DMX Tears Up NYC, Talks Album Delay and Fresh Start

150 Pop Stars' Real Names


"It don't get no better than this," DMX told the crowd near the end of his triumphant set at S.O.B.'s in New York on Thursday night (Feb. 23). The beleaguered New York native littered his first Manhattan show in years with a decade and a half of hits: after stomping onstage and launching into "We Right Here," X tore through cuts like "What These Bitches Want," "Get At Me Dog," "Party Up" and "Ruff Ryders' Anthem," the latter of which featured special guest Swizz Beatz onstage.

One day before the comeback show, DMX -- who finished his latest prison stint last July -- told that he's thankful to be in a position to headline a sold-out Manhattan show. "Any performance I do, I give 110 percent," says the 41-year-old rapper (real name: Earl Simmons). "But it's New York -- it's special. I haven't performed here in years. It's just a blessing."

Aside from running through the classics, X told a photographer onstage, whom he called the "homie with the tight jacket and the camera," to "fall back"; played a game of "sip-and-pass" with the audience and a bottle of Hennessy; took off his shirt to reveal pristinely chiseled abs; led the sweltering crowd in a prayer to close out the show; and growled a lot. He also performed a handful of new tracks, including "Get Your Money Up" and "Time To Get Paid," that will presumably appear on his forthcoming seventh album, "Undisputed."

Although DMX's first full-length in six years is slated to come out on March 27 via United Music & Media Group, the rapper says that fans shouldn't expect to see a new album hitting shelves on that date. "I don't see it being March 27," he says. "The fact that [the label] chose to tell me that makes me reconsider whether or not I made the right decision to fuck with them. It's only one album, though. It'll be what it is. But I think [it will come out] second quarter, definitely."

DMX Working 'Nonstop' on New Album, Calls Current Hip-Hop 'Too Corny'

Overall, DMX says that his first experience at UMMG has been "extremely frustrating," and that he sees "Undisputed" being a one-off with the label. "It's like, what the fuck, man?" says DMX. "Do what you say you're gonna do -- do me like you would do any other artist. Like, damn, stick to the fuckin' script, you know? Mean what you say. You don't gotta lie to me."

Despite the ill will, DMX says that he's so excited about this new release that the recording experience reminded him of putting together his 1998 debut, "It's Dark and Hell Is Hot. "I'm grateful for that feeling of hunger, of desire," he says.

Here is the setlist for DMX's show at S.O.B.'s:

We Right Here
Who We Be
One More Road to Cross
The Professional
Ruff Ryders' Anthem
Get It On the Floor
Get At Me Dog
Stop Being Greedy
Money, Power & Respect
Touch It Remix
How's It Goin' Down
It's All Good
What These Bitches Want
Where the Hood At
Y'all Niggaz
Get Your Money Up
Time To Get Paid
Party Up
X Gon' Give It to Ya
A'Yo Kato
Lord Give Me a Sign