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on November 3, 2002
If you're looking for "It's dark and hell is hot" Part 2 you may be disappointed with this one. Which makes me wonder why only 7 months after that legendary debut album he released this, he could've just rested on his laurels, the Hard Knock Life Tour w/ Jay-Z was about to happen and a few months later the first Ruff Ryders compilation , "Ryde or Die: Volume 1" was coming out. I can remeber many fans (myself included) who were confused with this sudden follow-up. There were the old and new DMX albums, yet the first one was released last May!
That said, this is an extremely strong album in it's own light. "Slippin" was a somewhat poor choice for a first single in that it was mellow. The opener "My Niggaz" is a semi-skit with a nice keyboard line. Speaking of skits, there's only one more on the entire album, "Pac-Man" which is the perfect compliment to "Mickey" off his debut. DMX's superb flow accompanies the beats well.Trouble maker Damien returns for "The omen", which features a terrific background noise inspired by a Heart rate machine at a hospital. Marilyn Manson, like him or not, sings the chorus. Some may complain that "It's all good" is a bit cliched, but it goes along with his "I don't give a" attitude. There's a clever use of the Tania Gardner "Heartbeat"/"Turnaround" bass line.
The afforementioned "Slippin" is good. X once again employs a female singer with a pretty voice to sing the background vocals.
On "No love 4 me" he continues to demonstrate his lyrical prowess, along with help from fellow Ruff Ryder Drag-ON, who also rips it. Next is my favorite song on the whole CD "Dogs for life" which is widely overlooked in the DMX catalog, it contains deep introspective lyrics from Dark Man and he even speaks a little Spanish. Es Loco, Muy Bien! The organ and piano from Swizz Beatz is top notch. Following that is "Blackout", which ranks alongside Noreaga's "Banned from t.v" among all-time greatest posse cuts. Hey, the L.O.X also appeared on that song, they're batting .1000. Jay-Z has an ice verse and of course X drives it all home with his patented "Grrrrrrrrrr." I always looked at that track as a warm-up for Jay and DMX, preceding their Succesful tour. The title track has an interesting solo at the end, I'm not sure what instrument it is. I enjoy the line saying "Matter of fact I think I'll drop another song tonight" Meaning he doesn't care if it gets 5 Mics in the Source; He's satisfied with it, which ranks above all in terms of importance.
I gotta give credit to that skill, he can rush a tune without making it sound half-assed.
The weakest track on the album beat-wise is "Heat". I think Sheek sings the chorus, though I'm note, The liner notes don't credit anyone, but maybe that adds to it's mysterious-ness.
He gives a shout-out to Boomer, his pet dog who got hit by a van, the words "One love Boomer" are tattooed on DMX' back.
The closer to the record is "Ready to meet him" an epic, spiritual cut that starts out with the expected prayer. This differs from his other albums because the prayer and song are combined as one track. Whereas usually there seperate. If you're not familiar these songs are highly emotional with DMX talking to the lord, voiced by himself. There's scenarios like "Thou shall not kill/but what if he's trying to kill me?" That wordplay paints an eery picture that rolls up smoothly alongside Swizz' Creepy, haunting background melody. This ending track is over 7-minutes long, and unlike It's dark and hell is hot, there's no quick message from DMX to finish the album, I'm not saying that's good or bad, just different.
The actual disc is a little less fancy then the first one, and at first I hated this albums cover, Now it's tied with the debut for number #1, to be honest if he had this cover on his first album, it probably would've been less popular.
Admittedly this album as a whole is just a notch below It's Dark and hell is hot, and this arrived only a short time after it's precursor, still, it shouldn't be overlooked, give this a listen when you get the chance.
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on February 13, 2003
In December of 1998, DMX (Earl Simmons) dropped his second album "Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood", just eight months after his first release. You might think that such a quick release would result in a weak album, but instead in this album we get another Hiphop Classic. Intro track "My N....s" starts the album off powerfully, and sets the tone for whats to come, one of the best intros I have ever heard. "Bring your Whole Crew" is a hardcore banger, followed by the Swizz Beats produced "Ain't No Way" another banger, X comes across rugged and memorable on both of these. Guest appearances are nice on this album. Jadakiss of the Lox drops in for "We Don't Give a f..k" and this is followed by another sick track "Keep Your S..t The Hardest". R & B queen Mary J Blige drops in for "Coming From". DMX talks about the ladies in "Its All the Good". The best track on this album and my all time favourite DMX track "Slippin" comes next. DMX goes deep on this one, talking about growing up, becoming a man, and making it through the hardest of times, thug life, hitting rock bottom, while repping hook "I am slipping, I am falling, I cant get up..", as well as thanking the people who helped him make it. Message in this track is no matter how far you go down, you can always make it back. More memorable banging tracks follow like "No Love 4 Me" ,"Dogs for Life", and "Blackout". Album ends with "Ready to Meet him" a prayer. "Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood" is excellent from start to finish, classic album for anyone who loves hiphop.
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on December 1, 2004
DMX is back after only 7 months since his chart topping debut, and he creates another good album. All in all this album is his darkest to date and one could tell that just from the album cover. Has 3 songs featuring other rappers and one with Mary J Blige on the hook, and even one with Marilyn Manson. Production is mostly handled by Swizz Beatz (9 songs out of 14) and he does (surprisingly) a pretty good job. Has a bunch of dark tracks, but a few gangsta ones and party ones as well, and a few very deep songs. Has 2 or 3 songs I skip and about 3 ok songs, the rest are very good or classics. A must have rap album.

