The dog was the God. Some of the best energy brought to hiphop and life in general, came in the form of DMX. He hit the world on a national level when I was becoming a teenager, which was a major transition for me and my life in Baltimore City. His voice and authentic approach was normal to me and I felt proud for his arrival. My man Ev said it best, when u need to get amped in the realest way in light of the hood…dont give me Busta Rhymes, dont give me MOP, give me DMX, and thats no disrespect to brovas I love. The energy he blended was unmatched.
I heard he had a heart attack and was in the hospital and heard his voice. WHATTT!!!!
X. The adlibs alone….sit wit that for a minute. It was hiphop soul/rock and roll on the level of the Gods.
He was Godson. He came and inspired young brothers like the LOX, at a time when they were all still mourning Biggie Smalls. He motivated JayZ to the fullest, made a realer path for Beans and philly to come fuck it up, shout out to Eve. He prayed on everything and for everyone on some Nasir Jones shit, like a prophet in the Belly of the beast. In a loud way he quietly combined the realest shit in rap music.
How did he pass? I selfishly even ask why. I felt him about to come back to deliver a message, we all felt it Im sure. Life is Death, and he reminded us of this fact. My older brother Isaiah Jr had a stroke and was hospitailized for a yr regaining what he could recover, and didnt make it. He passed away March of 2021 at the age of 50. He lived hiphop, he was from the streets, he loved dogs, he battled with drugs, he was a wild boy, but talented with visual art and design. My brother was way calmer than X, but from the same school. The grief I felt from him leaving the physical remains. RIP Junie, RIP Freygo, and all others. There has ben alot of death happening, from covid 19, old age, murder and other injustices, to the streets jus snatching cats back home. I neva met the dog, but ima miss the God. Earl Simmons. Word.
Is that JadaKiss voice on the 1st uhhuh uhhuh? Asked myself this since 98. Really wanna ask Kiss? lol. After Dmx passed, I realized how significant he really was to me. I grew up on Krs to PE, to Tribe, Nas, and of course WUTang. I was more into I guess concious underground to mainstream hiphop, but X was a different cloth. Me and my family and friends used to rhyme all day all night when the beat came on, automatic. I was asked amongst some other young people to write a song about domestic violence for a theater show we were all apart of in the year of 98. This was my first time outside of maybe a talent show or something small for my motha that I actually was able to begin performing as an MCee, and we wrote this song to “Stop being Greedy” by DMX. I thought we would choose a Pete Rock beat, but when the stop being greedy shit came on, Simeon said thats what ya niggas need to write to right here. So we did. Shout out Imani, Spank, and Ed.
I havent thought of that time and its importance since 98. When brotha X transcended it all came back. And I wanna thank him. Better late than never. First time we rocked for a real audience, it was curated by DMX.
The inflections, tone, and intension is on point. Dude had technique like non other. I respected how he combined poetry, rap, and sermons to create something new. He actually says “something new” at the top of Ruff Ryders Anthem. He brings back the Damien voice in this freestyle too, and this is 2012, way afta his first album where he introduced us to this character. To bring it back like it neva left, is dope.
This movie was a staple. It changed the climate immediatly. I heard they wanted Jay Z to be the character DMX played. But X was it. I went to the movies to see this wit my cousins. I remember hearing Chris Tuckers voice in my head, saying “thats my dog”, when I saw him in the intro club scene.
The movies colors and videography was pretty hood sensuous/stella, shout out to Hype Williams. T Boz, Terrell Hicks, Method Man cant forget Louie Rankin and Knowledge, added to the prestige of this film as well. Pretty solid scrypt and story line for a hood tale. I went and bought the same Avirex jacket Nas wore in my favorite scene with him talking to the kid on the bench. I attempted to watch this movie once a yr jus to keep a certain mood on me, but failed, yet it still holds strong in my DMX, I mean DNA.
Earl Simmons was a real natural on the big screen. He kept his rapper persona alive, while still becoming the acted character. I believe he had the potential to take it further than Ice Cube in the movie industry.
He was definitely becoming a new man. The entire world was beginning to see. Look at this godly smile on his face. He breaks down some of his most influential songs, and the purpose of them. I feel the need to break down my favorite DMX joints. Here they are.
My 7 favorite DMX songs:
- Who We Be- got that native american/ african spiritual bop to it. a personal connection thru the messages he delvers. I love every word of this song. Him voicing on top of the produced guitars was so raw and genius. One of my favorite songs from any artist actually. This is My SHITTTT! My sista played this when we found out he passed. First to come out the speakers. Word! I wanna see a remake of this performed on Tidal live stream, Pharrel on the hook and Hov on the bars. Thats commoration.
