DMX Performs At Revolution

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Boom Moment In Hip-Hop: DMX Releases His Debut Album

On this date in 1998, Ruff Ryders Entertainment and Def Jam Recordings introduced DMX’s It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot to the world. The album featured four major singles, “Get at Me Dog”, “Stop Being Greedy”, “How’s It Goin’ Down” and the “Ruff Ryders Anthem”. The album is still considered an instant classic debut hip-hop album by hip-hop critics.


The album did have some very extreme lyrics about violence with songs like “Intro”, “X Is Coming”, as well as introspective tracks like “Let Me Fly”, “For My Dogs”, and his dealings with “Damien” began on this album.


The album covered various themes from violence, pain, love, and God. Unlike many hip-hop albums before, DMX featured prayers as dialogues with him and God on the album, something that really stood out when first listening, creating an introspective into X’s dark mind.

DMX In Concert - Long Beach, California

Source: Jerod Harris / Getty

The Source described the album as “a mind-gripping opus that fully encompasses the appeal of one of rap’s newest sensations.”

This debut album from X was a major mark in hip-hop history and is still called one of the best debut rap albums, and at the time was called a “necessary introduction to one of the greatest hardcore rappers in hip-hop.” The imagery, stories, and lyricism are what made DMX an instant must listen to It’s Dark and Hell is Hot.

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