“Hood Blues” was released on Tuesday. The track begins with a flurry of sound effects and signature ad-libs. As Westside Gunn delivers Griselda’s known “Booms,” X follows up with his iconic gravels and growls. This set the stage as X enters Griselda’s world of grime and arts to create a bridge between one of the forefathers of street rap as we know it and what the feeling has morphed into today.
“Cats that play in the street, get ran over/I’mma make you hand over, everything you got,” X raps over a dark, jazz-inspired beat that is akin to Griselda’s trademarked sound. “Sometimes I can’t manage all the shit in my head/I was promised the world, but got the dirt instead/Stood in the light, I was bred to shed blood/It’s always gonna be f**k you, n***a, what!”
“Hood Blues” is the first single off DMX’s posthumous album, Exodus. X had been working on the album in the months leading up to his passing. Swizz Beatz—who was collaborating closely with DMX during this time—has decided to take on the project to make sure it is released properly. In the process, Swizz let it be known that Exodus is nothing short of a masterpiece.
During an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, Swizz talked about the features on the album.
The only tribute was the Moneybagg track. Everything else X was present and happy for. We had the conversation, and I told him, I said, yo, I know you don’t like a lot of features, but I think it’s time that people should see that other people love you as well and you’re respected by serious, serious artists. Although you’re humble, although you don’t really have features, let’s have fun with it, come out the gate. Then the next album, we can get back to how you want to do it, but let’s have some fun. Let’s give them something they can’t expect. They’re not expecting you and Bono. They’re not expecting you and Alicia. They’re not expecting you and Griselda. They’re not expecting you, Jay, and Nas on one track. You know what I’m saying? They never expected an Usher with letter to my son, call your father, you know? He just loved the idea of it, but he was a little sneaky about it because in his mind, he loved that those people was, he was able to work with them. On the other hand, he figured out it was less work for him. He really loved it. He was like, oh, I only got to do three verses? Okay, tell Lil Wayne let’s go. So that was the good, the good part, man.
Listen to “Hood Blues” above.