DMX recently did a Q&A from prison with Vibe Magazine where he spoke on his new album, reality show and starting over. Over the past few years he has probably seen the inside of a jail cell more than he has seen the inside of the studio. Before getting locked up, DMX was recently caught on camera yelling out, “fu*k Jay-Z.” The MC says he has not spoken to Jay-Z since he became the president of Def Jam. It sounds to me as if he feels Jay had something to with him being released from the label. He explained to Vibe how the two became friends and why its “Fu*k Jay-Z.” Check out a few excerpts from the Q&A below.

The old Def Jam?

Exactly. Where when you went to the office, you could hear music coming out of every office. When they were hungry looking for music and listening to music and actually paid attention to what people wanted and what people had to offer. When I left there I was like wow, this is strange. A bunch of interns in the offices. It was so quiet that it was eerie. So I walk around the office to see what they’re doing, and one person was doing their laundry online. This doesn’t feel like a record label. This feels like a fucking law office or something.

So what really went wrong there?

I have a few inside people who confirmed my suspicions that they were trying to make me leave. Like ‘Yeah they just wanna get you out of there. ‘ That way they can do what they wanna do and this , that, and the other. If you remember, Jay quit. He retired from rapping. But he became president of Def Jam.  He gave me the call, he called me personally. So I’m like ‘yeah that’s wassup! My mans is in a position now, he’s the president of the label I’m on, we good! Next thing you know, he’s out of retirement and I’m off the label. What a coincidence.

Damn. Have you even been able to have a conversation with Jay after that? I remember when it happened.

I’ve not talked to him yet, since. But I had a show November 18th, before I got locked up–No November 12th I had the show. And somebody in the crowd was like ‘What’s up with Jay-Z’ and I was like ‘Fuck Jay-Z’. And it ended up all over the place. So he called Swizz, Swizz called me, and he tells Swizz ‘Yoo, why your man dissin me? I was gonna do a song with him’—Coulda, woulda, shoulda. Fucking bullshit. I don’t wanna hear that shit. And like ‘Yo, can you just get him to say he ain’t mean it’—NO! I’m not saying that. What I did say is if he wanna talk to me, I’m man enough to let him know why it’s ‘Fuck You’, but it’s still ‘Fuck You’! That’s what it is. I’ll let you know why, I can do that. It ain’t like you gotta worry about me running up on you shooting you. It ain’t that serious. You don’t owe me nothing. But if you want an explanation as to why it’s ‘Fuck You’, I’ll be more than happy to tell you why.

So the riff between you and Jay is actually a personal matter? I know a lot fans over the years were really curious to know if you and Jay were actually real life friends.

We were real good friends. He came down and heard the album, was like ‘Yeah, that’s wassup. The album’s hot. When you shoot the video?’ Directly after that he started doing some funny shit. You know, that night we went out and shot pool together. He could call me anytime. He called me one time in New York like ‘Yo I want you to come hear this Beans joint.’ I jumped in my truck. I’m a free spirit. I’m not running around with 10 people all the time. I drove down there. I lived in Upstate New York, Mount Kisco and shit. So I jumped in the Suburban, flew down there, ‘What’s up nigga? I’m here for you. That’s how I get down. We played pool there, we hung out in the studio. We ain’t get no work done, but we had a good time. Our birthdays are like a few days apart. So we had a lot in common. And the thing that’s crazy about us is our relationship was a real relationship. Because initially, I didn’t like him and he didn’t like me, so we began to battle. And the battle was like maybe 91 or 92. When he was with Original Flavor.

On top of the pool tables and all of that.

Exactly. In the pool hall in the Bronx. So we had history So it took years for us to get to the point where we were cordial. And we owe that to Irv Gotti. Irv was his man and Irv was my man. I had to tell Irv ‘Yo let me know when he got a show, so I can battle him again.’ Cause I wasn’t trying to kill him or nothing. It wasn’t beef. But I wanted to let him know that you can’t fuck with me, no matter how nice you think you are. And that was only for a few years. We realized what it really was. It was just some battle shit. We realized when you’re young like that you sometimes mistake when you battle somebody for beef. But we realized, there’s no beef involved. I don’t even know you to not like you.  We earned each other’s friendship. And we became good friends. We wasn’t hanging out all the time—we two different type of niggas. But you know, if I see him somewhere we hang out.

Something DMX doesn’t normally do with every single artist.

Yeah, cause I don’t fuck with too many artists.

That’s what I mean.

I fuck with Swizz Beatz. I fuck with Nas, I fuck with Busta, Cam, Ghostface, Raekwon—if we see each other somewhere, we hanging out. I’m like ‘Yo where you going’ or if they ain’t doing nothing they’ll roll with me and if I ain’t doing nothing I’ll roll with them, that type of shit.

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