DMX was such a paramount figure because he was, almost to a fault, so damn believable. His most charming quality was being three screws loose of a complete toolbox and that character flaw was exactly what the genre needed – a guy who could pile drive all conventional wisdom while threatening to rob your family at gunpoint. In fact, the only “soft” characteristic about him was his resistance towards hard drugs which eventually derailed the career of a man who once looked Jay-Z eye-to-eye in terms of popularity. Think about it, aside from his own self-inflicted banes, when was the last time someone pulled X’s card for not being who he said he was?
It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot remains a sovereign album for Hip Hop and its still relatively young history. One night in particular forever etched the bond between Dark Man X’s first album and myself. While attempting to fall asleep, I laid in bed with headphones on when “X Is Coming” made its announcement with the hair-raising chorus “1,2, X is coming for you/3,4, better lock your door/5,6, get your crucifix/7,8, don’t stay up late.”
That type of dementedness from a rapper until that point was foreign. It was spine-freezing, but exhilarating all at the same time. I would later grow to realize X’s astonishingly intrusive and canine vocals were similar to utilizing the turbo button on Madden. Eventually, it runs out. In DMX’s case, his introverted demons ceased creating powerful art and led to public hurdles he personally was not equipped to deal with. The song, though, personified the artistic shift he ushered onto the world in 1998. It was the second verse, however, which seemed to harbor an added steroid shot of venom and ferocity even noteworthy for Earl.
“You got yourself in a predicament, that you can’t get out of
You already in some shit, but it’s about to get hotter
Fuckin’ wit’ a, nigga like you, runnin’ your mouth
Will, have that same nigga like you, gun in your mouth
But won’t be like the last time when you run in the house
‘Cuz I ain’t knockin’ on the door
I’m comin in the house and I’m gunnin’ for your spouse
Tryin’ to send the bitch back to her maker
And if you got a daughter older then 15, I’ma rape her
Take her on the living room floor, right there in front of you
Then ask you seriously, whatchu wanna do?
Frustratin’, isn’t it? Wanna kill me, but I’ma kill you
Now watch me fuck just a lil’ while longer, please, will you?
This is revenge, no time before you die
And despite how much I hate to see a grown man cry
I’ma make you suffer, see your ass in hell, motherfucker
Click, BOOM, BOOM
See your ass in hell…”
Listen to that in the dark and go say Candyman in the mirror three times and watch what happens. I wouldn’t know because I never tried, but word on the street is the last scene from Tales From The Hood occurs. A friend of mine from Atlanta once tried it and I haven’t heard from him since 2008.
DMX – “X Is Coming”
Previously: Revisiting The Notorious B.I.G.’s “My Downfall”