Beats, rhymes and life are three of the corners where hip hop intersects. Few other TV shows have been able to cover all of these angles in-depth and authentically quite like REVOLT TV’s “Drink Champs,” which thrives on its candid conversations with the biggest and most influential figures in the game. In honor of such a one-of-a-kind show, REVOLT will be recapping each weekly “Drink Champs” episode, so you can always catch the gems that are dropped in each lit interview.
On the latest episode of “Drink Champs,” N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN pay homage to the legacy of iconic rapper and longtime friend of the show DMX with a tribute of his greatest moments on the show, as well as hilarious stories from his peers and collaborators. The Yonkers, New York native, who passed away April 9, endured years of grinding before taking the game by storm with a succession of standout guest appearances throughout 1997 and 1998. Unleashing his own chart-topping multi-platinum debut, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, in ‘98, X anted up later that year with Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, which also debuted atop the Billboard 200, making him the first artist of any genre to achieve that feat. Releasing three more subsequent chart-topping albums (... And Then There Was X, The Great Depression, Grand Champ) within a four-year span and making a transition into acting — starring in blockbusters like Belly, Romeo Must Die, Exit Wounds, and Cradle 2 the Grave — Dark Man X enjoyed one of the more illustrious careers in entertainment and will forever be loved.
To help give fans a recap of the episode, REVOLT compiled a list of nine things we learned from the “Drink Champs” DMX tribute show. Take a look at them below.
1. On The N.O.R.E. Song That Saved His Life
During his debut appearance on “Drink Champs,” DMX revealed his favorite N.O.R.E. song of all time and how it showed him the impact his own music had on the public. “It’s an honor and a blessing, first, let me say that,” X says of his invitation to be a guest on the show. “How I fuck with my man right here, N.O.R.E, since from ‘Now we on the run eating.’ And I was able to better understand how my music could influence people to the point where they all tell me that a song might’ve saved [them] because one of his songs saved mine. [It] saved mine, real shit.”
2. On N.O.R.E.’s First Time Meeting DMX
Both releasing their solo debuts in 1998, DMX and N.O.R.E. crossed paths on numerous occasions throughout their respective careers. However, N.O.R.E. recalled his formal introduction to DMX and how the encounter was influenced by the presence of a dog. “The first time I ever met you was at Battery Studios, your dog walked in our session,” N.O.R.E. says to DMX. “When he walked in the session, I believe one of my friends kicked him or pushed him. But the dog came back to you and [I remember] the first words you ever said to me. when you walked in the room, you was like, ‘Y’all niggas don’t like dogs?’”
3. On Releasing Two Albums In The Same Year
Of the many feats accomplished during his legendary run, releasing two chart-topping albums (1998’s It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood) within the same calendar year may be the most impressive by far. DMX shared what led him to do what, at the time, was a groundbreaking feat. “What happened was by the time I had got my deal, I felt like I was vindicated,” he admits. “I was like, ‘Yes, finally!’ I felt like it was owed to me. After I made my first album, an offer was made to me that if I was to drop another album or record another album within thirty days, I get a million dollars.”
4. On The Validity of Murda Mook’s DMX Story
During a previous episode of “Drink Champs,” rapper Murda Mook recalled an instance in which DMX’s dog inserted himself in a battle the Yonkers legend was engaging in on a Harlem block, a story that went viral. However, DMX debunked the story. “Definitely an urban legend,” X scoffs. “Urban legend like a motherfucker. I’ve never done that. Maybe I was already rapping and the dog growled, and I was like, ‘Chill, chill, chill,’ but he thought it was part of the rhyme. And I went back to the rhyme so smoothly, he thought it was a part of it, he was like, ‘Oh shit!’”
5. On The Difference Between Dogs and Humans
As synonymous with dogs as any figure in the history of pop culture, DMX’s affinity for the four legged creature is one he wears on his sleeve. The rapper broke down the differences between dogs and humans, and provides an example of the strength of a canine’s loyalty. “I love dogs more than people,” he acknowledged. “A dog doesn’t know how to lie to you. A dog doesn’t know how to be fake. It is what it is. You can catch a dog taking a shoot, whoop him with the newspaper and then somebody knocks on the door and then he’s gonna be like, ‘Pause on the ass-whooping, let’s address this situation,’ and be ready to kill for you right after you whooped his ass, that’s unconditional love.”
6. The Origin of His Love For Dogs
Catching his first criminal case after stealing a dog from a junkyard as a juvenile, DMX reveals the moment he knew that canines were a man’s best friend, indeed. “I went in the freezer, took two hot dogs and we went up to the roof,” he recalled. “And you know how on top of the roof, it’s that extra structure that leads to the elevator shaft? That little tiny building that’s on top of the roof? So, I tied him to the step, I sat there with him, head in my lap. Gave him a hotdog, I had a hotdog, fell asleep. Maintenance man woke me up, tapping my foot, [like], ‘Yo, I gotta get to the elevator, your dog won’t let me by,’ I’m like, ‘Wow.’ All I did was kept it real with this nigga, gave him half of what I had and stayed there ‘cause he laid his head on my lap. That’s when I knew, it was like, ‘Fuck people, give me a dog.’”
7. Skillz On DMX’s Love For Skinless Chicken
Many of the guests who have appeared on “Drink Champs” have their own personal story of a memorable encounter with DMX, including Virginia rapper Skillz, who shared an intriguing tale from a tour stop. “We stop at a KFC,” the “Rap Up” creator began. “Me and DMX walk into the fucking KFC, the girl is standing there like, ‘I know y’all niggas.’ She’s looking at X, she’s looking at me. I’m like, ‘Yo, let me get a 12 piece, coleslaw, mashed potatoes and let me get some biscuits. Can I get some hot sauce?’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, sure,’ and she’s like, ‘What are you having?’ X goes, ‘Yo... I wanna get... I wanna get an eight-piece, no skin.’ She goes, ‘What?’ He says, ‘Eight-piece, no skin on my chicken.’ She said, ‘You don’t want no skin on your chicken?’ [He said], ‘No skin, original.’”
8. His Take On The Cause of 2Pac’s Demise
Over the years, the artist most commonly compared with DMX has been Tupac Shakur, as both superstars’ mix of aggression and vulnerability resonated with listeners. However, DMX believed Pac’s lack of a strong foundation in the streets played a part in the icon’s ultimate demise. “A big part of the problem was he didn’t have what New York niggas had,” X explained. “Like, ‘I’m from New York, this is my block, bam,’ he didn’t have his crew. One thing, being a New York nigga, I know for a fact is you don’t go to Cali and live there without having the goon squad. It’s like, homie, you can be the hardest nigga in the world, but you don’t go way over there. No one ever knew where he was from. No one ever knew. We’ve lived all over the place, but when you’re from somewhere, then you got niggas that grew up with you that had your back, that loved you since you were in kindergarten and will fuck with you for real.”
9. On Appearing On “Drink Champs”
Notoriously difficult to pin down for press obligations, DMX told N.O.R.E. why he decided to make appearing on “Drink Champs” a priority and how it was a reflection of his love and respect for his fellow New Yorker. “You gotta give yourself the flowers, let me explain to you why,” X said. “You said we got love for each other, the love is incredible. You did with the love what you were supposed to do with the love, appreciate it. And that’s why it turned into what it turned into because you did what the fuck you were supposed to do with it!”