12/18: DMX – Here We Go Again

There was a time when DMX was in the conversation as one of so-called kings of NY when it came to rap. He struck almost out of nowhere with his classic debut album It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot in 1998 and then followed up with Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood before the year ended (I never liked it, feeling it was a rushed money grab by DMX and Ruff Ryders but I’d say it has a cult following).

As 1999 drew to close, Dark Man X completed and released his 3rd album in 2 years, …And Then There Was X. I felt like the album was an improvement over Flesh Of My Flesh…, but songs like the monster “Party Up (Up In Here)” and “Good Girls, Bad Guys” left me worried about his future direction.

Despite my reservations, I absolutely loved “Here We Go Again”. In the same vein as Bleek and Jay’s “Coming Of Age I & II”, DMX tries to show a kid the ways of the streets only to have him turn against him. Unlike Bleek and Jay, DMX has to resolve the dispute in a permanent way.

Showcasing the storytelling abilities he displayed on his first two albums, “Here We Go Again” is a constant reminder of the greatness of X and what his problems ultimately robbed us of for the rest of his career. I’d love if we could get one more truly dope DMX album.

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