#2 - 9 (fast beat)
#4 - 7.5
#5 - 9 (f/ Jadakiss & Styles of the LOX -- about being crossed by a homie)
#6 - 7
#7 - 5 (f/ Mary J. Blige -- I don't like the beat on this one)
#8 - 8.5 (upbeat song about fu*king hoes)
#9 - 9 (second song w/ him talkin to Damien (the devil) f/ Marilyn Manson)
#10 - 10 (classic -- a very deep song)
#11 - 9 (f/ Drag-On & Swizz Beatz -- upbeat)
#12 - 6.5 (slower more relaxing beat)
#13 - 10 (classic -- f/ Jay-Z & LOX {Styles, Sheek & Jadakiss)
#14 - 9 (upbeat)
#15 - 6
#16 - 9 (has a 2 minute intro before the song starts -- about being ready to meet God -- good beat)

Earl Simmons -- b. 12/18/70 -- b. Baltimore, MD - moved to Yonkers, NY
"Where My Dogs At **** Grrrrr!!!!!!"

check all my reviews
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on November 27, 1999
DMX has skills beyond human comprehension! Everything from his incredibly sexy thuggish appeal to his deep and insightful lyrics never fail to astonish me. His strong forceful voice always manages to summon tears to my eyes. This man is a colossal inspiration to me as well as infinate others. This man is practically a god! As far as "Flesh of My Flesh,Blood of My Blood" goes,he gives 110% in every single track! He is unstopable! I especially love that little prayer/poem thing he did. I really appreciate the fact that he took the necesary time to acknowledge the Lord. When DMX rhymes, you can feel where he's comin' from. For example, when I first heard "Slippin'", I was ballin' in tears. It's like his music leaps inside you and makes you feel what he feels. It's an inexplickable feeling when I hear his voice. This CD is OFF THE HEEZ! and it deserves 6 stars, and to the who gave this beatiful CD 1 star, e-mail me cuz we need to talk!
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on January 28, 2012
For some reason, DMX decided to sound more polished and commercial for this album instead of going back to the gritty sound of his debut. "It's Dark and Hell is Hot" acts like a companion piece to this album in so many ways but without the intensity and grittiness of that album, this one fails to capture the same atmosphere. That's not the only thing that held this album back some;

For whatever reason, there are alot more guest artists on here than on the debut; some songs with guest artists on this album are really good but DMX in the spotlight is what makes the song better usually. He's given a backseat too much on this album.

