It’s been a year since tragically DMX passed away from an overdose that led to a heart attack on April 9, 2021.

Still, his legacy lives on, with his fans, family, and friends keeping his memory alive. This week, for the anniversary, Jadakiss reflected on his favorite memories of X, who brought The Lox to Ruff Ryders.

“One day, he just came around because he would always come around the block randomly, and one day it was like, ‘Yo, X is looking for y’all,’” Jada told BET.com. “He brought [me and Sheek Louch] to Ruff Ryders. He brought us to [Joaquin ‘Waah’ Dean]  actually first. It was no audition or nothing like that. He was like, I’m signing and they signing with me.”

He continued, “We couldn’t sign the first time because we was too young. Our parents wouldn’t let us sign so we had to of course wait until we was 18, but when he knew he was about to make that move with them, for him to come to the block that day, he just showed us all this unconditional love.”

Elsewhere, The Lox rapper offered his opinion on how X would have reacted if he had seen the group’s Verzuz against Dipset.

“I think X would have loved it,” Jada said. “That right there, Verzuz is what we came from and that’s why it was so easy for us to do that. We started out in that same element together. We actually learned that shit from him. He rocked many a stage with two turntables and a DJ and just him with a mic in a black hoodie, black, dark glasses, and black Timberlands and just rip shit with no words, just instrumentals. We really really got that kind of shit from him. He would have been damn proud of us. He would have been in the crowd going crazy.”

Jadakiss also shared his favorite X song, an unreleased track called “Gotta Keep On Keeping It Up I Gotta Get On,” describing it as one of The Lox’s first posse cuts with X before they were signed by Ruff Ryders. It was never released. 

“It’s still one of my favorite ones just because it brings me back to a time when we was all trying to figure it out,” he said. “It’s just hot. Fortunately, we was all able to get on and for it never to be released it was like it was spoken to fruition. It was like a silent blessing.”

DMX and Ruff Ryders were inseparable entities, having released most of his catalog, including his back-to-back chart-toppers, 1998’s It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood.

Waah, one of the founders and CEOs of Ruff Ryders Entertainment, also remembered what it was like being at X’s side for all those years.

“In the early 90s, I took him on a bus ride to a Philly show from Yonkers,” Waah told BET, of a particular memory he had of the rapper. “I had some of the illest rappers on the bus, including, I believe, Big L…rest in peace. That was my first experience seeing X battle 40, 50 cats at once. He battled them all the way there and all the way back. Also, we took X to a show once and he performed right after Ice Cube and Eazy-E and they approached him after and were [interested in] him. The Dog was around for a long time—it just took us 12, 13 years to put him on.”

Waah also commented on why X stood out from his peers: “Even though he had his [internal] fights, he displayed his good, bad and ugly in front of the world. And everybody don’t have the guts to do that. He exposed himself to the highest level and kept true to who he was. A lot of people hide behind the curtains. He never sold his soul for money or fame, and that’s why he became iconic.”

Prior to his death, X was working on what would become his first posthumous album, Exodus, which arrived the month following his death. The project boasted features from  The Lox, Swizz Beatz, Jay-Z, Nas, Lil Wayne, Alicia Keys, and Moneybagg Yo, among others.

RIP DMX.