DMX’s legacy lives on.
In the wake of his passing, Swizz Beatz is looking back on one of his final collaborations with his fellow Ruff Ryder on “Been to War.” The French Montana-assisted track, which was released a week after DMX’s death, was originally intended for X’s album, but ended up on the second season of Epix’s “Godfather of Harlem” soundtrack.
“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.
The super-producer, who curated the “Godfather of Harlem” soundtrack, paused while he reflected on one of the last songs they did together. “Yeah, that might’ve been the last one,” he said.
“He sent it to me and he was just so excited to be included in ‘Godfather of Harlem’ again, beyond the theme song,” said Swizz. “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.’”
And X kept his word. “He had it to me the next day. 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.”
While they weren’t in the studio together for that song, Swizz and X were in the same room when they recorded 2019’s ‘Godfather of Harlem’ theme song “Just in Case” with Rick Ross.
“He was just in a great competitive space. Like, you know, we had a lot of energy in there,” recalled Swizz. “And Forest came and spent some time with him, the whole team from ‘Godfather’ came to show him love. And he went in there and did that track in like 15 minutes. And that was the fastest as I seen him write something in a long time and go right to the booth with no corrections.”
In addition to producing the “Godfather of Harlem” soundtrack, the Verzuz creator is executive producer of X’s upcoming posthumous album Exodus, which is due May 28. He recently played the project for some of X’s family and friends including Busta Rhymes, Jadakiss, and DMX’s son Xavier.