As we continue to celebrate the life and legacy of the late Earl “DMX” Simmons, one of the primary ways he will live on is through his music.
On Monday, DMX’s longtime producer, friend and Ruff Ryder, Swizz Beatz, announced that a “posthumous studio album of all new original material” by DMX will be released on May 28, via Def Jam Recordings. Swizz will serve as executive producer of the project.
Here’s more background info about the upcoming album, via the official press release sent to The Root:
Themes of redemption weave throughout EXODUS, the first Def Jam album by DMX in 18 years, since 2003’s Grand Champ. The new album shares its name with DMX’s son Exodus Simmons. The album artwork is by original photographer Jonathan Mannion, who captured some of the most iconic images of DMX throughout his career.
“My brother X was one of the most pure and rare souls I’ve ever met,” Swizz said in a statement. “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.”
In addition to new DMX music serving as a great way to honor the rapper-actor who died on April 9, the New York State Senate declared December 18 as “DMX Day” to coincide with DMX’s birthday.
“The only artist who has spent a career inspiring fans around the world to bark and rhyme in loud bursts of manic energy; only then to get them to read, rap, think and cry in private moments of honest thought and introspection,” journalist Smokey D. Fontaine, co-author of E.A.R.L.: The Autobiography of DMX (2003) wrote. “He was a man of faith who proudly and publicly depicted aspects of his life through his prayers. No one in hip-hop has ever done it better. No one has meant more.”