Shout to my Radio Lifer and Hip-Hop Homey Mic Jonez for Inspiration for this topic
FACT: DMX was in prime position to be one if not THE GREATEST RAPPER OF ALL TIME! Excluding NOBODY for whatever reason. Hit Records, Great Albums, Powerful Movement, Crossover audience yet didn’t change up for the industry, sales in the MILLIONS and did movies and although somewhat typecast made perfect sense for who he was and represented. So before anybody hits me with the “NO WAY IN HELL…” Tell me what you remember from 1997 till 2004.
It all starts with the music. I honestly feel that DMX put out the best 5 rap albums in a row, EVER! To further clarify the statement. I think albums 1-5 of DMX’s catalog exceeds some of our favorite and most high regarded emcee’s.
I said this in a discussion a few days ago and a cat hit me with “Man if that’s true than he should be number 1 on everybody list”…My response was..No..but he should be in everybody’s Top 10…He’s in mine and I’m not sure I’d put him 8-10 just off memory alone.
Let me be clear, cause readers get confused. I’m NOT saying “DMX has 5 Classic Albums”…my belief is no one does. I’m saying album for album…His first 5 albums are better than anyone else’s first 5 albums. Let’s Breakdown the obvious contenders.
Jay-Z – I’ll admit Jigga comes the closest. I don’t feel Vol 3 is better than The Great Depression simply because “Pop 4 Roc” and “Things That You Do” are on this album. Grand Champ vs Roc La Familia…I could see it going either way. The Feature flooded family album was really good but so was Grand Champ….Don’t try to count Blueprint. That was Album 6.
Nas – I am and Nastradamus Vs And Then There Was X and The Great Depression….As much as I go to bat for Nastradamus the masses will make this argument for me that this album isn’t better. “I am” and “And then there was X” are almost the same album depending on what you remember. Since Nas is MY favorite Rapper Ever, I’ll leave it up to you…So that leaves Stillmatic vs Grand Champ. Some believe Stillmatic got 5 mics because of ETHER alone. I can’t determine what The Source did…BUT I will say listen to both in 2014 and let me know your thoughts.
Eminem – The guy I consider the Greatest Rhymer Ever! He does not have a better catalog than DMX. I’ll give Em a break and not even count Infinite…So that Leaves “The Slim Shady LP” against “It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot” and “Encore” against “The Great Depression”..Which leaves “Relapse” against “Grand Champ”….That argument kind of wrote itself didn’t it? These two battled some of the same Demons..so we can’t even use that excuse.
2 Pac – The handful of people who own 5 Tupac Shakur Albums dated BEFORE 1996 is smaller than the masses will let you know. X first 2 Albums SMOKES Pac’s first 2 albums. They don’t?!?!?! You telling me “2Pacalypse Now” and “Strictly 4 My N.I.G.G.A.Z” are better than “It’s Dark…” and “Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood”!?!?! C’mon on now….
Notorious B.I.G and Big Pun – Simply just not enough material. You literally have to put these 2 together to pose a valid argument unfortunately.
Snoop Dogg – Blame the “Doggfather” Album is nothing else, then blame “Da Game Is to Be Sold, Not to Be Told” and those were albums 2 and 3.
Kanye West – Ye’ started making MUSIC. 808’s and Heartbreak may be some fans favorite album…where does the fall in the realm of rap albums though?
Mobb Deep – Do you OWN Juvenile Hell? Have you even listened to it before? What about Infamy? Cause their both in the first 5.
50 Cent and Ja Rule – Yes I did this on purpose..Cause X maintained relevance through both of their audiences You bought their albums cause honestly…it sounded something like an X album in certain spots. Neither front 5 is strong enough. Period.
Now, lets go into Wild Card picks…
Ice Cube: On The Low…This may be an even stronger pick than Jigga…I just can’t do the whole “War and Peace” joints. Cube’s 4th solo album War dropped when “It’s Dark…” Did…X literally made his mark on Cube’s decline. So you’re argument is “Just how great are Cubes first 3 albums?” That gets a real discussion going.
LL Cool J – Real life..you’re going to get yourself into an “Era Argument” with this pick. I say no way due to the fact that LL makes a lot of great MOMENTS but he hasn’t made a lot of Great Albums. Sorry Mom…
Outkast – This one is a great one too! However…Speakerboxx and The Love Below…Its not 100% rap album and they don’t even do the album together. I’m not knit-picking but, I’m giving you facts. Im also not the biggest fan of the Stankonia album outside of a handful of songs.
Busta Rhymes, Redman, T.I, Ludacris: Love All these guys but let me throw some albums out there at you. “Anarchy”, “Genesis”, “Whut! The Album?” “Malpractice”, “T.I vs Tip” “Im Serious”, “Red Light District” “Release Therapy”…How do you feel these albums stack up? Let me know.
Surprise: Scarface – Face is probably the only guy that even X himself would put above him and only because this is one of his favorite rappers. However, I must ask this one question…Who was listening to Scarface SOLO EFFORTS. BEFORE “The Diary”? which is his 3rd album.
Is this debatable…YES! Which is what I want. I want to see where my real music listeners and collectors are and challenge my theory. Just cause I believe something doesn’t make it Fact or even true to you…BUT…I think I have the hands down strongest case off of the simple fact that, I’ve NEVER heard the phrase “I HATE DMX MUSIC!” “I think DMX Weak As Hell”. Promise I’ve never heard it. Im in the mindset that anyone from every walk of life has purchased and enjoyed an X Album…and if they don’t…well, They hiding from me…lol
And NOW for one of my favorite joints from my personal favorite DMX Album “The Great Depression”…This is “Shorty Was The Bomb”..Yes..Album Number 4…Stop sleeping