X gon give it to ya!
The Undisputed rapper has experienced the good and conquered the bad, but over the past decade DMX still hasn’t let his trials and tribulations hold him down.
It’s been six years since DMX released an album, but the “How’s It Going Down” rapper is back and better than ever!
GlobalGrind caught up with the It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot rapper on the eve of his seventh studio album release, Undisputed.
GlobalGrind had a long discussion with DMX about everything from politics to Nicki Minaj’s alter-egos, Nas ghostwriting rumors, violence in hip-hop, and of course, his new album.
Check out our exclusive interview below and stay tuned for part 2 and part 3 of our DMX interview still to come this week!
GlobalGrind: Can you tell me about the journey of recording this album, and deciding what you wanted to put on the album, and what you were going to leave off?
DMX: First of all, this album has gone through like three different names, and different songs as well. It’s a whole new album. Just wanting to get it out there and seeing a need for it, that was the most frustrating part…every time I go outside people are like “Yo, dog when are you dropping something?” It’s been frustrating. It feels good the date is finally here. I just can’t wait to see what it do.
I know you said your album went through a few name changes. What made you stick with Undisputed?
That’s how I feel I am, in terms of what I do, and when I drop an album. It’s new challenges, and it’s a reminder I’m still the champ.
What’s your personal favorite track on the album?
It depends on how I’m feeling. If I want to work out or beat somebody up, a catchy joint like “Frankenstein” or “Fire,” but if I’m just taking a ride, thinking about life, it’s “Cold World” or “Keep Your Head To The Sky.” Like I said, it all depends on what mood I’m in or what I’m doing.
You got a chance to work with rap newcomer Machine Gun Kelly. He’s a huge fan of yours. How was it meeting with him, and is it weird to meet artists who are self-proclaimed stans of you?
Not really. A lot of artists that I’ve met, let me know they’re huge fans of mine. He’s a good dude. I love his energy. One of the things I respect about him is that when we first met, it was like let’s just chill and vibe for a minute. We kicked it right at the studio. We just sat there, and vibed for like two hours before we talked about doing a song – even though the purpose of the meeting was to do the song. I think that’s really important. I think that’s something that’s being left out of the industry – relationships between artists, in general. When I was doing songs with people, we’d be in the studio together. Nowadays the standard is, send an individual a track, you lay your vocals and send it back. It’s weird. I have a lot of respect for him [MGK]. I love his energy.
Recently, Nicki Minaj rapped that she was endorsing Mitt Romney, and President Obama responded by saying, “I don’t know if that was Nicki Minaj, it may have been one of her alter egos.” Many people don’t know you’re one of the first rappers to create an alter ego.
Yeah, a few of them. There are more than a few floating around up in there.
I kind of feel like you inspired Nicki Minaj to come up with all those characters she has. She has the little evil boy “Roman” and you had “Damien.”
Little evil boy! I don’t really listen to her. I tolerate it, if it happens to come on the radio or if her music is in somebody’s car playing, but when she’s like “Waikikiiiiiiiiiiiii,” I’m like “there’s no f*cking way I’m ever going to listen to this b*tch again under no circumstances.” That was disrespectful. She stole two bars with one word. If that’s not cheating, I don’t know what is. [Laughs]
It’s our presidential election this year, if you were able to vote, would you vote?
Hell yeah, I would be voting!
You have rappers like Kendrick Lamar who don’t believe in voting, and I just want to get your opinion on voting.
Obama n*gga, Obama n*gga! There are no scandals that came up like the other presidents. If he is smoking weed and f*cking b*tches on the side, he got his sh*t on lock.
One of my favorite songs is “What These B*tches Want.” That’s one of my all-time favorites. Have you ever figured out what these b*tches really want from a n*gga?
They want you to f*ck them well, spend some time with them, and lie when you can get away with it. It might sound like some bullsh*t, but b*tches really want you to lie to them, as long as you can get away with the lie. They say they want the truth, but when they hear the truth, they like, “Oh My God! I wish I didn’t know.” So let me do what’s best for the situation and lie.
Honestly, people can’t handle the truth sometimes, so you have to lie.
Exactly! They never think about what happens when they hear the truth.
Ever since you shouted out all the girls names on “What These B*tches Want,” I always wondered, “why didn’t he say Brittany?”
I didn’t know a Brittany back then. Those were all girls I actually met and hollered at. Maybe it was a brief relationship or something. It wasn’t always sexual, but those were all actual girls I knew or were dealing with.
What’s your perspective on the state of New York hip-hop right now?
I like to listen to old-school R&B, my music, Scarface….no offense to radio, but I don’t really f*ck with them like that. I know 9 out of 10 times, they’re getting paid to play material. I’m not really feeling it like that. I’m glad that young black people are successful with the music. I’m not a hater.
Have you heard about rapper Chief Keef, the teenage rapper out of Chicago?
He’s making a lot of headway, but his music is also violent. I want to get your perspective on the violence in hip-hop.
There shouldn’t be any violence in hip-hop. You’re getting free clothes. Basically, it’s free money. You’re getting lots of p*ssy. What’s the violence for? Just rap! Get your money, and live your life. Raise your kid. Why are you worried about what another man says? It’s not that serious. If you have beef like that, you shouldn’t be rapping anyway.
After talking to you for these past 10 minutes, I can tell you’re in such a good place.
Everyday I get closer to God. Everyday my will to do the right thing gets stronger. I am in a good place. I’m comfortable. I don’t have nearly as much as I had before, but now I appreciate more of what I have. I used to have 36 cars. I used to go outside, and just pick a car. Now I only have about 15, and I’m like, “I’ll take this one out, and wash it.” Spend a little more time with them.
Does it affect you that you’re not getting as much money as you used to get?
No, not at all! I want to appreciate things. As long as I have clean clothes, a roof over my head, have a few dollars in my pocket, my stomach is full, I’m alright. There was a time when I was on tour where I was getting mad at money. I was getti
ng 125K. Each after party I’m taking out 10-15 racks just for a walk through. This was my after party money, but it was getting to the point where it was too much. I had it in every pocket. It’s like a rock is in your back pocket. You really don’t need that much money…I was just getting it because it was there. One thing I do – I urge everyone to do the same thing – is pay the ties. Give 10 percent back to your lawyer, because he made it possible for you to have it. He’ll keep it coming as long as you do what you’re supposed to do.
I know you and Nas are good friends. He was surrounded by crazy rumors that Jay Electronica and stic.man of Dead Prez were ghostwriters for him. How do you feel about that?
I don’t believe that.
Is ghostwriting a hip-hop dark secret?
It’s a felony! It’s an A1 felony. People do what they do. I’m not fooling it. There’s power in spoken word. I’m not giving my words to someone else, and have it really mean nothing. You have to say it with enough emotion to make somebody believe it.