If this was Part 2 to his debut, this album would be the DMX who is still struggling inside and makes mistakes but has grown wiser. The problem is that there are so many guest appearances that DMX's overall theme not only diminishes some, but some of his own rhymes are styled to appeal to the commercial crowd.

These are the strong songs in my opinion: Bring Your Whole Crew, Ain't No Way, Coming From, The Omen, Slippin' (it sounds fine edited), Flesh of My Blood, Heat, and Prayer 2/Ready to Meet Him

The rest belongs on a compilation cd or something because it makes the album sound uneven and some of the songs aren't even that good.

If you're a huge DMX fan, you're gonna get it no matter what.
If you're new to DMX, get his first album and then get this used.
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on May 18, 2013
THIS BOY HIT THE SCENES AND RIPPED THE RAP WORLD OFF THE HINGES. NOT ABOUT AN IMAGE. ALL REAL LIFE PAIN AND EXPERIENCES. HE'S MAKING AMENDS WITH HIS PAST AND MOVING TOWARDS CHRIST. ALWAYS WAS NEVER FAR FROM GOD. NO RAPPER EVER SAYS A PRAYER ON EVERY CD. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A CHRISTIAN SO I CAN RELATE ON GROWING UP IN THE HOOD AND TRYING TO GIVE YOUR LIFE TO CHRIST DEALING WITH LIFE STRUGGLES IN A TOUGH ENVIRONMENT.

Shipped in proficient time. CD arrived ahead of schedule. No damage. Packaged really well. Played excellently in my car stereo. Bought back memories. Have purchased from this company many times. Will continue the relationship.
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on January 29, 2000
This is one of DMX's best reccords with 16 tracks including the popular "Slippin'" Any fan of Ruff Ryders must have this in their collection
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on December 21, 1999
I think this is their best work til the new one came out. MOST DEFINATELY a great gift for any rap lover. peace
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on January 6, 2014
DMX's second studio album continued to set ablaze the fire that his debut album lit. And he nor his music stopped there. DMX in my opinion for a while there he was undeniably the most gritty, rapper in the rap game. This is a must own for DMX fans.
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on May 19, 2006
In the whole scheme of DMX this is the album that often gets lost in the shuffle. It's not his coveted first album, and it didn't hit as big as his third album. It also has some fairly scary imagery with X bathed in pig's blood all over it.

I love this album. I love the beats and I love the lyrics. DMX is often profound, and the lyrics are polished and good. Nearly every song contains lyrics that have significant worth. DMX is a master with the English language. He is also proficient at putting to words the unspoken street code. He manages to create a code of honor in his music not seen before.

DMX can and does it all in this album. He does hard core well, he does hard knock life well, and he does chasing [...] well. "Slippin'" made our list of top 50 songs for good reason. The song is beautiful. Also worth a listen are: "Bring Your Whole Crew", "Ain't No Way", "Ready to Meet Him", and "Flesh of My Flesh". X takes more than the title from the Bible. He has heavy religious overtones in "Flesh of My Flesh" and he pulls it off flawlessly. X can do it all, because he comes off so real. I worship what the man can do lyrically; he's the best lyricist going to today, bar none.

I don't really get too into beats. I don't care one way or another most times unless it's a f___ing gun going off repeatedly. (I'm talking to you C-Murder) The beats are hard when they need to be and soft when they need to be. Swiss beats are always adequate and that's all I have to say about that.

Of course the skits piss me off a lot. I don't need Pac Man etc. clogging up my smooth record. Get off it, X - we don't need it. I like the prayers, not the skits. I would prefer it if there weren't any lame skits at all, because I don't find them funny. There are also a few painfully average efforts on here, but I am not going to bust DMX's chops on them. The CD is too good for me to sit here and nitpick it.

Obviously I recommend this one. Most all of the songs are good. There are only a few average songs on here. I'm not even saying anything is bad. It's such a good album beginning to end. I love what X does here and give it a hearty thumbs up.
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