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DMX’s Debut Album ‘It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot’ Turns 25 Years Old!

On this day in Hip Hop history DMX released his debut album It‘s Dark and Hell Is Hot. This is DMX’s most popular project to date, with Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood serving as a close second. Within the first week of its release selling 251,000 copies debuting at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The LP went on to become certified quadruple platinum on December 18th, 2000.

This project came during a turbulent time in Hip Hop. The genre was coming off of the loss of two titans, Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G., and was facing a change in what was hot. With the rise of high energy production melded with dark and oft-violent lyricism coming from camps like No Limit, Cash Money, and Three 6 Mafia, DMX’s sound allowed him to find his place perfectly within the current trend while add his own twist.

DMX’s melancholic realism spoke to the generation. This project was able to simultaneously turn the party up and cause its listeners to think introspectively about the concept of good and evil and existence as a whole. This album touched on the struggle and pain that came being DMX. As most rappers would glamorize the finer side of the industry life, DMX reveals through this debut that even early on in his career he had been wrestling with the demons that come with wealth and fame.

The stand out hit of the album, “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem”, has been deemed as a classic squad anthem. Produced by Swizz Beatz, the single peaked at #93 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #79 on VH1’s 100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop.

Following this album, DMX went on to release six other studio albums and rise to be one of the most popular and influential artists of the early 2000s. Shortly following the release of this album DMX made his film debut in the hit film Belly with fellow New York rapper, Nas.

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