Hip-hop is still reeling from DMX’s death. During a recent interview with Ebro Darden, the Wu-Tang Clan’s The RZA compared DMX’s distinctive energy to that of another late legend. 

“The first time I heard him was on the radio, with ‘Where My Dawgs At?’ That was ripping through New York on HOT 97…and I knew automatically that it was a real dude on the mic,” RZA said when recalling his first impression of the Dark Man X. “I don’t like to compare artist to artist, but if I was to compare energy as far as realness and rawness, I’d have to compare him to [Ol’ Dirty Bastard]. It was real, it wasn’t fabricated. When I had the chance to meet the brother, his spirit, his purity, it’s just pure. I just caught a spine tingle right there just thinking about his purity.”

Both DMX and ODB had their lives tragically cut short. But while they were alive, they created seemingly unrealistic—but 100% true—stories the only added to public persona.

Along with reflecting on DMX’s legacy, RZA touched on Raekwon and Ghostface Killah’s Verzuz battle. As the creator of the Wu-Tang Clan, seeing Raekwon and Ghostface get the love and attention they deserve was a proud moment for RZA. 

“It was beautiful because they exuberated joy. Not only through the screen, but through the music as well,” he told Darden. “We forget that they got big, strong, unique personalities. When Ghost came back with the fur on, you should’ve seen me, I was cheek to cheek in the backroom in the green room like yo, Tony’s just zoning in, feeling good.”

Listen to the RZA’s full conversation with Ebro Darden on Apple Music 1 below.