And Then There Was X
UNI / Def Jam
our score: 2.0 out of 5.0
left the kennel door open, and the dog is loose.
After a year-long
hiatus, DMX is back to spit more of the gritty rhymes that hip-hop
listeners have become accustomed to hearing after his debut it's
Dark and Hell is Hot. However, with a style that has changed
little since his most recent Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My
Blood, the latest offering from the Dark Man X, …And Then
There Was X, fails to lend any new insight into the rapper's
In the turbulent
world of rap it's crucial to keep up with the latest trend. From
the evolution of West Coast gangsta rap to the New Orleans bounce
of Master P's No Limit Army, MCs have had to adapt. Hell, even
Q-Tip, formerly of the mellow, jazz-influenced A Tribe Called
Quest, has adopted the jiggy stylings of Puff Daddy for his first
solo effort, albeit much to the chagrin of the rest of the hip-hop
to see DMX in a shiny silver suit primping for the camera in a
Hype Williams-esque video any time soon. Playing the roughneck
street mercenary to Jay-Z's flashy, Cristal-drinking party man,
DMX is comfortable staying at ground-zero in the ghetto war zone
by spouting verses of contempt for his enemies and couplets of
impending doom for anyone who crosses him. However, no one can
ever call him a killer without a conscience.
On "The Professional,"
the rapper growls through the dozens of ways he can send you to
an early grave, but is quick to mention that he doesn't "like
to involve women and children." The moral tug-of-war he seems
to be constantly waging with himself is hardly enough to reconcile
the bloody thoughts he's unafraid to share with us. Songs of disappointment
in the next generation of street hustlers ("Here We Go Again")
and blatant disrespect for women ("What These Bitches Want") show
X has respect for few, and trusts even less. The latter of the
two quickly dissolves into a laundry list of women who have asked
for too much or given too little and consequently stoked his ire.
Name?" is the obligatory territory-staking track that appears
on all too many hip-hop albums today. DMX is the name and those
who have yet to learn it best fear the wrath of rapper.
sounds as if he has begun to gargle even more class and shrapnel
in order to attain the gritty voice he's come to be famous for,
claims like "I'm not a nice person" come off as trite and near
The most laughable
track on the album, however, is "Prayer III," a sequel of sorts
to the prayers on his previous two releases. Although he begs
for forgiveness and accepts his shortcomings as a human sent to
do the biddings of Jesus, he drowns in his own hypocrisy. Isn't
this the same man who only six tracks before threatened to make
your grandma your only surviving family member on "What's My Name"?
rhymes are not without some bite, their teeth have dulled from
overuse since it's Dark... and Flesh... . Whereas
before they had the strength to pierce deep and make you fear
DMX, now their repetitiveness simply tears and grates on the listener's
The Dog has
failed to climb up the evolutionary ladder much since his last
album, and to use a line from "Here We Go Again," it's the "same
old shit dog, just a different day."
liked And Then There Was X....
The Kennel (skit)
2. One More Road To Cross
3. The Professional
5. Alot To Learn (skit)
6. Here We Go Again
7. Party Up
8. Make A Move
9. What The B*****s Want
10. What's My Name?
11. More 2 A Song
12. Don't You Ever
13. The Shakedown (skit)
14. D-X-L (Hard White)
15. Comin' For Ya
16. Prayer III
18. Good Girls, Bad Guys