JTTS Greatest 100 Greatest Rappers Of All Time – #97: DMX
As always, please keep in mind this list isn’t actually in any particular order.. but even still.. this is probably the first time since the 90s DMX has made a “Top Rapper” list. I understand the thrill in knocking this guy, he was never a lyrical powerhouse - but for a brief period in rap, DMX held the fucking crown.
Rap purists will debate his origins in hip hop; he was around for a while in early 90s, (I have his “Born Loser” record on vinyl).. but any true fan of DMX will tell you, his career really started in 1998. It was around this time I REALLY began to take notice of Dark Man X at my local barbershop / bootlegger. Talk ran rampant of his origins, “Yo I heard this dude was homeless for 10 years…”, and “Canibus vs. DMX” mix tapes were poppin’ up left and right. He murdered his verses on “24 Hours To Live” and “Money, Power, Respect”, and let’s face it.. you probably copped BOTH of his multi-platinum releases that year (It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood).
The DMX franchise grew rapidly with his music success reaching it’s peak with “And Then There was X” in 1999. Unfortunately for DMX, his star burned too brite, too fast and hollywood ultimately destroyed his “gangster” brand with a series of horrific movie roles (the Ice Cube syndrome). (Umm.. although I will say this, if he had shot the minister at the end of “Belly” instead of getting born again .. that movie would have been a certified classic piece of cinema).
DMX hasn’t really existed to me musically since 2000, aside from the occasional musical blip on my rap radar (Who We Be) he has flopped more times than a fish out of water. As a celebrity, my fascination with the man has once again grown to 1998 levels of excitement (no homo). He’s using crack now, has been arrested several (hundred) times in 2008 alone, and is serving jail time whylin’ out on C.O.s. Not to mention the fact that DMX is clearly batshit crazy, and more or less rap’s Amy Winehouse.
With all that said, DMX is a creative, eccentric, entertaining force, that why I put him on this list. Hate if you want but.. “YOU CANNOT TAKE THIS FROM ME BAYBEEEEE” .. Boomer! One Love N*gga!