Since DMX barreled into the rap scene in 1998, his fans and friends have affectionately called him "the Dog." But pretty soon, that might be his official name.
As he explores spirituality, X said, he's thinking about switching his stage moniker but wants to keep it simple.
"I think I'm going to have to do that soon for spiritual reasons," X told MTV Europe about shedding the Dark Man X name. X also said he was thinking about the name Dog, but he wasn't sure.
"It's just the whole Dark Man thing," he continued. "Because if you look at it, from a spiritual point of view, the Bible teaches us that we can speak things into existence. ... And Dark Man, you know, it may not be the best name for me."
X's album Year of the Dog, Again is slated for the end of August (see "DMX Signs With Columbia, Will Release Long-Delayed LP This Spring"). His new single, "Lord Give Me a Sign," is produced by Scott Storch and addresses his quest to get closer to God.
"The Scott Scorch thing ... he charges $80,000 a beat, very expensive," X said. "We bought two [beats], and he gave me the beat [for 'Lord Give Me a Sign'] for free. So it was ironic that the potentially biggest song on the album would be given to us for free. On every album, there's a gospel song or a prayer. The song's either a conversation with the Lord or just a reference to how much I love the Lord and what I'm willing to do. ... We got the beat, and I heard the beat, and I was like, 'Lord, give me a sign!' The beat created the song, and I just ran from there, you know.
"I think this album is a little more insightful as to who I am and what I'm about," he added. "There's this one song called 'Life Be My Song.' It's crazy. How I live is simple: 'Walk through the streets/ Talk to the beats/ It's New York I'm going to eat/ Never had a problem surviving/ No problems getting down busting my gun/ Rough riding.' It's like a real talk."
DMX said he still battles some demons. He was arrested and let go with a warning during his recent trip overseas for arguing with a flight attendant. He said he is fighting a war within and constantly calls on God for help.
"It's a war," he said. "It's always a war going on between good and bad, you know. I've said it on one of my songs: 'Deep inside I've got something that's working against everything I know is right/ ... That's when God replies to me, "That's why you got to fight/ Harder than you ever fought before/ That's what you got going on inside you, that's a war/ Between good and evil, be careful of those who want to be you/ They smile but they're not really happy when they see you/ Be careful of the ones that always want to get you high/ Because when the time comes, that one will let you die." ' "
DMX — the good and bad sides — is the centerpiece of "DMX: Soul of a Man," a new BET reality series that debuts this summer.
"They'll get a better understanding of me through watching it, but it will just show more of the person that I am," he said. "It will clear up a lot of misconceptions. I'm just a regular dude."