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DMX: Going Old School on New Album?

There's a glimmer of hope that Up On The Sun's DMX Rap Sheet will finally be put on the back burner as the hip-hop artist returns to the music world, determined, reportedly sober, and with new management headed up by Jason Fowler of J Mike Management & Entertainment, based in Mesa.

And it's about damn time. In the years since X's last outing, 2006's Year of the Dog...Again, the rapper has been less known for beats and more for dust-ups with the law (some of which have landed him in the slammer). At this point, his capacity for getting into trouble is well documented, but what about the reason we all paid attention in the first place? You know -- the music?

It may be too early to tell, but his seventh studio album, tentatively titled Redemption of the Beast, is looking to get him right back in the game. DMX has said that he's been working nonstop in the studio--and rumor has it he's right at home in a Valley studio he's frequented in the past--and plans to release the album this winter along with a supporting tour. According to our sources, DMX has spent some late nights in the studio, and such producers as Swizz Beatz, Dame Grease and Caviar have contributed beats to the album.

"I kind of took it back to how I felt on my first album -- the hunger, the energy, the hardness of it," says the 40-year-old rapper, according to Billboard.

In late September, a video for a new track called "Last Hope" was released on the Internet, although it's unknown if it will appear on the album. DMX also had an awesome performance at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards, along with calm clarity when he appeared on T.V. alongside Swizz Beatz on 106 & Park.

The first question he was asked was if he regretted anything that's happen over this long hip-hop career. "I wouldn't change one thing," DMX told hosts, Rocsi and Terrence. "That made me the man I am today and I love the way I am." As far as how music has changed since he was actually "in" the game, and today's crop of new stars, he responded, "I really don't think about other rappers, no disrespect. I'd rather focus on what I am seeing, the message I need to get across."

Sources say that DMX isn't just making music, but making hits. It seems the whole industry, not just his loyal fans, are pretty pumped about his return to hip hop.

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Lauren Wise has worked as a rock/heavy metal journalist for 15 years. She contributes to Noisey and LA Weekly, edits books, and drinks whiskey.
Contact: Lauren Wise