On this past Sunday’s episode of Desus and Mero, the duo sat down with Nas at the Queens location of his restaurant Sweet Chick, and the rap god spoke about an emotional episode he shared with the late DMX during their filming of Hype Williams’ 1998 film Belly. Nas and Dark Man X starred as fictional protagonists and confidantes Sincere and Tommy Brown, respectively.
“We formed a brotherhood,” Nas said of his deceased friend. “I didn’t have to see him, or he didn’t have to call me, but when we saw each other though, it was that! Even working on the film, we cried.”
DMX released his milestone debut album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot in May 1998, and Belly would come out half a year afterward to fanfare from hip-hop heads. The movie’s opening shootout scene was filmed at NYC’s legendary Tunnel nightclub, and Nas spoke about the electricity between the two at that moment.
He said, “[DMX and I] were at the Tunnel doing a scene and I was like, ‘You feel that, bro?’ [DMX] was like, ‘Yeah.’ And he’s crying and now I’m crying. He was talking with that, ‘Grrr.’ I was like, ‘This man’s energy is something else.'”
DMX’s iconic status among East Coast rappers may be cemented among older heads, but some from the younger generations might consider the Yonkers a relic of a bygone era. Nas, however, clarified that plenty of people saw that the “Damien” rapper was appreciated and got his flowers.
“People need to understand, DMX had more love than most rappers would ever see,” Nas stated. “People said when he passed, ‘Where was the love when he was alive?’ You gotta be kidding me! He had more love than 98 percent of rappers would ever have.”