SANTA MONICA, California — DMX is hanging up his collar.
The barking MC took a break on the set of his next movie, "Never Die Alone," on Wednesday to confirm rumors of his retirement from hip-hop.
"That's the truth. It's my last album," X said, referring to his upcoming fifth record, It's Not a Game.
DMX will continue to act and oversee his Bloodline Records label, but neither will be his priority.
"I'm going into the church," he said. "I wanna take some time off — you know, read my Bible and just get more into the word."
Family will also take precedence. "I got kids, and one of my children is at that stage where you have to be around. He's 8 months, and I don't wanna be a stranger to my children. That's more important to me than all this."
DMX promised to go out with a bang on It's Not a Game, which he described as even more autobiographical than his previous releases. The album is finished and will likely surface before summer, but that's about all X will reveal. "It's top-secret stuff," he said.
One thing fans can expect is a collaboration between DMX and the red-hot 50 Cent.
"He's an individual after my own heart," X said of 50. "I'm glad he's here. Once again, hip-hop was getting a little bit too slippery, a little too shiny. So it's good, it's refreshing, to have someone bring it right back to the streets."
After It's Not a Game drops, the Ruff Ryders' top dog will prep new albums from his kennel of Bloodline acts, including Bazaar Royale, Big Stan and Kashmir.
"I'm hands-on with all my artists, that's why it's called Bloodline, 'cause it comes from the dogs, you know," X explained. "It's like before you get a dog, you find out what his Bloodline is and then you know who his parents were, you know how many fights they had, you know what's in their blood, so to speak."
DMX said he may produce some of his artists' tracks, but he'll focus more on general guidance.
"I know I needed to learn a few things coming into the rap game. It's like, all right, you're a talented rapper and you write songs, but it's different putting an album together. So I try to show 'em what to do and what not to do and how far to go with it."
DMX joins a long list of rappers who are promising to retire in the coming years, including Dr. Dre, Ja Rule and Master P (see "Dre, Ja Rule, P. Diddy Have All Threatened To Retire — But Will They?").