In the week after DMX’s death, “Been to War,” his Swizz Beats-produced single was posthumously released on the “Godfather of Harlem” soundtrack. The song, which features French Montana, was actually intended to be on the late emcee’s upcoming album, Exodus, according to the Verzuz cofounder.
“I actually made that record for X and wanted that record for X, but then we was coming with the show. And so it was like, you know what, it’s perfect,” Swizz told Rap-Up before revealing it might have been the final song he and the Yonkers native worked on together before his untimely death.
“He sent it to me, and he was just so excited to be included in ‘Godfather of Harlem’ again…,” the producer said of X, who appeared alongside Rick Ross on “Just in Case” — the theme song for the show’s first season.
“And he just was like, ‘I’m going to get it.’ ‘Cause he was taking a little long to finish the verse because he was traveling. And then he called me, and he was just like, ‘I’m on it. I’m going to the studio, and I’ll have it to you by tomorrow.’”
“He had it to me the next day,” Swizz continued. “And I thought it was super fresh, and he just was super appreciative ’cause he was a big fan of Forest [Whitaker], big fan of ‘Godfather,’ and it’s something he actually had fun doing.”
Over the years, the producer and DMX’s collaborations were done virtually as they sent updated versions of songs back and forth to each other until they were completed. When recording X’s Exodus album, however, they worked together in person, something they hadn’t done years.
“[It was] the first time me and X locked in for like 13 years, like officially…This is us like in the studio every day like really, really zoned out and making magic,” the beatmaker previously told “Ebro in the Morning.” “He put his time and effort…this is something different.” Swizz even deemed the project a “masterpiece.”