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DMX - Exodus - cd limited edition -

Price per Unit (stuk): €22.95

Iconic New York rapper DMX began work on what would be his eighth studio album, Exodus, shortly after the release of 2012's Undisputed. His death in 2021 shifted the record from being the triumphant comeback it was intended as to a memoriam, its urgency and spiritual undertones recontextualized by DMX's passing. Exodus is relatively short, clocking in at just under 40 minutes where earlier studio albums hovered around hour-long run times. It's also the most collaboration-heavy DMX album, featuring appearances by rap royalty as well as pop stars like BonoUsher, and Alicia KeysDMX's patented growl is in fine form on album standouts like the simmering "Hood Blues," and "Bath Salts," a spirited track that finds XNas, and Jay-Z taking turns over a pushy beat. Moneybagg Yo brings a fluid lyrical presence to "Money Money Money," flowing over an instrumental built on almost absurd classical harpsichord samples. In a strictly rap mode, Exodus delivers respectable results, with DMX sounding energized by his collaborators. The album takes on a more disjointed feel when it attempts to cover too many bases. Bono's hook on "Skyscrapers" makes the song feel like a blatant bid for commercial appeal, and a dated one at that, sounding designed for radio crossover success circa 2003. This comes along with the Marvin Gaye-sampling, Snoop Dogg-featuring, and generally laid-back fun of "Take Control," the driven and hooky Alicia Keys collaboration "Hold Me Down," and a string of tracks that close out the set with a deeply introspective and spiritual feel. Among those closing tracks, "Letter to My Son (Call Your Father)" is perhaps the strongest moment on the album, with DMX narrating a pained, conflicted message to his son from what feels like a place of estrangement and sorrow. It's emotionally complex and doesn't even hide its straightforwardness behind a beat, with X speaking directly over understated piano and violin. The raw honesty of tracks like this and the amped-up fun of some of the record's high-energy rap moments make Exodus a solid collection, but the shadow cast over the project by DMX's death highlights some of the inconsistencies and adds a heaviness and sense of unfinishedness that's palpable throughout.

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