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Director X Shares the Stories Behind His Iconic Videos

DMX, “What’s My Name?” (1999)
Album: …And Then There Was X

Director X: “I remember the label wanted to do something big. I was trying to do that big Lenny Kravitz video. I was young and pretty inexperienced then. That video, for me, was kind of shit. The performance is really a lesson for me on not listening to people.

“The first day—we shot for two days. That day I was trying to do the video I thought the label wanted. They never said it. “They are going to want girls. They are going to want color. They are going to want bright. And they are going to want all this kind of shit. Right?”

“The second day, X got sick. So we went back. We came back and that day I just did what I wanted to do. Draw the lights red. Make them green. Make them blue. Put everyone in Ruff Ryders T-shirts. Then, when you look at that video, I imagine what it would have been if I did that for the entire video. Imagine that. All Ruff Ryders. All colors. It would have been sick, but you know that’s the lesson there.

“It was a learning experience. I’m proud of everything. I did it. The DMX video was a big video for that time. It’s not like every video everyone did was art. Especially then, I was striving for more.”

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