DMX gets one last opportunity to shine with “Exodus.”
HONORABLE MENTION. TAKE CONTROL
Don’t sleep on DMX love songs, y’all. “Take Control,” his latest, is smooth as f**k! How can you not f**k with “Take Control?” The song features a classic Marvin Gaye sample (It samples Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” hit), a beat that will make your wife want to do something strange for a piece of change, classic flows (He kind of uses the flows he used on “How’s It Goin Down”) and pimpadocios lyrics from DMX, and a sly-ass verse by Snoop Dogg. Much like “Skyscrapers,” I feel like this track is one of the most complete ones on this album.
I saw a collaboration between DMX and Bono coming from a mile away.
I truly believe that “Skyscrapers” is one of the most complete, most impactful, most unique, most touching, and most commercial-ready tracks on Exodus. What will definitely draw you to the song is Bono’s hook, but don’t sleep on DMX’s verses; he opens up about his relationship with GOD, the demons he battled, and his positive mentality in them. Because of his passing, the song might f**k around and give you chills.
4. WALKING IN THE RAIN
I recommend that you take notes while you listen to “Walking In The Rain.”
“Walking In The Rain” is definitely one of the most powerful tracks on Exodus. The song features lyrics by DMX that will let you know how much he was trying to change his life while he was still on this earth, a hook by Denaun that is beyond chilling, and a wisdom-filled/aggressive verse by Nas (He puts up a great verse). I compare this song to DMX’s version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” from back in the day.
3. HOOD BLUES
Folks from two different New Yorks spit serious bars in “Hood Blues.”
“Hood Blues” features a cartoonish beat that definitely caters to Griselda’s sound. It doesn’t matter, though, because DMX kills s**t by coming across as his usual demented, violent, and erratic self in the song. Matter of fact, I’m not even sure I would call what he did on the song rapping. When it comes to Griselda, Westside Gunn blesses the song with gunshot sounds galore and lyrics that will remind you that he calls shots (Both figuratively and literally); Benny The Butcher blesses the song with NBA-related punchlines and lyrics that are full of threats; and Conway The Machine blesses the song with lyrics that will remind you that he destroys beats and is hood-certified.
2. BATH SALTS
In two months, we have gotten two tracks that feature both Nas and Jay-Z; “Bath Salts” is the latest.
“Bath Salts” is so serious, the song’s beat is filled with sirens. What JAY-Z hits us with over the beat is a verse that features old-school flows and royal lyrics, what Nas hits us with over the beat are sturdy flows and lyrics that will remind you how much of a real one he is, and what DMX hits us with is ferocious deliveries and lyrics that will remind you that he was always down for smoke.
So you are telling me that they decided to call a track featuring JAY-Z, Nas, and DMX “Bath Salts?” They should’ve called this s**t something like “Holy S**t.”
1. THAT’S MY DOG
Opening Exodus with “That’s My Dog” was genius. The song features a few dudes that actually came up with DMX.
If you grew up on DMX, “That’s My Dog” will strike a chord with you. Not only does the track feature a super catchy hook by Swizz Beatz (By the way, how great is Swizz Beatz on this album), but it also features hood-certified, pro-black, violent, and hella gritty verses by Jadakiss, Styles P, Sheek Louch, and DMX.
DMX’s chemistry with The Lox is fantastic.
SONG BY SONG BREAKDOWN
1. THAT’S MY DOG (4/5)
2. BATH SALTS (4/5)
3. DOGS OUT (3/5)
4. MONEY MONEY MONEY (3/5)
5. HOLD ME DOWN (3/5)
6. SKYSCRAPERS (4/5)
7. STICK UP SKIT (N/A)
8. HOOD BLUES (4/5)
9. TAKE CONTROL (4/5)
10. WALKING IN THE RAIN (4/5)
11. EXODUS SKIT (N/A)
12. LETTER TO MY SONG (4/5)
13. PRAYER (5/5)
Exodus is exactly how I thought it would be: A little bizarre, a little ferocious, a little soulful, a little choppy, and a little nostalgic.
Man, I forgot how much I messed with DMX’s music. What I appreciate about him is that he likes to show the world all of him, even if that means he has to deliver his words in ways that are erratic, overly aggressive, and off-kilter. As for this particular album, I think the folks that put it together did a great job of mixing heartfelt music with gritty and old-school-sounding music. They also made sure to create collaborations with folks DMX worked with in the past and folks that he surely wanted to work with today. I know that DMX was a really hard person to understand, but based on how this album was crafted, he must’ve been a lot easier to understand as a musician.
Quincy is the creator of Ratings Game Music. He loves writing about music, taking long walks on beaches, and spaghetti that fights him back.