I wouldn't normally describe the procedure behind interviewing a high-profile name—the back-and-forth with handlers, the scheduling changes, the negotiations, etc.—but I don't normally interview DMX, who, 14 years after his debut single "Get at Me Dog," remains one of hip hop's most mercurial and explosive figures.
At the Rock the Bells press conference Wednesday night to discuss the Sept. 1 and 2 show at PNC Bank Arts Center, festival host and MC Supernatural looked at the panel, which included Jadakiss, Jim Jones and Prodigy, and called it "the hip hop Avengers." If that's true, DMX is the Hulk, an id-driven figure equal parts cunning and impulsive.
After 90 minutes of interviews with the other panelists, everyone was sticking around for X. It was Waiting For Godot as directed by Hype Williams. When he eventually appeared, he darted around the room; his sizable crew behind him making it look like a flock of birds was swarming through the Santos Party House basement.
As far as I could tell, though, X had no publicist or handlers with him. And when we finally did get time with him, it was man unfiltered. "Raw f**kin' energy," said the rapper, when asked what he'll bring to Rock the Bells (as if anyone expected anything different).
Check out the video above to hear his thoughts on being a role model, collaborating with Machine Gun Kelly, (who discussed the collabo with us earlier this year) about the the sole rapper that he's checking for today and the one word to describe his new album Undisputed.