"I don't make music to make songs," says the record-breaking hip-hop icon DMX
, "I make music to record my life."
DMX, the legendary Ruff Ryder
who's sold 20 million albums, is back in the saddle with his eagerly-awaited sixth solo outing, Year Of The Dog, Again
, his first since 2003's Grand Champ
, the album that made him the only artist in the history of the Billboard Top 200 to have his first five albums debut consecutively at #1. Beyond iconic, DMX has been the voice of the hood since he first burst onto the scene as a representative of the street movement and record label, Ruff Ryders.
As hip-hop is assimilated into the cultural mainstream, it's time for the long overdue and much needed return of rap's prophetic visionary, DMX.
DMX is currently working with fellow Ruff Ryder and production mastermind Swizz Beatz
(who's been on-board DMX's entire career as well as producing smash tracks for a hip-hop elite including Eve
, Busta Rhymes
, Mary J. Blige
, Lil' Kim
, and Destiny's Child
"Working with the dog in 2006 is truly a blessing," said Swizz Beatz. "The dog is focused. And anyone who thought the dog was gone better put their head between their legs and kiss their ass goodbye. He's looking better than ever, sounding better than ever, and creating better than ever. Swizz Beatz plus Ruff Ryders plus DMX equals history."
A reunion of two old friends lies behind DMX's new deal. As Chad "Dr. Ceuss" Elliot, Vice President, A&R, Sony Urban Music, explains, "Looking backward, the dots always connect. I produced 'Born Loser,' DMX's first commercially released single. And now, years later, it's more than just an honor to be part of bringing this incredible talent back to where he started his career. It is a great pleasure to say to DMX, 'Welcome home!'"
"I think that this deal was meant to be because our first deal was at Sony," commented Joaquin Waah Dean, Co-Founder and CEO, Ruff Ryders. "We did a single deal with DMX and Ruffhouse/Columbia for 'Born Loser' and Chad Elliot, who's now at Sony, was the producer of that record. So it's a 360 degree miracle to be back at Sony 15 years later with the producer who worked on his first record, back on the first label to ever cut us a check, and DMX starting off fresh with a clean slate.
Pulling no punches and making no excuses, DMX tears into his blistering new songs with all the powers at his command on Year Of The Dog, Again, his first full-length album for Sony Urban Music. A powerful declaration of DMX's dreams and demons, Year Of The Dog, Again reconnects hip-hop with the righteous moral complexity and unflinching honesty of its roots. When asked about the current state of hip-hop, DMX is blunt about the so-called competition. "No one is saying anything," he exclaims. "It's not rap, it's crap. There is no soul. I refuse to conform to the norm."
With the skill and flow that's earned him a permanent place in the pantheons of both hip-hop and American popular music, DMX infuses Year Of The Dog, Again with equal parts hope, wrath and celebration. With his eyes on abiding core values and his feet on the pulse of the clubs and the street, DMX combines the sacred and the profane with the complex artistry and authority that led the All Music Guide to call him "…a hip-hop Johnny Cash."
DMX kicks off Year Of The Dog, Again with the thundering "I Run Shit," which lays down the law as only Earl Simmons, aka Darkman X, is capable of. Set to a driving dramatic martial beat, "I Run Shit" announces DMX's reentry into the ring with the growling imperative, "Ya'll niggas know what it took for me to get here/ I'm gonna stay here."
DMX keeps the pressure up with the rough and ready "Give Em What They Want," in which hardcore throw-downs like "Show some f**king respect/knock before you enter" make it clear that while DMX may have been out of the game for three years, you'd be crazy to under-rate his status or his skills.
The undisputed king of the hood switches things up on the guitar-stoked "Wrong Or Right," which features his comrades-in-arms, the hard-rockin' Bizarre Royale. "Life Be My Song" shines a light on DMX's reflective side offering hard-won wisdom like "Look through my eyes the devil is a liar/the truth never lies," while "Lord Give Me A Sign" finds the commonality between the streets and the spirit with DMX continuing his quest for salvation.Click Here To Hear The Entire Album Before It Comes Out On August 1!"Check out DMX's VIDEOS