A stunning followup to their previous joint effort for DJ Khaled.
Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos by Getty Images
DMX’s posthumous album Exodus arrived on May 28 with a stacked tracklist — including the second Jay-Z and Nas collab in a matter of weeks. The album’s second track, “Bath Salts,” unites a trio of larger-than-life New York rappers, all on the same track for the first time. DMX had previously worked with Jay-Z and Nas separately in his late ‘90s heyday, first joining Jay-Z first on Mic Geronimo’s 1995 track “We Build It” and Nas on the 1998 Belly soundtrack song “Grand Finale.” And after squashing their legendary beef, Jay-Z and Nas joined forces a few times, most recently to boast about cryptocurrency wins on DJ Khaled’s “Sorry Not Sorry,” off his April album Khaled Khaled. “Bath Salts” finds Jay, Nas, and X further in their element, channeling their prime, with victory lap bars. To his winning point, Jay-Z even invites girls to “come be my Kardashian,” in a possible Kanye reference (although we sure hope Bey isn’t listening!). On top of that, the song features one of DMX’s best verses on all of Exodus, showcasing the authoritative aggression he could tap into like none other.
Exodus also features fellow New York hip-hop giants like the LOX and Swizz Beatz, who produced the album, along with rappers including Snoop Dogg, Lil Wayne, the Griselda Crew, and Moneybagg Yo, plus vocals by Bono, Alicia Keys, and Usher. The album was DMX’s eighth, and the late rapper’s first since 2012’s Undisputed and first on Def Jam since 2003’s Grand Champ. It had been in the works before DMX’s April 9 death, with the rapper, born Earl Simmons, alluding to the project in February.
Jay-Z, Nas, DMX Are a Force on Exodus Collab ‘Bath Salts’