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"Flesh of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood" was the second album from the hardcore rapper from New York, DMX. It came out in 1998, and was just as successful as his breakthrough with "It's Dark And Hell Is Hot", which came out only a few months earlier.
1. "My N***as" (Intro)
2. "Bring Your Whole Crew"
The first real musical track on the album has him kicking us off with a big one to get you excited as he gets right to and flows on top of some beats to show that he is doing something very different on this album as he builds it up on full rhymes, a poetic technique used more in the Hip Hop tunes which you are expected to rap along to, and these tend to be the club ones. When you compare it to the X of the first album, it appears to be a fair change.
3. "Pac Man" (Lude)
4. "Ain't No Way"
This was one of the tracks on the album where it was nether here nor there, it was just in the middle, and not a lot was really happening with it to impress me, but you can't jus dismiss it as there is a lot of unique things to show you that his work was potential, its just not reaching it on this particular one. The chorus is memorable, and has him singing, as he had on the "It's Dark, and Hell is Hot" release.
5. "We Don't Give A F**k"
Although I wasn't quite sure what Jadakiss meant in the hook to this one, I felt that after a while you really get into it, and it means that I have to consider it to be a fairly god one from him as X comes with full energy and takes on all of those you try to test him. The beats from Irv Gotti are big, and bring you into this street setting as they speaking on snitching, and the implications of doing so.
6. "Keep Your S**t The Hardest"
Surely it is obvious to identify the production in this one as that of Swizz Beatz as you have him with some clubby beats, which is rich in scratches and general hype. As much of X's most popular work, towards his most popular years, was in this style (and with Swizzy on the beats) its good to hear how this relationship has developed to make such tunes as "Party Up", "We In Here" and "Get It On The Floor".
7. "Coming From"
The way that this one begun, I thought it was going to be a banger of a tune, but it quickly fizzled out as you here Mary J. Blige on the hook. For some reason, although I like her work, whenever she takes on a minor roe, such as this on a track, it just puts me off the tune, and I can't say that it seemed as if anyone was doing anything big enough to make me think otherwise towards it.
8. "It's All Good"
I hadn't heard this one before checking out this album and as soon as it started I realizes it was a banger, and you would definitely feel this way if you are a fan of his later work with more of a club-oriented sound which was produced by Swizz Beatz. So go and listen to this because it is the first sign of fun from his in the late '90s. I recognize the beat of this track from Eazy E's "Radio" and De La Soul's "Buddy". If you are familiar with them then you will know that ift is a very funky beat and to go along with it, X hits us with some lyrics to tell us how he loves his girls (as if we didn't already know).
9. "The Omen"
This one acts as the follow-up recording to "Damien", from the debut album by this artist, and I really didn't like that one so this one was just as bad for me. This one has him going for this full-on Horrocore work with lots of disturbing sound effects being used through the thing, and it as just general off-putting. As well as this, you get an appearance from Marilyn Manson on the hook, and it was rather scary in general.
This one is about his very difficult times growing up and getting to where he is today. You hear that he has been through a vast amount of contrasting phases through has years, molding himself to what we can currently see, you hear of tales of how he will hustle through these times, to reflect on his past, but knows he has to change for his children (of which he has four). In my opinion, it sounds like an ominous ending to finish off the compilation album, because it doesn't leave him off in a good tone, it's as if he is coming out of a bad past and moving on, but it doesn't sound like it will be as strong a future, and I don't believe that think reflects his plan for the next few years, so perhaps I would have put something different at this pint in the album.
11. "No Love For Me"
Swizzy makes you believe that we are going into another slow record at first, but then he switches everything up and provides a strong bouncing beat for X and his Ruff Ryder Drag-On, who makes an appearance alongside the artist to promote himself as an artist in his own right as he attempts to seek independence, but never quite reaches it (even to current times). I like how the listener is told "don't let anyone tell your what you hope and you fear." because he is telling us that we a re all trapped into the things which society forces upon us when they expect certain things of you and you should attempt to distance yourself from these feelings. I quite liked listening to it and enjoyed the lines which Drag-On added.
12. "Dogs For Life"
After starting off with a fairly lengthy skit, you have him on top of some killer beats from Dame Grease, and as on the first album, he was known for the haunting, Horrocore production, it's good to see a more general Hip Hop style of constructing the music. From this, you have X rapping in the dark way, but it is lightened with the lively, electronic percussion.
This is more of a LOX track than one of DMX's, because it sounds nothing like an of his other works. I was surprising by the fact that Swizzy was on production, because his style of producing is usually instantly recognizable, but this one isn't anything like what he's doing now (probably because he's more focussed on club hits today). As you never here "Blackout" in the track, I believe that they gave this as the title as reference to the New York Blackout of 1977, which relates to themselves (all black) destroying the city that they came from. It's quite clever, and by having some of the best talent which NYC can supply us with, it certainly lives up to the name, but I wouldn't say any of them were on top form, especially Jigga Man (who sounded like he was having an off day).
14. "Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood"
The Eponymous tune to this album is a big one, and represents the album well as it has him working to the ability which is generally found throughout the thing, and it has him combining the cold rhymes with the beats which could be taken to a club setting as Swizzy does his thing, and hypes you with his distinct style of producing.
