The Ruff Ryders has a star-studded lineup, but DMX was the heartbeat of the collective. There was a point in time when JAY-Z and X were beefing, and it hit a peak when Hov became President of Def Jam in 2004.

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“What had happened was Jay-Z called X and told him ‘The inmates have took over the prison.’ And when your man Jay-Z got in position X felt like he didn’t honor him and hold weight like he was supposed to,” Ruff Ryders’ founder, Darrin “Dee” Dean said.

The Yonkers rapper eventually left the label and released his sixth studio album, Year of the Dog…Again, on Columbia Records in 2006. But things weren’t all bad between the New York emcees.


“X was in debt over there. He probably owed about $12 million,” Dean revealed. He met with Jigga when DMX left Def Jam for Sony and Hov “released him and wiped off the debt clean.”

JAY-Z has been known to silently help with people’s financial binds. Lil Wayne revealed the Brooklyn legend helped him pay off his $7.72 million tax bill. “There’s people like JAY-Z. He helped me when I was really, really, really down. Really, really, really down,” Weezy said during a Chicago show. “Jay don’t want me to tell nobody. That man helped me with my taxes. He’s a real friend, y’all.”

How many of us have real friends?