The producer was tasked with completing the record, titled Exodus, following DMX's death on 9 April (21), and told Rolling Stone that the process was an emotional one.
"I can at least listen to a song now without breaking down," he sighed. "I'm making it look strong, but I'm crushed, I'm destroyed, I'm hurt. But I had to pull this through for him and his family and for his legacy."
Laying down tracks for the record was an experience that Beatz will never forget as he remembers his late friend as being "happy" and "full of energy."
"Not knowing that it was our last studio time, I couldn't say that we could go back and have a better time than we did," he said. "Every day was full of life, full of energy, no dull moments, and happiness for making history with my brother again. Just seeing him smile and seeing him happy. And the days he wasn't happy, if he was tired or thinking about something, I'd just say, 'Go home.' There was no pressure. It wasn't a job, it was us having fun."
Swizz Beatz recently paid tribute to DMX at Billboard Music Awards. "This year in hip-hop has been really hard," the producer said when presenting an award for top rap song. "We lost so many amazing souls. We would like to honor their lives, and I would like to honor my brother, DMX, the great."
"He made music with raw passion," he continued. "He spoke to the streets, he spoke to the world. He prayed for others before he could pray for himself. He loved others before he would love himself. His music is iconic magic to the world. Following Tupac, he is the second rapper to have two No. 1 albums in one year. His legacy will forever be remembered."