Swizz Beatz joins in this one too, and in this case he manages to implement that fun stuff which we can all get down to, even though you have the rapper doing one where he seems to be in his own zone, and is trying to explain how the streets work, especially at times when something big is about to go down. DMX talks you through the anxieties of the situation, and how you must be ready to die if you enter into this system.
16. "Ready To Meet Him"
To end this album, you have him firstly performing another rhyming prayer before getting into the music, but as this one was religiously-charged, I didn't really see a place in it for me, and I wasn't really happy to here this closing things off as it was a pretty weak one in comparison to the rest. Many will see it differently though with him going at it hard with passion about how life for him has changed to a point where he can't stand it anymore.
I have to say that after really not liking his debut, I was really impressed with this one as it seems that from March to December of 1998 he was able to make significant changes in order to make his work a lot more manageable to a wider audience of fans with less Horrocore, and more of the stuff which is seen with most others, the dark twist is what makes it good.
THE RUFF RYDERS ALBUMS: FLESH OF MY FLESH, BLOOD OF MY BLOOD
_The DMX Album Collection - Part III_
'''Published by DJ_primo for DIJEH inc. / Works of Art '''
(Note: I originally posted this review on www.ciao.co.uk in my ID name - DJ_primo ©.)
Welcome Dooyoo readers to _part III_ of my DMX album series, where my review shall centre on 'FLESH OF MY FLESH BLOOD OF MY BLOOD'. This was the record that DMX dropped in '''December 1998''' as his follow up to his debut album, '''It's Dark and Hell Is Hot''', released in '''May 1998'''. Therefore, '''Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood''' is the sophomore album by DMX, the horrocore rapper who hails from the Yonkers, downtown in New York. '''Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood''' was a popular album by DMX and it reached No. 1 in the U.S Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Consequently this record enhanced DMX's glory in the East Coast territory of the rap industry where DMX gained more popularity with his mainstream fans.
After making his successful debut album (i.e. '''It's Dark and Hell Is Hot''' ) in the dark atmosphere of May, DMX slept in his frightful bloodbath before waking up in December in the same year. That was when the gory rap artist fulfilled his agenda to release his sophomore album, ''''Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood'''', hoping to unleash his devastating charisma. He came out of the darkness and stepped into the light, soaking wet in '''bright red blood''', according to the '''disturbing images''' on the album's inside cover. One of his objectives was to eat an umpire of rivalry rappers in the rap game like a hungry monster and drink their blood like a vampire. He aimed to bring absolute madness and terror against evil, materialistic rappers whose whackness about cars, gold, jewellery and money brought the Hip-Hop industry down into darkness. So he briefly descended to HELL to record '''Bring Your Whole Crew''' and '''Blackout''' for his sophomore album, devilishly rapping in potent fashion over hardcore instrumentation.
DMX had other important goals to deliver whilst recording ''''Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood''''. His other objectives included making introspective music to express how much love he has for his companions (i.e. "dogs") and stress the meaning off his life in his own perspective. So DMX briefly ascended to HEAVEN where he recorded majestic songs like '''Slippin'''' and '''Dogs For Life''' as angelic creations, based on saintly music productions. Whenever the rapper needed to pray or ask for the forgiveness of his sins through a convocation, he recorded '''Ready To Meet Him''' in the most heavenly fashion.
My reasons for buying DMX's ''''Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood'''' mostly stem from the astounding quality of the album's lead single, '''Slippin''''. When I watched the video for this song on MTV Base, I discovered that DMX's approach to his delivery was gentle, emotional and peaceful. Along with DMX's contribution of emotional rapping to '''Slippin'''', the production of this song served a calm combination of vocals and instrumentals to my eardrums in ethereal tones. '''Slippin'''' was a rather unusual kind of spiritual music coming from a psychotic, hardcore rapper like DMX who is better known for his intense anger on the microphone. The song lacks the general ferocity that makes DMX an exciting performer to me, but nevertheless, the beautiful melody and DMX's introspective subject matter make it very timeless. I even felt a spiritual connection with DMX through the heart and soul of his rhymes and this is what made '''Slippin'''' really special to me. Knowing already that '''Slippin'''' is an excellent track on '''Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood''', I went about checking out other songs from this album. I was hoping to find tasty tracks that would satisfy my appetite for good quality beats and make me feel bloodthirsty and hungry to hear DMX's raw-meat delivery.
In this review, I shall be conducting a '''Holy Communion''' service with reference to describing the lyrics and production of each track in religious fashion. This is where I will also give a description of the guest performeres on the album like a vicar as I talk about that bloodthirsty rapper, DMX. So as I hear the wonderful sounds of gongs in church bells, lets make a musical entrance through the delightful doors of DMX's sophomore album and experience the songs.
'''WHAT I EXPERIENCED'''
Greetings Dooyoo readers for attending the holy ceremony in memory that DMX Christ died for us on his second album, 'FLESH OF MY FLESH BLOOD OF MY BLOOD'. Now that you readers are comfortably seated in church and ready to repent your sins, listen carefully as I preach like a vicar in support of Christianity....
