Growing up, I was exposed to a lot of music. I can remember riding in the car with my Dad and hearing the usual rotation of Eminem, D12, and Ludacris shake the car as we went places. However, one song stood out to me like no other, I didn’t know what the words were nor the story it was telling but I particularly remember falling in love with the beat.

Eventually, I wouldn’t hear that song again until I was in high school; simply because I could not remember who made it or what the words were. “One More Road To Cross” immediately found it’s way into my iPod library along with the rest of DMX’s discography. Out of all of the rappers, I grew up listening to, DMX amongst few has had an everlasting impact on me and continue to be one of my favorite musicians of all time.

Earl Simmons, otherwise known as DMX is singlehandedly one of the greatest rappers to enter the game. At the time of his entrance, not many rappers could talk about both their feelings and their hood status on the album. No other rapper had such a menacing and aggressive intro track than DMX when he released It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot in 1998. However, the album that grabbed my attention as a 14-year-old was his third album …And Then There Was X this album was all I listened to at that time. While most of the kids in my school were listening to newcomers such as Big Sean, Tyga, and J.Cole I listened heavily to DMX. Every song that DMX has created shows human emotion to the fullest extent that can be relatable and inspiring. DMX is a true thug, but often shows a religious aspect on his albums which makes DMX the perfect blend of good and evil.

And Then There Was X is the album that really inspired my childhood interests and one of the albums that propelled me deeper in the rap genre. Not many albums could capture my attention like this one did almost seven years ago. With one of my favorite tracks growing up (“One More Road to Cross”) being on this album, the rest of the songs are just a bonus in my opinion. Each song serves a purpose and tells a deep and heavy story about the everyday situations of life and death that DMX faces with his lifestyle. DMX even has the party staple of the 2000’s “Party Up” on this album.

1999 was a great year for rap with albums from Eminem, Mos Def, Jay-Z, and Dr. Dre coming out. DMX happened to just come out at the right time to be associated with these other rap legends. With a generous mix of emotion and hype, DMX nails this album and deserves to be considered a classic in all regards. With this classic album and many other great projects under his belt, it’s safe to say that DMX is a legend in the rap genre.

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