Been To War
by DMX (featuring French Montana & Swizz Beatz)

Album: Godfather of Harlem soundtrack (2021)

Songfacts®:

  • "Been To War" is a collaboration between DMX, French Montana and Swizz Beatz, written for season 2 of the Epix series Godfather of Harlem. The song is from the perspective of the show's protagonist, Bumpy Johnson, played by Forest Whitaker. Johnson was a real-life drug lord until his death (from natural causes) in 1968 at age 62. In the song, DXM and French Montana trade verses about doing jail time, staying above the law, and vanquishing enemies. "We can go to war all summer," DMX promises in his first verse.
  • The song was released on April 16, 2021, just a week after DMX died at age 50. Season 2 of Godfather of Harlem premiered two days later.

    DMX and Swizz Beatz go way back. Both were part of the Ruff Ryders collective and they rose up the ranks together, with Swizz producing the 1998 hit "Ruff Ryders' Anthem" from DMX' debut album. "Been To War" has the hallmarks of their work, with Swizz' thumping, military-style production, and DMX' hardcore rapping and signature "what!"

    Swizz curated the music for Godfather of Harlem; in season 1, he teamed with DMX and Rick Ross for the track "Just In Case," which came with a video starring Forest Whitaker.

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