In October 2002, I first purchased DMX's second album CD, from HMV, approximately four months after I acquired the first album from this grisly emcee. I played 16 official tracks on the album and certain ones like '''Dogs For Life''' carried musical instruments so beautiful that I thought of it as a useful '''hymn'''.
There are a number of tracks like '''It's All Good''' where DMX committed sin and nearly allowed the devil to win but when DMX recorded '''Slippin''', the devil lost. That's when DMX successfully defeated '''The Omen''' with the help of the Lord God and so once more he felt holy again and as a hardcore survivor, he lives in glory. This remarkable event inspired me to feel heavenly and believe that the Kingdom of God is magnificent as DMX spiritually sees it. After I listened to DMX give holy messages on '''Ready To Meet Him''', I felt like evil spirits were exorcised and cleansed from my body.
The Church service of my '''Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood''' review now begins as I play the hymns (music tracks).
1. MY NI**AS ---- Skit (1:27 min)
The church service kicks off in '''Ruff Ryders''' style as I read the verses of the opening track, under the heading, MY NI**AS. The track commences with DMX praying to himself like some kind of mad Catholic or church fanatic staring at the holy cross. He emphasises his commitment to NI**AS who are loyal to him and visualises for a moment that he will '''Ryde or die''' with them. During the intercession, I can hear somebody whispering ' _....Ruff Ryders...._' and ' _....Ryde or die...._' in the background and with that in the equation, DMX's prayer is tailored to perfection.
After the intercessory prayer, Swizz Beatz ( '''real name: Kaseem Dean''' ) starts the symphony for Ruff Ryders Productions in spiritual mode. The spiritual tone of the production is largely due to unusual synthesisers that are atmospheric in sound, eerily waving around like ghosts in a windy weather. Interestingly, I find the synthesisers very catchy as they constantly drizzle on my eardrums like right rain, gently falling from '''Stratus clouds''' in misty grey conditions. Swizz Beatz complements his synthesisers with a combination of slow drums and mellow percussion. My Lord, it sounds like Swizz Beatz is the background percussionist, while DMX is the foreground artist, performing at the altar in a Modern Catholic Church.
Technically for DMX, '''My Ni**as''' is officially supposed to be the hardcore rapper's introductory track (or '''Intro''') ahead of the next 15 tracks on his sophomore album.
2. BRING YOUR WHOLE CREW (3:40 min)
Dooyoo readers please pick up your hymn service books and turn to '''track two''' as I prepare to play the '''first hymn''', 'BRING YOUR WHOLE CREW'....
As I enter '''Bring Your Whole Crew''', the strong winds relent and the atmospheric conditions get cloudier and darker in preparation for a horrific event involving DMX. Within three seconds of this song, DMX immediately cries ' _....AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!...._' in agony along with the usual shout of ' _....c'mon...._'. Personally, it appears to me that he is reacting to a crime that he seriously committed and obviously has something to feel guilty about. Initially, DMX stresses that nobody hears what he has to say in his story, regarding the nasty display of his attitude against his rivalry CREW of black men. Nevertheless he suddenly raps with a dangerous flow and vicious tone of voice on the microphone, unleashing his monstrous charisma like some deranged psychopath.
In the first verse, DMX openly confesses ' _....I got blood on my hands...._', suggesting that he killed someone but feels ' _....there's no remorse...._' for his murderous ways. The sheer horror of the hardcore rappers' confession gets even more heinous as he describes his dangerous action of having ' _....f*cked a corpse...._'. Apparently, DMX sexually attacked the victim whom he so brutally killed and consequently his pen*s is soaked in blood. The gory nature of this wicked activity reflects DMX's image as a ' _....nasty ni**a...._' who instils fear into his enemies when they look into his evil eyes. I suspect that the enemies whom DMX are referring to are the CREW of greedy rappers who flash their jewellery and money in front of his angry face. Thus, whenever any materialistic rapper looks into DMX'' psychotic eyes, they are staring into the face of danger and are ' _....ready to die...._'. By Lucifer, DMX is so crazy about preying on his enemies, that he is a thirsty creature, desperate to drink their blood like a vampire.
But DMX's interesting hunger and subject matter are not the only reasons why I find this track exciting, boys and girls. The presence of PK ( '''real name: Anthony Fields''' a.k.a. P Killer ) as the horrocore producer serves to bring the signature anger out of DMX's scintillating, hardcore performance. PK constructs a gothic production of cinematic violins and haunting bass lines in the background. This potent production theme fits DMX's furious delivery and vicious rhyme schemes like Lego bricks. It feels like P Killer was in HELL, cooking his instrumental like Gordon Ramsay, using a black cauldron of red-hot lava with ni**as' blood as the essential ingredient.
Apart from these horrifying details about PK, the producer spits a chorus in terrifying fashion to supplement DMX's frightening lyrics. PK adds his vocals to the song and carefully tailors it to sound like a ghoul while expressing how much hunger he has for his enemies' flesh. As he sits in the darkness playing the haunting violin symphony like a ghastly musician, he utters:
[PK - chorus]
' _....I just love when a ni**a bring his whole crew_
_It's just a bigger piece of cake for me to chew a hole thru...._'
3. PAC MAN (Skit) (0:56 min)
(Not a music track)
'''Rating: Not applicable'''
4. AIN'T NO WAY (4:49 min)
Please stand from your seats. Turn to '''song number 4''' in the hymn service book, so that we can sing AIN'T NO WAY together, combining our vocal display in the process....
