The Harlem producer and longtime friend of the late rapper made the claims via Instagram on Wednesday, less than a week after we received X’s first posthumous album, Exodus. The project was executive produced by Swizz Beatz, and included contributions from Jay-Z, Nas, Snoop Dogg, Westside Gunn, Avenue Beatz, and AraabMuzik; but Grease was noticeably absent.
“Yall Ready? @dmx #Amen Produced By @damegrease129,” the producer wrote. “I’ll give the masters to @defjam only … New album coming! The legacy continue. The Passion and Soul Recorded at my house with 50 more songs!”
Grease played a key role in X’s early career, as he handled the bulk of production for the rapper’s 1998 debut album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. The multi-platinum project, which debuted at No. 1, included hits like “How’s It Goin’ Down,” “Stop Being Greedy,” and the Sheek Louch-assisted “Get at Me Dog,” all of which were produced by Grease.
The hit-maker would go on to work with his good friend X over the following year, crafting beats for the rappers 1998 sophomore album Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, 1999’s ...And Then There Was X, 2010’s Undisputed and more. Grease spoke about his relationship with X in a 2010 Vibe interview, amid X’s highly publicized legal battle and addiction struggles.
The producer told the outlet he was trying to get X “back into a free creative mode,” and had been working with X in his home studio.
“We’ve been recording in my crib. There’s no pressures, no media, no studio time count. We got a couple joints for mixtapes, a couple joints for underground just trying to actually get his career back together,” Grease said, before referencing a video in which X is seen screaming in a courtroom. “He’s good, besides this silliness right here. Hopefully it works out because he didn’t violate the judge or anything [in that video]. He just spoke to the camera. But it’s almost like anything he does is amplified a thousand times over. They said he was acting crazy. He just said, ‘Yo, they fuckin with me.’”
X died at age 50 on April 9, about a week after he reportedly suffered a heart attack. Shortly after X’s hospitalization, his attorney Murray Richman told the Associated Press he wasn’t sure what triggered the heart attack and could not confirm the reports that it was caused by a drug overdose.