the uhÖwe visited one of the homes I was in and ummm Tim Village. Weíve been there, I donít know how many times in the past couple of years. Christmas time ..umm we give away stuff to the kids, donating computers. Stuff like that. Harlem hospital, Christmas. Thereís a lot of stuff. Wherever thereís a need, you know. Whateverís brought to my attention, we knock it out. And it helps.
UMM I just want to jump out the album, and talk aboutÖCan you tell us what guests are on the album.
DMX- We haveÖCam is on there. UmmmÖ Chingyís on there. B.S. is on there. Drag is on there. Who else is on there?
JadaKiss, Styles P. I heard you did a track with 50 Cent?
DMX- Well I did the track. I did do the track. You know what Iím saying. But ummÖI donít know if itís gone be on the album.
Thereís a lot of talk of you moving into the ministry. Do you have a course of action planned out?
DMX- No, I haveÖactually the only thing I have lined up is the first step. And thatísÖyou go somewhere quite for a couple of months and just, you know, read my bible. And I think in doing that, or while Iím doing that, it will come to me how its supposed to go.
I donít know if you ever have the chance to read you fan mail on your web site.
Thereís quite a few fans that have made some suggestions on how you can go about that. You might want to ask Andrew to print that out for you. A couple of your fans that emailed questions to me to ask you today. They want to know, ďWhy is this your last album?Ē
DMX- Cause Iím sick of the rap game. Iím sick of this fucking industry, you know what Iím saying. Its run by the devil and 99% of everybody you deal with is a snake. It gets tired after a while, you know what Iím saying. And I know the lord has a calling on my life, you know what Iím saying. Iím not going to do both.
If you could control your output and put your own music out, is that something you would be willing to do. People are mourning the loss of DMX. Just be aware, your fans. There would be other ways that you can share what you have to give them. Have you considered that?
DMX- Yea but Iím not talking to him. You know what I mean. Iím not talking to him.
Any final thoughts you want to share.
DMX- Final thoughtÖ.ummm this is it. Itís the end of Dog world. When you fight your dog in the ring, each time he wins, he becomes a champ. One time champ, two time champ, three time champ. Iím a four time champ right now. When he gets five wins in the ring, under his belt, he becomes a Grand Champ. Thatís why its called Grand Champ. Because this is going to be my fifth professional win. For me, Iíve done pretty much everything there was to be done with this. Its going somewhereÖIím not really downward. Feel me. You know. To my fans, its not like Iím a disappear off the face of the earth. If you fuck wit me yo, fuck wit me for real. Walk with me.
Interview By Theda