DMX’s unwavering faith was evident through his interviews, performances, Instagram Bible study sessions and even the lyrics in some of his songs, but he reportedly wanted to release a full-length project honoring his relationship with God.
According to friend and fellow Ruff Ryder Swizz Beatz, the emcee recorded “a lot of material,” including a “set of music that’s all gospel.” His hope was to one day put together a gospel project.
“That’s where he wanted to end up,” Swizz said during a listening party for DMX’s posthumous album, Exodus. “He wanted to end up in the spiritual zone with his music.”
“That was like his dream dream dream,” he said of X’s desire to record a gospel album. “We gotta try to make that happen.”
DMX’s plans to drop a gospel record stem as far back as 2008 when he reportedly ditched his intentions to become a minister to return to the rap game.
“I [was] the first nigga to put out two albums in one year (It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood in 1998), now I’m gonna hit ‘em again — drop two albums on the same f---in’ day, yo,” X told MTV at the time. “A double album will make muthafuckas mad because they gotta spend more money — plus it’s already a long album. I’m talking about a hip hop album and a gospel album.”
The project, he explained, was to be called Walk With Me Now and You’ll Fly With Me Later. The first half of the album was supposed to feature his raw raps; the other half would show off his spiritual side and his ability to rap without cursing.
“How ‘bout that one?” he said. “No songs about bitches, no songs about robbing, just straight ‘Give God the glory.’”
Despite his goals to drop a gospel album, X was tired and wanted Exodus — named after his youngest son and a book in the Old Testament of the Bible — to be his final album. Swizz said that “he’s happy [DMX] got to complete the mission.”