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It's Dark And Hell Is Hot
Artist
DMX
ReleaseProduct
It's Dark And Hell Is Hot
Label
Universal Music Enterprises
Catalogue Number
5346377
Release Date
December 2013
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DMX’s ‘It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot’ remains a classic hip-hop record. Released in 1998 via Ruff Ryders Entertainment and Def Jam Recordings, the rapper’s debut album pushed violent and crazed imagery to new extremes, even within the gangsta culture notorious for such subjects already. From the ominous church bells of ‘Intro’, where DMX drawls in a sinister purring low register before exploding into full on confrontation, to the plaintive piano riff of ‘Look Thru My Eyes’ there are layers of subtlety on the record which give it a sense of tainted spirituality, supported by lyrics where the rapper seems to be praying as much as confronting.

In comparison to political albums from NWA and Public Enemy a decade earlier, DMX seems to focus on a rage and alienation which is claustrophobic and isolated. The loneliness of cuts like ‘X is coming’ renders more outwardly raucous tracks like ‘Fuckin’ Wit’ D’ strangely compelling, as if DMX had slipped into a rage which can’t be controlled by commonly held morals or logic. In this sense the album has a relationship with its forefathers not dissimilar to the link between raw punk and the ore self-obsessed, fractured post-punk which followed it, though make no mistake, this is harrowing listening.

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  1. 1 Intro DMX 0:30
  2. 2 Ruff Ryders' Anthem DMX 0:30
  3. 3 Fuckin' Wit D DMX 0:30
  4. 4 Storm (Skit) DMX 0:30
  5. 5 Look Thru My Eyes DMX 0:30
  6. 6 Get At Me Dog DMX 0:30
  7. 7 Let Me Fly DMX 0:30
  8. 8 X-Is Coming DMX 0:30
  9. 9 Damien DMX 0:30
  10. 10 How's It Goin' Down DMX 0:30
Show All 19 Tracks

DMX

Universal Music Enterprises

Hip Hop

1990s

Vinyl Reissue

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