DMX Receives Posthumous Honor Courtesy Of Five Finger Death Punch

DMX was a crossover star in the purest sense of the phrase. He didn’t compromise his sound or his unique approach to songwriting, but his charisma was so overwhelming that it allowed him to bridge the gap between hip-hop and heavy metal. It’s easy to forget, but DMX was one of the artists who was at Woodstock ’99, and the only rapper. DMX’s influence on heavy metal is significant, in fact, that he’s still impacting Billboard charts three years after his death.

Five Finger Death Punch recently put out a deluxe version of their 2022 album Afterlife. The album’s lead single was “This Is the Way,” a DMX collaboration that mashed up the band’s song “Judgement Day” and X’s “The Way It’s Gonna Be.” The collab really struck a chord with listeners, topping the Billboard Hard Rock Digital Song Sales chart. Billboard reports that “This Is the Way” pulled in a staggering 1,546 sales, and gave Five Finger Death Punch its 17th number one. The song’s impressive performance on the Hard Rock charts, however, was a first for DMX.

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DMX Landed His First Hard Rock Number One

The rapper born Earl Simmons may have been a favorite among heavy metal crowds, but he never had a charting single on the Hard Rock charts during his lifetime. The achievement is bittersweet, of course, as X is not here to enjoy it. Five Finger Death Punch guitarist Zoltan Bathory, told Loudwire that he’d wanted to reach out to DMX years ago. Unfortunately, the schedules of the two artists never seemed to line up. After X died in 2021, Bathory felt compelled to make the collaboration happen as a tribute to the rapper. The band was able to get their hands on isolated DMX vocals, and the rest, as they say, is history.

“We got an opportunity with some of [DMX’s] master recordings,” Bathory told the outlet. “We got a green light on that — we can use these verses, these lyrics. So we had the masters and we basically reverse-engineered it. There was music under it, we took off the music and wrote new music and then sort of melded it with our style.” The melding of styles obviously worked. DMX appears to be in higher demand than ever, as evidenced by this chart topper and recent comments made by Hitmaka. The producer revealed he’s sitting on multiple X collabs, and is waiting for the right time to drop them.

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Updated: April 20, 2024 — 3:01 am