The track commences with Swizz Beatz playing an introductory combination of bass-driven melody and soft percussion for his production scheme like an easygoing musician. This introductory instrumental takes place for about 12 seconds and during this phase, the Ruff Ryders producer establishes a spiritual link with DMX by ad-libbing a few words. Then after 12 seconds, the official phase of the musical beats, commences with DMX delivering a scintillating chorus that enhances the replay value of '''Ain't No Way'''.
The first thing that I noticed about Swizz Beatz' instrumental was how wonderful it sounded to my eardrums with its beautiful assortment of musical elements. It encompasses a creative mix of soprano bass lines, soft background bass and highly discrete percussion claps that reflects the best of Swizz Beatz as a producer. The keyboard bass lines persist throughout the '''Ain't No Way''' song and are aesthetic, sounding as if they were played by an organist with a passion for music. They enable the production to proceed gracefully and at a steady pace with a variety of amplitudes that I find very catchy and attention grabbing to me. The keyboard bass also provides a relaxing atmosphere to the track, encouraging me to chill out with a glass of refreshing blood or sacred wine.
Lyrically, '''Ain't No Way''' find's DMX directly following up his play in the '''Pac Man''' skit on track 3. Thus, in the first verse, DMX delivers his subject matter about how no other Hip-Hop performer is going to stop him from being a famous rap artist in town. In short, the Ruff Ryders rapper stresses to his rivals, ' _....ain't no way ya gonna stop my flow...._' or ' _....ain't no way ya gonna stop my shine...._'. He delivers these lines whilst spitting the chorus for the song. In addition to verse one, DMX comes up with a combination of scintillating lyrics and barking delivery that confirm his unique identity as the dog rapper:
[DMX - 1st verse]
' _....have you forgotten what it means when a dog shows his teeth?_
_Let me break it down for you he's about to attack you...._'
DMX spits lyrics that are mostly monosyllabic and simplistic but the manner, in which he executes his flow to deliver these rhymes, entertains me as a rap listener. This applies especially to the third verse where DMX lyrically attacks rappers for abandoning their mic skills in favour for materialistic possessions like gigantic cars. Sometimes as I listen to verse three, it makes me wonder whether DMX is playing the role of a preacher like Jesus Christ speaking against wealthy sinners. Hell, I will even postulate that this Ruff Ryder was trying to rescue Hip Hop from corruption and commercial possessions like a saviour when he recorded '''Ain't No Way'''.
Personally, I think the biggest strength about DMX on '''Ain't No Way''' is his singing display in the hook where his vocals are in fine tune with the production. DMX's hook is spectacular and quite catchy to my eardrums and this alone guarantees the track replay value. Another strong point about DMX on '''Ain't No Way''' is how the hardcore rapper utilises his tone of voice to sound charismatic over the microphone. DMX doesn't show any anger or sound paranoid like a mad hatter, but I can't deny that his easy-going, rap-talk flow is highly catchy to me. In addition, DMX's slow delivery and verbal flow blends well with Swizz Beatz' smooth instrumental, drawing my attention towards the music track.
'''No that we have finished the hymn, '''Ain't No Way''' let us kneel down and pray for DMX in church.'''
5. WE DON'T GIVE A F*CK (4:07 min)
(Note: Jadakiss and Styles are featured on this track)
Produced by Irv Gotti ( '''real name: Irving Lorenzo''' ) and Dat Ni**a Reb ( '''real name: Richard Wilson''' ) for Top Dawg Productions.
6. KEEP YOUR SH*T THE HARDEST (4:48 min)
On this track Swizz Beatz keeps his performance THE HARDEST with one of his catchiest, fast-paced up-tempo instrumental that is somewhat commercial. His production is also one of his best in my opinion. It carries the typical Ruff Ryders vibe with its traditional street-style drums constantly hitting away with a spectacular array of pleasant wind instruments and radiant bass lines. My eardrums also caught the sound of vocals of individuals screaming "Wooo!" in the background, sounding as if they were excited at watching Jesus perform healing miracles. The voices of "Wooo!" take place during the course of the chorus, particularly when DMX exchanges words (' _....Nigga come and get it ...._') with an unknown individual (' _....Ride and die why ...._').
Speaking of the chorus, DMX remains righteous when it comes making his hook sound catchy and marvellous to my eardrums. In short, he definitely keeps his SH*T THE HARDEST in the impressive chorus. Unfortunately however, the rapper fails to make sense in his lyrics as his two verses find him switching between different topics way too often. Furthermore his delivery on '''Keep Your Sh*t The Hardest''' is somewhat unusual in that it lacks the typical dog bark or emotional wit that bites my eardrums. Maybe DMX's intention was to freestyle on the mic and show off a new side to his charismatic delivery of simplistic rhyme schemes. But since his verses apparently have no subject matter and make little sense to me, I find that his wordplay is nowhere near as valuable as frankincense.
