First lets look at some background information about the rapper DMX. Born Earl Simmons in Mount Vernon on December 18, 1970. He relocated during his childhood to Yonkers. His stage name is DMX, which stands for both Dark Man X and Dog Man X. His name pays tribute to the Oberheim DMX drum machine with he used when making his own beats in the 1980’s. And you know how most rappers make up and lie about arrest records and criminal life? Well DMX actual lives it, he has an extensive arrest record. He also spent much of his younger life on the streets and committing crimes. To escape the hard times he spent times with his dogs, he liked turntablism, beatboxing, and got into rapping.
Now onto the list of 10 great songs by D.M.X. I have heard almost every released record by DMX, new and old, so it is hard to narrow down to only 10 songs. I am not saying I believe these are his favorite songs, I am NOT picking favorites. I am just pointing out 10 of his songs that I like the most.
1. Let Me Fly – from the album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot released in 1998. This is one of my favorite songs of all time. I believe this is one of DMX’s best songs he has ever made. This song contains a sample of “Lo Dudo” as performed by Jose Jose. DMX later in his career makes a reference back to this song in the song “More 2 A Song” saying: “I will be the voice of the street til I die / Cause I know if I keep my heart real, I’m gon’ fly / Either let me fly or give me death / If you didn’t catch it then get it now, cause it’s all that’s left.” This song is a very deep and complex song starting off with saying “Uh. Yea. Uh. If you love something let it go / If it comes back to you it’s yours / If it doesn’t, it never was / Hold me down baby.” He has lines such as: “I soke up all the pain and except it in silence.” He begins the second verse by saying: “I sold my soul to the devil and the price was cheap / Ayo its cold on this level cause its twice as deep..” He goes on to begin the third verse by saying: “I’ma flow regardless because I’m an artist, until I’m trapped / I’ma continue to hit the hardest whether I scrap or rap..” This is a song that every Hip-Hop fan should hear and enjoy.
2. Look Thru My Eyes – also from the album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. This song just like above is a very deep song with much meaning. Also just like above it begins with a quote/inspirational line: “Judge not and shall be judged first.” This song pretty much explains itself just by listening. He talks about the bad in life and in the street life. He talks about the curse that has been bestowed upon him. He begins the third verse by saying: “I bear my soul, ni**as wouldn’t dare, my role / Gives a ni**a a heart of gold but with a hole / Lost all control, my shoulders hold a lot of weight.” Another song all Hip-Hop fans should hear.
3. I Can Feel It – also just like the 2 songs above from the 1998 debut album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. Samples the song “In The Air Tonight” by Phil Collins. Produced by Dam Grease, who producded the majority of this album. I love the overall sound of this song and the lyrics. There is much meaning behind the lines in this song. In the first verse he says: “Gonna put you on your a** to see what it does to you / When you stand up you’ll see that I’m just showin’ love to you.” That basically is tough love, showin’ others the hard way so they will learn and it will benefit from it. The second verse begins with: “I see life through many shades of grays and blacks / I can take tat and hit em with the blazin’ tracks / When I make that you fake cats have violent dreams / Takes another dog to be able to hear my silent screams / The devil got a hold of me, and he won’t let go / I can feel the Lord pullin’, but he movin’ dead slow / Let him know that amidst all this confusion / Some of us may do the winnin’, but we all do the losin’ / Its just who does the choosin.” Those lines say exactly what they mean.
4. More 2 A Song – from the album …And Then There Was X. As I say on Let Me Fly, DMX makes a reference back to Let Me Fly in this song. In this song X explains how there is more to music than the money, clothes, sex, and all the materialistic things that most rap about. He begins the first verse by stating exactly what he means by this song title: “Ni**as walk around frontin, talkin bout jewels…How much you bust tools / Y’all ni**az sound like fools / Who you really think give a f*ck how much your watch cost? / How much your watch cost / You bout to get your watch lost / If you flashin it you must no want it / See I f*ck with real ni**az that done it” He is saying how all these other rappers brag on there money and jewelry, if they would go around real dudes like him bragging on how much they bling cost, they gonna get that bling lost. This song is the truth.
5. You Could Be Blind – from the fourth album by DMX titled The Great Depression released in 2001. This song features Mashonda on the chorus. Like almost all DMX songs he states how he believes most dudes in rap are fake compared to him and that he has lived the life he raps about. He states how he is an influence to Hip-Hop, how he is a ‘father’ in this game. Plus the hook is just amazing. Like the songs above there is deeper meaning to what DMX is saying if you just listen close. Great song.
