Swizz Beatz Talks Convincing DMX To Add Featured Artists On His ‘Exodus’ Album

Listen to X’s “Hood Blues” featuring Westside Gunn, Benny the Butcher, and Conway.

DMX’s first posthumous album, Exodus, is set to hit DSPs this Friday, May 28. The project will contain guest appearances by some of the biggest names in Hip Hop and R&B.

Rap icons Jay-Z and Nas are reuniting again on “Bath Salts.” Moneybagg Yo is on a track titled “Money Money Money.” The Griselda crew contributed to “Hood Blues.” Usher provided vocals for “Letter to My Son (Call Your Father).”

Additionally, Exodus will feature The Lox, Lil Wayne, Alicia Keys, Bono, Mr. Porter, Snoop Dogg, and more. DMX’s longtime collaborator Swizz Beatz is a credited performer on “That’s My Dog” and “Dog’s Out.” Swizz also executive produced the LP.

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Apple Music 1’s Zane Lowe caught up with Swizz Beatz to talk about Exodus. The New York City-born super-producer laid out how he convinced DMX to add more artists to the project before the Yonkers-raised emcee passed in April.

Swizz Beatz told Lowe:

The only tribute was the Moneybagg track. Everything else X was present and happy for. We had the conversation, and I said, “Yo, I know you don’t like a lot of features, but I think it’s time that people should see that other people love you as well and you’re respected by serious, serious artists. Although you’re humble, although you don’t really have features, let’s have fun with it, come out the gate. Then the next album, we can get back to how you want to do it, but let’s have some fun. Let’s give them something they can’t expect. They’re not expecting you and Bono. They’re not expecting you and Alicia. They’re not expecting you and Griselda. They’re not expecting you, Jay, and Nas on one track. You know what I’m saying? They never expected an Usher with letter to my son, call your father, you know?” He just loved the idea of it, but he was a little sneaky about it because, in his mind, he loved that he was able to work with them. On the other hand, he figured out it was less work for him. He really loved it. He was like, “Oh, I only got to do three verses? Okay, tell Lil Wayne let’s go.” So that was the good, the good part, man.

According to Swizz Beatz, the positive reaction to the DMX/Snoop Dogg Verzuz battle helped inspire X to move forward with his latest body of work. Over 2 million total viewers watched the legendary emcee run through some of his greatest hits like “Get At Me Dog,” “X Gon’ Give It to Ya,” “Slippin’,” and “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem.”

Swizz stated:

I just knew he was ready. I knew that he started working on something, and it wasn’t coming out the way he did. Then, he basically was like, yo, let’s get Batman and Robin back on again. Once he started that, he was clear. He was sober as well. Then he did Verzuz, and then when he did Verzuz and went to the next level because he sees the people still had love for him. A lot of artists don’t really know how the people feel about them. People can see you in the street, but music wise and how is that appreciation. Yeah. You want to take a picture, but do you really mess with me? Then when he did Verzuz, all his songs go to number one. He seen everything chart again. I showed him all of it. Then he was just pumped up. He was like the only thing I don’t like about my Verzuz is I wasn’t able to do something new.