7. COMING FROM (5:13 min) feat. Mary J. Blige
It's time for me to play the next hymn, a song about where DMX is COMING FROM and what path he will be heading along in his lifetime....
On this track, DMX hires Mary J. Blige as the guest singer to educate us rap listeners about how we prosper from the past to the present. The Ruff Ryders rapper, and R'n'b singer, collaborate together to execute a retrospective subject matter about the deprived environment they came from. In verse one, DMX proceeds to describe everything he has seen whilst growing up in religious fashion over a righteous production created at the holy hands of PK. Feeling emotional, he carries out a retrospection of the nature of his life in general and delivers his personal vision for the future for my attention. Some of the visions that DMX sees through the eyes of God are what he calls ' _....a nightmare...._' while his other illusions are ' _....what he has as dreams...._'. His only answer to his mental images ' _....bad as that may seem, I know it's only going to get worse...._'. This is what DMX foresees like a soothsayer with plenty of passion staring into aftertime for the attention of myself as the rap. As he continues to give messages in each of his verses in ordained fashion, he stops to ask this question, ' _...where you coming from, and where you gotta go?_' Christ is to God. Amen.
As I listen to DMX sermonise me about life through his lyrical messages, the Queen of Hip-Hop Soul, Mary J. Blige utilises her vocal talents the chorus in hallowed style. As a singer she performs as '''Virgin Mary''' asking DMX as the son of God, ' _If I don't know where I'm coming from, where would I go?_'.
This time around the producer, PK keeps his instrumental relatively simple with his minimal bass lines and short piano loops that sound hallowed to me. This production also maintains a relaxed atmosphere to the song and this along with DMX's flow, is also driven on emotion due to the arrangements of the instruments.
8. IT'S ALL GOOD (4:13 min)
IT'S ALL GOOD is without a doubt, the worst musical track on this album, both from a lyrical and instrumental standpoint. I struggle immensely to listen to '''It's All Good''' in full because DMX's disgraceful topics about having sex with women is inexplicable and the production is really horrible. According to my experience of DMX's lyrical content and Swizz Beatz' instrumental, I'd say the rapper and producer where attempting to create a commercial hit full of bare bullsh*t!
For the first nine seconds, the song commences with DMX using a singing-talking delivery as he asks, ' _Love my ni**az, but wheres my b*tches?_' four times. Holy Christ, whenever I hear those evil words from the rapper, I often skip '''It's All Good''' immediately to listen to better quality tracks like '''The Omen'''.
The hook is completely dreadful, being among the most disgraceful aspect of the '''It's All Good''' song. It finds DMX spitting awful subject matter that is sinful to me as the rap listener. In the chorus, DMX stresses that ' _....It's all good...._' and ' _.....It's alright...._' to ' _....f*ck all day, f*ck all night...._'. DMX also rounds off his disastrous hook with the ridiculous, wordplay, ' ....east to the west coast, all my b*tches....' that is infamous for representing cliché, commercial Hip-Hop.
With regards to the actual delivery, DMX doesn't sound like a hardcore rapper with the true aggression, soul and emotion that I am more familiar with. His dark, horrocore image is seriously absent through the lame moment of this sh*tty pop-rap track. Hell, the rapper sounds like an imposter or fake DMX trying to be deceptively nice, but working for Satan by sexually targeting loads of women that he calls b*tches.
While DMX's ideas about having ' _Flocks of b*tches by the dozens...._' is utterly pathetic, Swizz Beatz' generic instrumental lowers the quality of the music track. The producer concocts a lousy, pop-influenced melody that is based on a sample from '''Taana Gardner's''' 1981 hit song - '''Heartbeat''' and it sounds cheap and nasty on my eardrums. Production-wise, '''It's All Good''' also sounds similar, to the disgraceful, unspectacular dancehall tune, '''Here Comes The Hotstepper''' that the overrated '''Ini Kamoze''' released in 1994. In addition, the production fails to fit with DMX's flow and execution of rhymes.
Overall, everything about this track is not ALL GOOD, it is ALL BAD!!!! This track is a sign of evil and I urge everyone to avoid singing the chorus of this '''It's All Good''' hymn as it may summon the devil. For according to the holy portent and prophecy of Jesus Christ, it brings a wicked treachery that casts a dark moment in the Hip-Hop industry.
9. THE OMEN (4:56 min)
'''Swizz Beatz directs THE OMEN for Ruff Ryders Productions, starring DMX, Marylin Manson, Dr Kravitz (a woman), Lucifer (the grim reaper) and a Man (Damien as the devil)'''
Readers please turn to '''page 666''' in your bible as we settle in the cold, dark atmosphere and struglle to see the written text about THE OMEN with a dim candle. The horrocore story resumes at track 9 as the true DMX comes back in a troubled state of mind, attempting to eradicate the false DMX from track 8....
