Label: Ruff Ryders/Def Jam
Release Date: 5/19/1998
Rap was getting awfully pretty in the late '90s. It seemed like every rapper was a jiggy player who only valued ice and money. Enter DMX, the born loser who didn't have a friend in the world but his dog. Dark Man X didn't care about wealth or fame, instead, he valued strength and wisdom. Better yet, he was as hard as a rock and had all the street credibility in the world, but made radio-ready music. Plus his rap style was unique, at times philosophical, without being overly technical, but always intense.
The album was mostly produced in-house, by PK and Dame Grease (Swizz Beatz is often wrongly credited with producing this album when in reality he only did "Ruff Ryders Anthem") and marked a shift to more synthesizer-based hip-hop sound. As X would rhyme on "Get At Me Dog," "Let my man and them stay pretty and I'mma stay shitty."