Is DMX back? After destroying a sold-out show last night in New York City—and making headlines after taking shots at Drake, Rick Ross, and Jay-Z in a recent interview—it certainly seems that way. We remain cautiously optimistic. After all, if X’s career has shown us anything, it’s that Earl Simmons can be both incredibly dynamic and incredibly destructive. There’s no telling when he might relapse on drugs, end up in jail, or any assortment of bizarre things that seem to happen to him with alarming regularity.
Either way, we’re glad to see that the X-Man is back on the right track. The Grand Champ seems hungry for his spot on top of the rap game once again. That’s why we got on the horn with Dark Man X for the briefest of conversations to see what his plans are for his upcoming album, Undisputed, his thoughts on Machine Gun Kelly and the new generation of rappers, and why he’s not too pleased with J.R. Rotem’s manager....
Interview by Insanul Ahmed (@Incilin)
Your album, Undisputed, is slated for March 27. Is that a firm date?
No, no it’s not. This is one of the problems I have with the label. They know damn well, if there’s no motherfucking way to ship on the day of March 1... and they know it’s no way they can reasonably expect to put it out on March 27. Yet they told me they had to think about it. That’s why they pushed the date back because of this, that, or the other.
I don’t like that. I don’t like that. I know, and you know, that it’s not possible, so what you waiting for to fucking tell me? They don’t let nobody know. I don’t like that. That just shows how a person is deep down. Sometimes, I don’t like the fact that I get treated clearly as I can be.
I want to believe somebody reached out for something. I want to believe in a better life. But sometimes, you can see right through it. And then, they not saying anything. It’s like you see the snake in the motherfucker.
Do you see the snake in your label?
I see the bullshit in them.
So how is the album progressing?
The album is incredible. I got Wiz, Res, T-Pain, Scott Storch. This new producer named Caviar and this fucking faggot named J.R. Rotem. No, J.R. Rotem is not a faggot, but his manager is a fucking faggot. J.R.’s manager is a fucking homo.
Why do you say that? Did he screw you over?
Yeah. You see, when one artist calls another artist, you have a bond. Even if you don’t know each other, we are able to get on the phone within a day or two. We are able to communicate with each other on a level that no one else, not even a manager, can deal with because we have that bond as artists. We know that as artists, I can get in touch with any artist and get them on the phone because we have a courtesy and respect to each other.
I don’t like sucker sh*t man. I can respect someone saying, “Nah. I’m not working with y’all. No. We can’t do it.” I can respect that. No is no. But that, “Wait, I’m going to call you right back,” “Hold on, he’s in a session.” Man, f*ck out of here.
About a month ago I called and said, “We need the files for that song ‘I Don’t Dance’ because that’s a single. We just wanted to keep it so next time we can give it to the radio.’ We know as professionals in the industry, I wouldn’t be able to sell until he got paid. So he knows that before the first opportunity that comes in, he’s going to get paid. He’s going to get paid before it gets pressed up and sold.
So what’s the problem with me? He hadn’t got paid yet. “Let me talk to him. I need the file man. If you have a problem with that, and if that affects our business, just let me know now, and I’ll pick another single.”
If another artist calls, you get on the phone with them, out of respect. They were like, “He can’t really talk. We’ve got to go. We’ve got to call back.” Then, a week ago, my man Jason calls J.R.’s manager again. I guess his manager heard me talking in the background because I was talking loud.
Jason said, “Hey, what’s up? I’ve got X on the phone. X wants to talk to you.” And he said, “Oh, I’m in a meeting. I’ll call you back.” If you were in a meeting, why the fuck would you answer the phone? Soon as he said, “X wants to talk to you” it’s, “Oh, I’m in a meeting.” After that his shit went straight to voicemail.
I don’t like sucker-ass shit, man. I can respect a motherfucker saying, “Nah. I’m not fucking with y’all. No. We can’t do it.” What the fuck, man. I can respect that. No is no. But that bitch shit? “Wait, I’m going to call you right back,” “Hold on, he’s in a session,” man, fuck out of here. I don’t like sucker shit.
Speaking of “I Don’t Dance,” how did your relationship with Machine Gun Kelly start?
Well, he’s been a fan for a long time. He reached out because he wanted to do a song with me. Then, I saw one of his videos, and I was like, “I like this kid’s energy.” What made me gain an extra level of respect for him was when he came into the studio. He had his people and I had my people in the studio, so we kicked everybody out. It was just me and him, one on one, and we just vibed and talked for two hours before we even played one fucking beat.
You built that rapport.
Exactly. He felt the way I felt. You don’t just want to walk in, drop a verse, and that’s it. He knows. It was like, “Let’s kick it. Let’s see where each of us is coming from.” That way you know better how to work with a person.
Right. So there’s a respect there between the two of you.
These new rappers are all chumps. I really don’t feel the need to disrespect anybody. The chumps know who they are. If I disrespect a someone, then he’s going to respond, and it’s going to get really ugly. It’s going to get really ugly, and they’re not ready for that.
I thought it was interesting that you’d work with him because he’s one of the young dudes that’s popping. I’d love to get your take on the new generation of rappers.
They’re fucking chumps.
All of them? So you don’t fuck with any new guys?
Nobody. I don’t care for any new rappers.
Well, Machine Gun is a new rapper...
I didn’t say I listen to him. I said I respect him. I like him now.
I see. So who do you think is a chump?
I really don’t feel the need to disrespect anybody. The chumps know who they are. If I disrespect a motherfucker, then he’s going to fuck around and respond, and shit’s going to get really ugly. It’s going to get really fucking ugly, and they’re not ready for that.
I don’t think any of these young dudes want it with X.
Nah. And that’s just it. It wouldn’t be X who runs up on them. They’re not ready for that. This time, you’ve got to save people from themselves. Sometimes you’ve got to be adult with this shit. Like they’re going to say the wrong shit and then something is going to happen to them. Like I said, I don’t even know these guys. I don’t want anything to happen to them just because I don’t like them. I don’t want to see them hurt or nothing, but they will get hurt. This is not a fucking game. This is serious shit.
So what is in the future for X? It seems like you’re positioning yourself to make a comeback.
Yeah. I feel like I did when I did my first album. The drive is there, the hunger. It has nothing to do with money. It just has to do with wanting to be the voice.