- Get at me Dog– heard this and froze in my mothas car lol. Got home and waited by the radio to tape it, and went to record store next day to find the single on vinyl. Facts! This hook is one of the best in gangsta rap. This was a perfcet way to say, “We Here”. I knew he smoked crack when I heard him barking on the track, and shout out my city Baltimore. I lovvvveeeeeeeeeee this nigga X yo. Whole hood was fucking wit this, either the aunts and grandmuvas. Proly the sampled funk guitars. I saw the video randomly at a friends house on my way out the door, and knew he was a legend already. The boots getting checked at the Tunnel, and the DJ setting up, I knew X was bout to thoroly fuck this shit up. Thank u Sheek Louch.
- Ruff Ryders Anthem– this felt like his first single, I spoke on it earlier in this write up, SOMETHING NEW! He helped bring melody to hiphop before Drake and Lil Uzi. Fire emojis
- No Love for Me- the beat changes my blood when it touches me. The few measures of no drums up top where Swizz shows us the sounds that will effect us, and then bring the drums in. Would have loved to hear the Lox on this. Dragon held it down for sure. Swizz wasnt playing wit it. Ruff Ryders had a distinct sound, and this is one my favorite if not the favorite. Its like the Athem was the hit, but this was my hit. ya dig. Turn it Up . Word.
- We Right Here– WHATTTTTTT!!!
some Whitelock ave in Bodymore shit. We used to see X in West Bmore on the regular. Did he have a house there? did he have a baby muva out there? or was he jus a yonkers nyc cat that had some Tupac/ Bmore city in him? Genius Melodics
- Hows it Going Down– Heard this in west Bmore OD. The vibes. Every chic I grew up wit thought of themselves the way these chords play on ya soul. Had the biggest crush on Faith and her gold hair, and was mad she wasnt in the video, but it kinna made me dig it more in a sence. This a hood classic for lust that became a love.
- Where the Hood At– leads me to this song perfect. The more aggressive side of the same coin. When its time to represent, its time. I ben to mad hood events, funerals, cookouts, etc, this jam always fits. One of my favorite bars… “yall niggas is having sex wit the same sex, I show no love/ to homo thugs/ empty out reload and throw mo slugs/– I love that shit. This song never got old even tho it did. Thats the work of a Legend.
The connection he made with Mr West was remarkable and so on time. As his health was coming back stronger than ever he was blessed to bless others. No one in the congregation was feigning, they were fully inspired by one of gods favorite’s children. This prayer is amazing from someone who has ben congradulated and castigated from all directions. His wisdom left a laconic -iconic imprint in the world of the believers. Amen
This interview he has with Wendy Williams allows us all to see the gentle family side of him. DMX was still becoming and transforming into another level of balanced soldier for Gods Army. The interview showed me that nothing about X was atrophied. He had lifted to his feet, begun to hang up his hang ups, and was ready to get it on. He was starring in a new movie too? Shout out his youngest son. He gave a word from the bible that stuck wit me. He said obedience is better than sacrifice, before we do what we think god wants us to do…how bout we jus do what he ask’s us to do. Heavy Mental light bars. Thank you for that sir.
What brought our brother to a heart attack? Why stasis in 2021? Why we aint have him alive for the Godfather of Harlem roll out and his awaited album? Anger, sadness, weiryness, confusion were a few of the emotions felt. But the dog good and we know that. He said we aint going anywhere cus ” We Right Here”. I felt this as the pure truth, walked outside and noticed a small side street I neva noticed until that day. It was Earl St. If Im lying im flying. Allahuakbar.
I love that he was able to be apart of the Godfather of Harlem’s lead theme song. Swizzy’s hook is dope as fuck, even tho I think, what does he feels about the line ” I can hear death calling my name”…and X isnt here in the physical? Nonetheless the hook is crazy dope. Rick Ross is a very solid choice and X fits his energy right in as usual. He brung the energy of Tommy Buns from Belly. I heard he actually makes a cameo in the show. Im very excited to catch him in a episode of one of my favorite shows out right now.
Everyone had a DMX story, like when we hear about all the infamous Prince stories.
The Funeral of DMX
I love my niggas cus my dogs ride for me no question. Pray for everyone, enemies included because it was all written. Be fully present with your craft, dont compromise, and dont fuck wit homo thugs. We take it there, we dont make it fair. Stop being greedy, give to the needy, because you cant take anything physical with you.
Few things I learned from DMX.