DMX announced himself to the world in 1998 with his multi-platinum-selling debut album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, a stormy survey of greed, violence, crime and betrayal, which also displayed his gift for blending light and heavy textures behind an intense, menacing presence at the microphone. Before the end of that year DMX had released his second blockbuster, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, another number one album. DMX's next three albums also went to number one, making him was first rapper to have their first five albums go straight to the top of the US chart.
“I’m not going to make [my music] for the mainstream. I’d rather make music for people that I come in contact with, people that I can count on. That’s what I make my music for. People in the hood.” -DMX
His struggles with drug addiction and mental health were a frequent topic in his music, and was among one of the first rappers to open up about his struggles with mental health such as on the song “Slippin'”. DMX was also open about his faith as a devout Christian, including the spoken word "Prayer VI" on his album Year of the Dog. Godmachine was moved by the lyrics "May you judge us by our hearts and not by our mistakes," and included it in his beautiful but rough art.
“His message of triumph over struggle, his search for the light out of darkness, his pursuit of truth and grace brought us closer to our own humanity,” his record label, Def Jam Recordings, said in a statement describing him as “nothing less than a giant.” Fellow hip hop artists remembered him likewise, with Eve praising him as “one of the most special people I have ever met” and Nas calling him “Gods poet.” We agree.
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