Once upon a time in '''The Omen''', DMX lied unconscious in a stretcher and soon died as his mother, Dr. Kravitz stood over his body and cried in agony. Worried about the fate of her son, Dr Kravitz sensed dangerous prospects of Lucifer arriving in the main lobby with mischievous thoughts about permanently taking DMX away. She looked up to the Lord through the ceiling, held the cross to her chest and screamed in anguish,
' _....Oh God. He's gone take him from us. I hear him comin, I hear him comin, no I hear him comin comin!...._'
But despite the woman desperately asking God to save DMX, Lucifer successfully snatched the dead rapper in an event of madness like the grim reaper from the darkness. Lucifer greeted DMX's body like his Christmas present and said ' _....Hmm......him, him, him, him...... what's this?....._' during the terrifying moment of the '''The Omen''' track. Amidst the devilish voice of Lucifer in the opener of '''The Omen''' song, I heard the sound of an electrocardiogram. I assumed that the electrocardiogram was attached to the body of DMX, who eventually stopped breathing with his heart no longer beating.
After that the woman screams, the scene transcends to temporary silence, following the disappearance of DMX in the presence of Lucifer's vanishing act of d'evils.
Swizz Beatz starts off his production gently but in splendid fashion, crafting a dark, ghostly sound like he was setting the scary scene of Halloween in the dark, foggy forests. He follows up this fantastic display of sound effects with deep piano keys and simplistic background drums that play, quietly in a ghoulish way. These musical instruments make the sound of '''The Omen''' slow moving like the pace of the snake. The slow pace sets a dark, atmospheric event and horrific place for DMX, Marylin Manson and Damien to engage in their conversations.
10. SLIPPIN' (5:05 min)
Produced by DJ Shok ( '''real name: Michael Gomez''' ) for Ruff Ryders Productions
The first and lead single for DMX's sacred '''Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood'''' album has already been briefly described in my '''Introduction''' section of this review. In the introduction, I focused mainly on DMX's execution of soft delivery over the quality of DJ Shok's heavenly production.
11. NO LOVE 4 ME (4:00 min)
It's time for me to put my preaching aside to make another official complaint in church about a rather lame musical track on DMX's sophomore album. As I wear my spectacle to read about track 11 in the bible, I grumble about NO LOVE 4 ME, the second musical debacle that I find unacceptable....
I honestly cannot understand how ''''No Love 4 Me'''' became DMX's '''second and final single''' after '''Slippin''' when there are plenty other better tracks on this album. In my opinion '''Dog For Life''' and '''Flesh of My Flesh Blood of my Blood''' should have been hot favourites for singles due to their brilliant execution of instrumentals. Compared to those creative songs, '''No Love 4 Me''' is rubbish due to an unimpressive production, unimaginative hook and uncreative collaboration between DMX and Drag-on. In short, the track is dull, lame and stupid and should have been left for Drag-on's album projects.
While I struggled to pay attention to DMX's uninspiring performance, the presence of a dull verse from Drag-on ( '''real name: Melvin Smalls''' ) added further distress to my experience of hearing this song. He sounds half-asleep and lazy in his delivery, being a fake emcee and all washed up like a bucket of water was thrown over his head to wake him up.
The uncreative tune provided by Swizz Beatz carries a repetitive construction of guitar notes, drums and bass. The beat just drags on and on like Drag-on's boring delivery until it has me feeling weary like '''the sleeping beauty'''.
Okay lets forget about this garbage track and resume with the church service so that we can skip to the next hymn, '''Dogs 4 Life'''.
12. DOGS FOR LIFE (5:31 min)
Produced by Dame Grease ( '''real name: Damon Blackmon''' ) for Vacant Lot Productions
13. BLACKOUT (5:00 min) feat. LOX & Jay Z
May I ask all of you people in church to kneel down and BLACKOUT your vision by closing your eyes to listen as I read about passage 13....
DMX hooks up with his fellow Ruff Ryders members, the LOX, comprising Jadakiss ( '''real name: Jason Philips'''), Sheek ( '''real name: Shawn Jacobs''' ) and Styles ( '''real name: David Styles''') and the Roca-fella rapper Jay Z, who is also the hustler from Brooklyn. DMX together with his army of guest soldiers, proceed to attack random rappers in the rap game with braggadocio lines just like he did on '''Ni**az Done Started Somethin''''.
Jadakiss, Sheek and Styles lyrically deliver their verses first, second and third respectively. Jadakiss as usual shines as the BEST and most aesthetic member of the trio of LOX rappers with artistic, street poetry like:
' _Yo, I used to have bad luck_
_Now you might see me in a Jag truck_
_Mad stuck either with a dime or a bad duck...._'
Jay Z ( '''real name: Shawn Carter''' ) snatches the fourth verse. Unfortunately his commercial topics about being ' _....surrounded by 6's and hummers...._' is weak and his lyrics somewhat hovers around mediocrity. As usual in this kind of collaboration, DMX raps the fifth and final verse, displaying his wrathful tone of powerful voice over the microphone. In this context, BLACKOUT is similar to '''Ni**az Done Started Somethin''' from DMX's first album, ''''It's Dark and Hell Is Hot''''. Therefore, I sometimes think of '''Blackout''' as '''Ni**az Done Started Somethin Part II '''. The only exception to this rule is that DMX has hired Jay Z as a substitute guest for Mase.
