Bath Salts
by DMX (featuring Nas & Jay-Z)

Album: Exodus (2021)
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Songfacts®:

  • This is a track from Exodus, DMX' first posthumous album. X had been working on the record in Snoop Dogg's Los Angeles studio with his Ruff Ryders cohort Swizz Beatz serving as executive producer. By the time he died of a heart attack aged 50, they'd completed all the songs.
  • Exodus is guest heavy, and this song finds DMX teaming up with fellow New York rappers Jay-Z and Nas. The track is named after the synthetic drug bath salts, which Genius states "were responsible for a series of high-profile criminal incidents in the early part of the 2010s."
  • Nas first recorded the song for his 2012 album Life is Good, but it didn't make the final cut. During the infamous 2017 beat battle between Swizz Beats and Just Blaze, Swizz closed out the show with a version featuring Nas, Jay Z, Jadakiss, and DMX.

    Once Swizz decided to include the song on Exodus, he cut Jadakiss' verse for unknown reasons and Nas updated his verse. Swizz told GQ that while Jay was happy to keep his bars as is, Nas changed his, as he'd used some of the original unreleased verse on another song. The producer added that Nas recorded a new verse in "less than 24 hours, which was a blessing."
  • Nas' original verse included the line, "This the bath salts song." When he changed his bars, he cut the reference to bath salts, which is why the title doesn't appear in the lyrics.
  • The song is the second track on Exodus. Speaking to Apple Music, Swizz said: "Out the gate, we just wanted to put pressure on everybody - and then take them on this journey at the same time. With Hov and Nas, people know what they getting, you know what I'm saying?"
  • This marks the fourth collaboration between Nas and Jay-Z, following:

    Nas' 2006 Hip Hop Is Dead song "Black Republican."

    Jay-Z's 2007 American Gangster cut "Success."

    Ludacris' 2008 Theater of the Mind track "I Do It for Hip-Hop," on which they both feature.

    DJ Khaled's 2021 Khaled Khaled tune "Sorry Not Sorry."
  • DMX and Nas have worked together on two previous occasions:

    The 1998 Belly soundtrack song "Grand Finale," alongside Ja Rule and Method Man.

    Nas' 1999 I Am… cut "Life Is What You Make It."

    Nas also appears on another Exodus track, titled "Walking in the Rain."
  • DMX collaborated with Jay-Z four previous times, including on Hova's "Money, Cash, Hoes" in 1998 and DMX's "Blackout" in 1999. Jay also made a cameo appearance in the video for DMX' 1999 track "What's My Name."
  • The album shares its name with DMX' son, Exodus Simmons.

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