- 11 May 21
Brooklyn rap icon DMX (Earl Simmons) died on April 9 at the age of 50.
A new album by late rapper DMX will be released later this month, featuring new material produced by Swizz Beatz.
Due to arrive on May 28 via Def Jam, Exodus marks the first album from DMX since 2012's Undisputed and marks his eighth overall. The last LP from the New Yorker to be released via Def Jam was 2003's Grand Champ/.
The album is named after the rapper’s four-year-old son, Exodus Simmons. DMX's eight-year-old daughter, Sonovah Hillman Jr, is also set to appear on the album, and recently told NBC that she planned to release her own album soon.
Friend of DMX and fellow artist Swizz Beatz executive produced the new record following the rapper's death in April.
The Bronx producer (real name Kasseem Daoud Dean) said in a press release:
"My brother X was one of the most pure and rare souls I’ve ever met. He lived his life dedicated to his family and music. Most of all, he was generous with his giving and loved his fans beyond measure. This album, X couldn’t wait for his fans all around the world to hear and show just how much he valued each and every single person that has supported him unconditionally."
The two rappers met when DMX – born Earl Simmons – was in his early 20s and Swizz Beatz was 16. The latter’s beat became the rapper’s hit single 'Ruff Ryders’ Anthem'.
DMX died on April 9 at the age of 50, with a widely-attended memorial service held at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on April 24.
The rapper was hospitalised for a reported drug overdose and heart attack.
“Earl was a warrior who fought till the very end,” his family said at the time. “He loved his family with all of his heart and we cherish the times we spent with him. Earl’s music inspired countless fans across the world and his iconic legacy will live on forever.”
Raised in Yonkers, New York, DMX began rapping in 1984, rising as a beatboxer for other artists and then issuing his own releases. His first five albums – 1998’s It’s Dark and Hell is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, ...And Then There Was X (1999), The Great Depression (2001) and Grand Champ (2003) – all debuted at No 1 in the US, a record-breaking run at the time.
The cover art for Exodus, seen below, was created by Jonathan Mannion.