The production by Swizz Beatz is pretty nice on my eardrums, being built on an accurate arrangement of crispy percussion, delicate keyboard bass and persistent synthesisers. It bestows the late 1990s Ruff Ryders feel upon me and although commercial, it is compatible with the hardcore flows of all five emcees, even Jay Z.
Like DMX said at the end of the final verse, my overall assessment of the '''Blackout''' song is ' _....It's dark and I LOVE IT!...._'
Okay everyone, you can open your eyes and rise from your church pews to receive the FLESH and BODY of DMX as we go to the next track.
14. FLESH OF MY FLESH, BLOOD OF MY BLOOD (4:32 min)
Produced by Swizz Beatz for Ruff Ryders Productions
As we get up from our pews and walk the isle, towards the Altar, let us receive the FLESH and BLOOD of DMX in remembrance that he is sanctified and died making music for us. We eat his body in the form of consecrated bread and drink his blood in the form of holy wine that is burgundy red....
The energy that DMX brings to his delivery of lyrics over the mic is absolutely emphatic like '''God of power and might'''. Hell, I will even say that DMX recorded this track while having a street fight with villains, using might of his fists like Mike Tyson.
'''Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood''' comes into the equation of passionate tracks driven on anger and power that will always activate my attention.
15. HEAT (4:07 min)
HEAT finds DMX storytelling about crime. Beat-wise, the track has a movie-like, hardcore feel to it and lyrically, it is actually a sequel to ATF on DMX's debut album. I therefore regard this hardcore track as ATF part II.
Although DMX's subject matter and ability to rhyme his words into a story line is nice, his delivery over the microphone is rather lazy. Swizz Beatz' production is not particularly groundbreaking or special either and it can make me rather sleepy in front of the computer screen. I could also be falling asleep in Church listening to the beat on '''Heat''' that leaves my body, mind and soul feeling cold.
16. READY TO MEET HIM (16 min)
Once more after committing crime on '''Heat''', the hardcore artist prays to God for forgiveness on READY TO MEET HIM.....
....after this, DMX continues his convocation with the Lord, asking questions about his sins and looking for the best answers to rectify them. He executes this event by means of playing a split personality, communicating between himself as the emotional one and pretending to be God as the spiritual one. DMX performs this hallowed act, passionately and vigorously over a holy production scheme, just like he did on the '''Convo''' track on his first album. The hardcore rap artist flows over Swizz Beatz' instrumentals that are driven on pious human vocals and have the spacious feel of a modern Methodist Church. The drum snares pound away like the sound of a heartbeat in the body of Jesus Christ, who rose from the dead in the underground. The church organs are deeply blessed, highly pitched and very pleasing to me. They form the apex of the beats, bringing up my feeling of the song like Jesus rising to heaven and seating in the right hand of his father.
Ladies and gentlemen, I have foreseen from DMX's lyricism and creative rhythm of the Swizz Beatz' production that '''Ready To Meet Him''' is '''Convo, Part II'''. When I listened to DMX's rhymes on like '''Ready To Meet Him''', I felt holy in mind and the voice of an angel.
As we bow our heads and stare into the '''Blackout''' through our closed eyes, my final words about this music track are:
'''Peace to God, his son Jesus and believer in them, DMX the glorified rapper'''
'''Okay, DMX now that you are READY TO MEET HIM, go in peace to love and serve the Lord in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.'''
In conclusion, I consider 'FLESH OF MY FLESH BLOOD OF MY BLOOD' to be one of the better selections of DMX albums in my Ruff Ryders collection. Overall it's not as magnificent as '''It's Dark and Hell Is Hot''' but definitely more potent than DMX's more recent albums like the awful ''''Grand Champ''''.
I consider '''Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood''' to be DMX's third best album and I would recommend it to any rap listener. So here is my advice to anyone who enjoys bumping any old records from Ruff Ryders, listen to the best tracks on DMX's album. In doing so, you receive the BLOOD and BODY of DMX in remembrance that he fought the presence of the OMEN to show love for all us people. According to DMX's gospel rap with the assistance Mary J. Blige and penitence on '''Ready To Meet Him''' he asks you to repent of your sins. You know where ' _....I'm comin from...._' Dooyoo readers?
'''Yo, I'm out! This Church service is over for real.'''
'''Thank you all for attending the Holy Communion.'''
'''FOR THE RECORD'''
I bought the 'FLESH OF MY FLESH BLOOD OF MY BLOOD' album at a price of £16 and 99 pence (£16.99) from HMV in Oxford Street.
I wandered into the HMV store, dressed as one of Jesus' poor disciples amidst rich shoppers wearing expensive clothing. Thus, I didn't have any money but an ancient bottle of holy red wine and bits of bread that represented Jesus' blood and body respectively. Yeah, I wasn't a modern customer into technology but I was definitely an antiquated, hallowed type of shopper.
I offered 16 cups of red wine (Jesus Christ's blood) and 99 pieces of consecrated bread (Jesus Christ's body) in exchange for the rap album costing £16.99. The HMV sales assistant was glad to accept the sacrifice of Jesus' FLESH and BLOOD feeling blessed with the pleasant taste of wine and bread. This was how I acquired DMX's sophomore album - ''''Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood'''. Yo, that's my word. Christ is to God!
