DMX is the last of a dying breed in Hip-Hop Ė 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 heís supposed to do, he probably wouldnít 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 Greaseís ďGangsta BreedĒ mixtape. ďThe 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.
AllHipHop.com: 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 ainít marketing, thatís the police! Going hard on n***as for nothing nahmean? Itís like ďdriving while BlackĒ, ďwalking while Black,Ē all them s**ts are felonies.
AllHipHop.com: But arenít you not supposed to be driving at all?
DMX: Listen, that ainít got nothing to do with nothing aight? If I ainít break the law, you shouldnít pull me over anyway. How do you know itís me? My windows are tinted. Nahmean? I still got my name on the back of my truck. But you shouldnít assume that itís me driving!
AllHipHop.com: 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 wouldnít blow him up anyway but, he pulled me over and he told me one precinct has a betting pool, a f**kiní betting pool on who was gonna bring me in next. It was up to like $2,000.
AllHipHop.com: 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, youíll pull back a nub.
AllHipHop.com: You donít play around. How much of your amped energy is the liquor and how much is just ďyouĒ?
DMX: Itís just me, itís just me. Itís all me. This is how I am. Iím just an amped muthaf**ka ya know what Iím sayin? POW! Bang a n***a, all that! You know what Iím sayin? You know what I mean?
AllHipHop.com: So tell me about your new album?
DMX: Ha! Typical X. Hot to death. Itís like, ya know, itís a listenerís album. I got the bangin beats and all that - but I mean please, please listen, thatís what itís for.
AllHipHop.com: So what should your audience be listening for?
DMX: The truth.
AllHipHop.com: Whatís different on this album than on your previous releases?
DMX: Nothing. If it ainít broke donít fix it.
AllHipHop.com: Itís been a minute since you dropped your last joint.
DMX: Yeah, but I walk the streets and itís like I just dropped one. N***as is like, ďYa s**t is hot, ya s**t is hot!Ē
AllHipHop.com: What keeps you continuously dropping records and making new music?
DMX: Real life. I love music man. I just f**kiní love music so Iím always gonna write. Whether I decide to give it to the world or not, Iím gonna write it. And Iím gonna capture it you know what Iím sayiní?
AllHipHop.com: So you donít 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 ďYou canít be seriousĒ. 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.
AllHipHop.com: Tell me this, youíre at Def JamÖ
DMX: Yup, Left Jam.
AllHipHop.com: ďLeft JamĒ? Elaborate.
DMX: They carry n***as to the left. N***as let feelings get involved with s**t, you know what Iím sayin? Itís not business at the end of the f**kiní day. Itís ďI donít like him,Ē and ďHe doesnít cooperate,Ē and ďHe wonít have dinner with me.Ē and youíre like ďCome on buddy, am I f**kin you? What the f**k is the f**kiní problem? Why do I gotta be up in your muthaf**kin face every f**kin day?Ē But thereís a whole new system now and a whole new stuff.
AllHipHop.com: How does it feel having Jay now as a boss, when he was formerly your peer?
DMX: I donít have a boss. I donít have a boss. I honestly have to say, that whoever or whatever entity gave him that position, itís putting a strain on our relationship. We have a good relationship. Itís 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-itís like theyíre 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: ďHere, Iíma put him against him, and weíll see what happens. Either way, we win.Ē Itís hard man, but itís nothing that Iíll let him do to influence my project. Nor do I think thereís anything that he would do, out of the respect that we have for each other to influence my project. Weíre both artists. Heís cool as s**t. We have that respect for each other. And when we say ďWhatís up?Ē and ďHow you been?Ē itís real. Itís not dick riding s**t. No industry n***a to another. Itís ďWhat up, dog? How you been man!?Ē Namean? About 15 years ago, we was rockiní together on the pool table - goiní hard! So itís like, itís real s**t! But the fact that they set it up like that then make me the first major project- I donít like the way they did that. But Iím not gonna change what I do. And Iím not gonna let anybody interfere with what I do.
AllHipHop.com: Speaking of Jay, there were rumors that you had also retired from the game, but now youíre 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 niggas 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 Iím saying? I was gonna end up f**king somebody up. So before I did that, I said, ďYou know what, Iíma walk away,Ē because this ainít the industry I came in to. It ainít the industry that I fell in love with. It ainít the industry that I wanted to be a part of. Itís some other s**t. Itís about money. Itís being manipulated. And yíall niggas donít even have talented muthaf**kas making it right now. Yíall n***as are making artists. God makes artists! Yíall n***as are playing God right now! Yíall making and creating artists and s**t and saying, ďIf I play the record a thousand times a day muthuf**kas will like it.Ē Itís like if you give a muthaf**ka nothing but bulls**t to eat, heís gonna learn to enjoy it. Ya know Iíll throw a lilí 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 Iím saying. So I stopped. And I called Mase, Ďcause I know my true calling in life is to become a pastor.
I decided I was gonna be a pastor. So I said, ďF**k it, Iíma walk away from this s**t and Iíma just, ďAlright Lord Iím ready.Ē And I waited, and I waited.
AllHipHop.com: 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 Iím like, ďYo dog, wassup man? God ainít ready for me.Ē He said, ďYo, 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!Ē 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. Itís 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 yaíll muthafuckas around like [sound effects of beating someone up] I said, ďYo. F**k it. Thatís what Iím gonna do. Iím going hard.Ē
AllHipHop.com: I think itís safe to say people have been missing that talent.
DMX: You know what? Thatís another thing. Everywhere I went, ďDogs the streets miss you!Ē ďDog the hood needs you!Ē I was like, ďAight, I gotta do it. I gotta do it!Ē I love the people.
AllHipHop.com: The people feel you, but you get your share of negative of pressÖ
DMX: Believe enough of what you hear, and half of what you see.
AllHipHop.com: What do you think is the biggest misconception about you?
DMX: I really donít even know, because I donít pay attention. If a muthaf**ka donít say it to me, he donít mean it. N***as talk s**t all day, around corners, under tables and all that extra s**t, but if they donít bring it to me they donít mean it. You know what Iím sayiní?
AllHipHop.com: Were you always like that, or did the game condition you to be that way?
DMX: Nah, Iíve always been like that. ĎCause thatís some sucka s**t. If I got something to say about a n***a Iím a bring it to him. Like, ďYou listen. You p*ssyĒ. Straight up. I bring it to n***as, ďYo, f**k you.Ē All that talking around b*tches, that s**t is some sucka s**t. I ainít got time for that. If you mean it let me know you mean it. And itíll be what it is.