The ‘Dog’ DMX Barks @ VIBE…confirms new project is on the way

dmx-news

via VIBE

It’s the No. 10 seed no one saw coming. Nearly three years since his last album, Year of the Dog… Again (Ruff Ryders/Def Jam, 2006), and just one month since being released from an Arizona jail stemming from a series of arrests for drug possession, animal cruelty, and identity theft, DMX is still going strong in VIBE Presents The Best Rapper Ever, going up against Bracket 1’s No. 3 seed, Snoop Dogg, in Round 4’s battle of the Dogs.

To date, the man born Earl Simmons has already knocked off The Game, 50 Cent, and LL Cool J, not a bad run for a troubled superstar who’s spent much of the past five years making more headlines for his brushes with the law than his signature multiplatinum growl on the mic. But with news of a new album on the way (at Hot 97’s Summer Jam this past weekend in New York, producer and longtime collaborator Swizz Beatz promised the Dog’s return in 2010), and the threat of more jail time avoided for now (earlier this month he was given 18 months of supervised probation plus fines for assaulting a Phoenix corrections officer), the unpredictable rapper tells VIBE in this exclusive interview that he’s ready to re-enter the game.

VIBE: It’s been nearly three years since you released your last studio album. During that time you have been involved with a series of legal problems and did jail time. What ran through your mind when you heard that you made it to the sweet 16 bracket of VIBE’s Best Rapper Ever tournament with other hip hop giants like Nas, Rakim, Jay-Z, The Notorious B.I.G., Andre 3000 and 2pac?

DMX: It’s a blessing, man. It lets me know that [all of my work] paid off.

It seems the fans haven’t forgot about you in terms of DMX being an influential rapper. We should have more fans that get to participate and have a say so in who they think is the best. Or who’s done the most for them, know what I’m saying? Because you can’t give someone that type of title without asking the fans.

Now, I know you go back as a hip hop fan. Tell me right now, in any order, who are the five MCs/hip hop groups that really did it for you coming up? Who are the people that you looked at and said, “You know what? I want to be on that level.”

Whodini, Run-D.M.C., Rakim, Big Daddy Kane, and Kool G Rap.

Everybody’s been naming Big Daddy Kane as one of their favorites. He’s also in the remaining 16. What is it about Kane that many of today’s fans might sleep on?

The first time he came out, the first song I ever heard, was him rapping on a song called “Just Rhyming With The Biz” with Biz Markie. And his voice was hard and his flow was laid back but it was still gangsta. Kane’s delivery was crazy.

Earlier this week at Hot 97’s Summer Jam show in New York, Swizz Beatz, who has been your main producer over the years, told the fans that you were coming back out with a new album sometime in the near future. Have you started recording yet?

I’m working on it, man. I’m working on the album right now. Getting this shit done. I got a few more songs to go. I got a crazy joint with Sean Kingston. Fucking sick, yo. Fire. And I got some shit with Swizz that’s ridiculous.

Are you working with any other producers besides Swizz?

I just hit Kanye West the other day for some beats. Also, the same people that I been fucking with, like Dame Grease. I’ve been working on this project for so long, I forgot who else gave me fucking beats. I’m just glad working with Grease and Swizz could still happen.

What is your whole frame of mind in working on this album? What do you hope to achieve with it?

I wanna shut niggas the fuck up!

What are some of the things that you been hearing?

Oh, that he ain’t coming back out. That it’s over. That [DMX] stays in trouble. All that extra shit.

You were recently sentenced to 18 months probation for an aggravated assault that happened while you were in an Arizona jail. Is this the last news we will hear about DMX being involved with the law?

Well, I’m still on probation, so it is what it is. I’m just working man. That’s where my focus is: Working.

Do you think recording this album has given you the focus you need to stay out of trouble?

Yeah, definitely. Definitely.

Do you still call Arizona home, given all of the legal problems you have faced while living there?

Arizona’s been a headache, man. Arizona’s been a fucking headache.

Where do you plan to move?

I got to wait a few months.

There has been talk of the Ruff Ryders crew getting back together. What are your thoughts of reuniting with The LOX, Eve, Swizz, and the rest of the guys?

It would be a good idea to do a project like that.

Do you have a target date for your new album?

Hopefully this year, man. I’m just getting it done. The release will be in the hands of the powers that be. I just want to say thanks for the fans for their continued support. I ain’t going to let you down. You will get what you expect from the Dog.

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