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The 100 Greatest Hip-Hop Beats of All Time

22. DMX "Ruff Ryders Anthem" (1998)

Producer: Swizz Beatz
Album: It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
Label: Ruff Ryders, Def Jam

DMX and the Ruff Ryders crew brought some much needed aggression back to major label New York rap with records like this. Drums, bass, and sitar keys are all that were required for Dark Man X to flex his patented take-no-shorts style and propel this Tunnel banger on to sell 5 million copies. Funny part was, according to Swizz, X was hesitant to get on the track, saying, "Man, that sounds like some rock ‘n’ roll track, I need some hip-hop shit. It’s not hood enough."

Seen as a reaction to the over-produced Bad Boy sound that was dominating the charts at the time, Swizz Beatz's deceptively basic tracks were just what rowdy club types were looking for, providing the soundtrack to numerous brawls and people getting randomly smacked down with bar stools.

Related: Swizz Beatz Tells All: The Stories Behind His Classic Records

Tags: dmx, swizz_beatz
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