On Mother’s Day, True, Apollo and I released the NXMBXRS project that we’ve all discussed doing for a while. Featuring the original members of the DAR lineup with appearances from frequent collaborators–DAR and otherwise–NXMBXRS was an album years in the making. I could go into detail about it, but I feel that True and Apollo did a better job discussing HS and the roots of DAR than I can (especially since they’re the double-OGs of the group, dating back to our middle school days).
The thing that grabbed me the most about doing NXMBXRS was that it felt natural to hop back on a project with True and Apollo and have it focus on us three. That’s no slight to the work we’ve all done with Elite projects–at all. However, getting the originators of the movement on tracks, you can feel the energies bouncing off one another. Everyone got their chance to start a song off ordo the heavy lifting on the song. If you saw the group texts we sent in prepping this album, you’d know that DAR is more than music. It’s a brotherhood, one that’s been going strong for the better part of the last three decades in some fashion. Brothers checking in on each other when things get wonky in life, sending shit to crack the others up. If I had to sum up DAR into a sentence, it’d be “this is my family.”
Now the music itself doesn’t slouch, either. Over 18 tracks, True, Apollo and I give rappity-rap fans something, the oldheads something, the melody lovers something and so on. It’s a project that, for me, encapsulates who DAR was when we first started but also who we’ve become as the years have gone on. Everyone’s older and wiser. But, truth be told, these brothers and I are probably even more hungry now than we were during the OG DAR days with Exodus or Leviticus. It probably helps that we’ve had the chance to grow into more-complete artists as well as serve as mentors to the next generation.
My favorite verse off the project isn’t my most-lyrical, but it’s one of my most-emotional ones on the album. I’m talking about “Beautiful Souls.” It’s fitting that the track and its parent album came out on Mother’s Day; I felt pretty down most of the time leading up to Mother’s Day. Listening to the track reminds me of where I was when Mama Young passed and the man I’ve become in the aftermath. It sucks celebrating Mother’s Day with a mother who’s no longer physically here, but it also helps me keep thanking God for the people who are still here, even if they don’t always know how much they mean to me.
All in all, the album is beautiful and I loved making it. Now, we’re onto the next one while still keeping this one on the ready.