...And Then There Was X

...And Then There Was X





On his third album, DMX cements his rep as the archetypal heir to the mack-thug-spiritualist throne left vacant by 2Pac. Still, where 'Pac was the master of deft poetics, DMX is at his best when weaving excitable threads of manchild "get-minez" emotion into vivid vignettes of street hustle and bustle. On "One More Road to Cross," X graphically depicts his guns-blazing, dough-chasing sensibility in a bodega hold-up scenario set against a seething orchestral backdrop. On other standouts, like "Here We Go Again" and "Make a Move," X wends through the precarious nature of ghetto loyalty, going for self on the former, then uplifting his fam on the latter. Ghetto cinematics notwithstanding, DMX brings the ruckus for the clubspot with "What's My Name," an Irv Gotti-produced banger that's swollen with volcanic beats, bass thunder, and an anthemic hook growled by the Dark Man X. X's thug pathology wouldn't be complete without a pimp-slapping affair, which he delivers on "What These B****s Want," an unlikely duet with the slightly fey Sisqo. However, like a good ruffneck, DMX takes a moment to reflect on his bad-boy bluster. The disc spirals into a genuflecting, spoken-word confessional, then moves into "Angel" (featuring R&B torch singer Regina Belle), which finds X relating his pain directly to the Man Upstairs. His intense vocals ride atop a bluesy piano, shuffling sound effects, and an insistent bottom. This slice of vulnerability amidst all the bully posing makes the album feel richer, turning it into a surprisingly cohesive effort for the holiday rap-album sweepstakes. Matt Diehl

Product Details

Release Date: 12/21/1999
Label: Def Jam
UPC: 0731454693325
catalogNumber: 546933

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