Best beats: BRING YOUR WHOLE CREW, AIN'T NO WAY, DOGS 4 LIFE, SLIPPIN', FLESH OF MY FLESH, BLOOD OF MY BLOOD
Worst beats: IT'S ALL GOOD
Best hook: SLIPPIN', FLESH OF MY FLESH, BLOOD OF MY BLOOD
Worst hook: IT'S ALL GOOD
Overall rating for album: 7/10
Total marks = 99, 14 music tracks * 10 = 140
99/140 = 7/10 = 3.5/10 = 4/5 = 4 stars
Ok this is the first review i ever wrote on Ciao and while i was adding my reviews from Ciao onto here i thought i'd add a little to this as its defianately not my most impressive review.
This is a fantastic album, but only for people that aren't easily offended.
I had never heard of DMX, or heard any of his music before a friend recommended that I bought this album. I even thought that DMX was a group. I guessed that it would be Rap music because thats all my friend listens to and I was right, about the Rap anyway. DMX is a man, not a group. His name stands for Dark Man X.
I must admit, the first time I listened to it I was quite shocked, because I didn't know what to expect, and some of the tracks are a little bit scary.But if you have heard of DMX, and like his music, then I would say that this is his best album. Definately better than "...And then there was X". Even before you play this CD you can tell that it isn't going to be "fluffy fluffy" Britney Spears kinda music. The front cover shows a picture of DMX standing covered in blood, with it running through his fingers. But, all this said, it is good music, its a good album and I would recommend it for any DMX fan.
The tracks on this album are:
1. My N**gas
2. Bring Your Whole Crew
3. Pac Man (Skit)
4. Ain't No Way
5. We Don't Give a Fuck
6. Keep Your Shit the Hardest
7. Coming From - Mary J. Blige
8. It's All Good
11. No Love 4 Me
12. Dogs for Life
14. Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood
16. Ready to Meet Him
As far as i'm aware the only track from this album to be released was It's all good which is a bit of a rap classic, as far as i'm concerned at least. Another track from this, No Love 4 me, has been spliced together with TuPac's Changes and has been around on the internet for quite a while. Its actually a pretty good remix but the track is also great as it is.
The only guest star on this album is Mary J. Blige, that i'm aware of.
If you like music by Ruff Riders, Tupac, Ludacris and Xzibit you should love DMX and this album.
With the platinum success last year of his debut, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, DMX completed his transformation from underground upstart to top dog. On his second album, he has a reputation to maintain, and DMX (a.k.a. Earl Simmons) shines, delivering a deep, intimate record that sounds like it was written in a confession booth. A lot of rappers dwell on life's trials and tribulations, but DMX makes you feel them. "To live is to suffer and to survive is to find meaning in the suffering," he offers on the intro to "Slippin'." Underscored by a melancholy Grover Washington Jr. loop, the song recounts DMX’s lost youth: "Goin' too fast, it wouldn't last but, yo, I couldn't tell/Group homes and institutions prepared a nigga's ass for jail." Maybe it's the fact that DMX combines the raw, raspy voice of Method Man with Jay-Z's staccato delivery that makes him so listenable. Maybe it's his novel way of conveying a message, as in "The Omen," a Paradise Lost-style dialogue between DMX and the devil, complete with eerie organ riffs and skeletal drum programming. (Unfortunately, D's money is wasted here on Marilyn Manson, who whispers the inane chorus, "The snakes, the rats, the cat and the dog/How you gonna live when you're in the fog?") But DMX's obsession with baring his soul crystallizes perfectly on one of the album's highlights, "Ready to Meet Him," as spiritual a rap as they get. Another constant is the inventive beats and musicality displayed by the Ruff Ryders production team, anchored by Swizz Beatz, who will be a force to be reckoned with in days to come. With Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood, DMX is developing a champion pedigree.
The second DMX cd, "Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood" is worth every penny. Although not as good as the first CD, "It's Dark and Hell is Hot" it's very enjoyable to listen to. With get togethers featuring Mary J. Blige, Swizz Beats, Drag-On, The Lox, and last but certainly not least, my man, Jay-Z; you know you're in for some good music. The CD has a continuation of the song "Damien" and also, a continuation of "Prayer". It only has two skits, and an intro to the last song “Ready to Meet Him”. Some of the not so good things I would say about this CD is that the intros before the songs are rather long, some 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. But besides from that, it’s a very good CD filled with very good music. I think anyone who likes rap would enjoy this CD very much if they don’t already have it. So go get it! Peace
This is DMX's second album that is even better than his first, It's Dark And Hell Is Hot. This is another brilliant album from DMX that was released within months of his debut album. There is some really good production on most of the tracks on this album by Swizz Beatz who also features on No Love 4 Me. The best tracks on the album are Bring Your Whole Crew, Ain't No Way, Keep Your Shit The Hardest, a No Love 4 Me and Slippin'. If you like DMX's other albums then you will not be let down by this album. You should also really like this if you like other hip-hop or rap music. It is well worth the money.