DMX was a 1990s legend, and the late rapper (real name Earl Simmons) was an unstoppable force in his prime who seemed able to make anthems with ease. From ‘What’s My Name?’ to ‘Where the Hood At?’, the New York rapper was an unparalleled hit-maker and was even one of Bossie Badazz’s favourite rappers. With so many rappers naming the late DMX as one of their favourite artists, of course, it would be interesting to find out who the late MC enjoyed listening to.
Well, in an interview with GQ magazine, Simmons did just that. However, instead of naming his overall favourite rappers, he narrowed it down by naming his favourite new school rappers. It is always a compliment to get a shout-out from a veteran in the game, and DMX is undoubtedly a veteran. He signed to Ruff Ryders Entertainment in the early 80s but gained traction in the early 1990s, so he knew a thing or two about the hip hop game.
Firstly, he was asked about his experience at Kanye West’s ‘Sunday Services’ and how he felt about it. He responded, “I wouldn’t call it a church service. There’s no word. It’s joyful, which God says to do. We about to make a joyful noise. I enjoyed it. It was moving. I didn’t know what to expect, though. I didn’t know what to expect.” The late rapper actually led the congregation in prayer during the service as a guest speaker and was invited by West directly.
Further on in the interview, Simmons was asked if he was enjoying any of hip hop’s newer artists. However, only two got the stamp of approval from Simmons as he replied, “Kendrick [Lamar] is dope and J. Cole. Ya know, lyricists.” He then went on to list some of his old school favourites, such as Jimmy Spicer, Big Daddy Kane, Rakim, Slick Rick and Kool G Rap.
So Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole were DMX’s new school favourites, and as far as the late rapper was concerned, they were “lyricists”. That is a big deal.