6.I Miss You – from the same album as above, The Great Depression track #10 featuring Faith Evans on the chorus. The song samples This Masquerade by George Benson. I Miss You is dedicated to DMX’s grandmother Mary Ella Holloway, who is seems by the song he was close to. He pretty much writes the song in a form where he is talking to his grandma and even explains how his family has been doing as of lately. One of my favorite and most relatable parts is when X says: “When you died, I cried like a baby (ahh) / I begged the lord to take me (uhhh) / Cuz no one else could give me what you gave me / But life like everything comes to an end / I pray I go Heaven to see you again / Amen..” I felt the same way when my older sister passed away in 2002. This is one of DMX’s most popular and known songs. This is an amazing song. You can watch the music video for I Miss You right here.
7. Slippin’– from his second album, Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood in 1998 (Yes he dropped 2 albums in a row in 98) Of course this song will make the list, this is widely considered his best song. Like a few of the songs above X begins the song with an inspirational style quote: “See to live is to suffer, but to survive, well that’s to find meaning in the suffering.” That is one of my favorite quotes of all time and is very true. In this song DMX like always is deep in explaining his life and his pain. For example: “Damn, was it my fault, somethin’ I did? To make a father leave his first kid at 7 / Doin’ my first bid.” He also explains about his struggle with drugs: “Wasn’t long before I hit rock bottom / Ni**as was like damn, look how that rock got em / Open like a window, no more indo / Look at the video sayin’ to myself that that could have been you on the TV / Believe me, it could be done, something’s gotta give.” DMX is known to have drugs issues throughout his life. You can watch the music video for Slippin’ right here.
8. Coming From – from the album above, Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood. Featuring Mary J Blige and produced by P. Killer Trackz. Another great song by DMX with an amazing chorus sung by MJB. This is just a very good song by DMX with 3 good verses, a nice beat, and great hook. Like most songs X says how he is a big part of Hip-Hop and should be treated as so, for example: “I could be a beast or I could be a gentleman / But if you ain’t my dog you gonna be like ‘oh, its him again’ / Ni**as will never win, this whole rap game is mine / Hot as you ever been, I was that in 89 / Seek and you shall find, look within you will know / Where you comin’ from and where you gotta go, come on!
9. Bloodline Anthem – from the album The Great Depression featuring Dia. Nice beat and good chorus with 3 solid verses like every DMX song. Like very many of his songs, DMX says how if you gonna brag and flash your jewels you gonna get that sh*t took. “Floss that, lose that, get that? Come up off that” Also like almost every X song, he says how he is a big part of Hip-Hop and he belongs on top and cats forget that. “I let you ni**as live for a minute, you get goofy / Told you go ahead, drop a few albums, I’ll do a movie / But when I come back, c’mon dog, respect my slot / Ain’t no get in where I fit in, b*tch I’m straight to the top / And whoever don’t like it, f*ck you f*ggot, bring it! / Ni**as don’t wanna walk it but, stay tryin to sing it / What I gotta start smackin you guys around again? / Don’t make no motherf**kin sense, y’all some grown a** men!”
10. Damien 1, 2, & 3– from the albums: It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot – Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood – The Great Depression. Damien 2 is also known as The Omen and features Marilyn Manson. This is a series of 3 songs where DMX deals with the Devil. The chorus in each song is very similar. In song 1 he is trying to make it in rap and meets this guy named Damien who offers his help. In part 2 DMX argues with Damien about what he is making him do and wants away from it. In part 3 Damien comes back and says have you forgot about me and everything I did for you? Damien 3 ends with DMX and ‘Damien’ going back and forth on the final lines of the song saying: (DMX – all caps / Damien – lower case) “LORD JESUS / C’mon dog, ?don’t be a f**ker? / PLEASE HELP ME / Whassup dog? Man you buggin / KEEP THE DEVIL / Dog I thought we were tight / OUT OF MY LIFE / I’ll be back aight? Psych” Three great songs by DMX about battling with Satan and evil forces.
Thanks for reading. Many more songs could have made this list, but I think these are 10 (Technically 12) of DMX’s top songs to date and every Hip-Hop fan should give each of them at least one listen.