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DMX "Year Of The Dog...Again", August 1st Release


bigted

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I just listened through it one time. It's gonna take a little more for me to come up with a real conclusion, but I like the album. For one, his hooks are catchy- but to me, that's one of the least important parts of the song. He's still DMX and he comes back with the same powerful emotions in his songs. Will's name is dropped (concerning earlier comments X made about Rhihanna and the Switch beat).

I'm feeling the second half of the album more right now. Check it out.

God Blessa!

Edited by Silver Tiger
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One thing is 4 sure, and not many people will challenge me on this statement. DMX messed around and released a debut album so dope, that he honestly will probably never top it. 1998's "It's Dark And Hell Is Hot" is one of the only modern day classics. Love him or hate him, he truely waz an underdog. Back then, Hip-Hop waz very mainstream and commerical. U had legends like FP, Salt-N-Pepa, Queen Latifah, LL Cool J all releasing glossy (and usually very good) albums. Then u had the commercial stuff like Puffy, Mase, etc just going after money. No gritty, underground, or street stuff waz really coming out on the mainstream level...but DMX came with the most honest, rawest, grimy street music ever. He spit some clever, shocking, and introspective stuff over the dopest beat out at the time. He came out wildin' the Hip-Hop fans who were missing that...and shortly after the album dropped, he had the mainstream and commercial rap fans jumping on his tip.

"Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood" came out about 6 months later. That album waz dope 2 but a lil' more polished than his 1st. "And Then There Was X" continued the tradition of "Flesh/Blood" but made it a lil' more 4 the radio. Once "The Great Depression" hit, things got real schetchy. Half the beats were dope...the other half were very lacking. Same with "Grand Champ." DMX has always come with an original delivery. Ja-Rule's career waz built off being a DMX-wanna be...and his career continued by making music like he waz DMX's 15 year old sister. And DMX's lyrics have never slipped. Hard, grimy, introspective, shocking, spiritual...it'll all there and it's all mixed up in2 one complex formula. The ONLY thing that has held DMX back as that with every album, the beats have gotten weaker. His 1st album had dope beat after dope beat....but by the time we got 2003's "Grand Champ"...i only remember liking 1 or 2 beats on the whole album.

Well, it's 2006...and he's claiming this 2 be the "Year of The Dog Again." Well, it's been 8 years since the original year of the dog and even tho' it's no surprise that this album can't touch "It's Dark...", it's a step in the right direction. Big names like Swizz Beats and Scott Storch occupy the boards, but again, the beats generally are the ONLY thing keeping this album from being flawless. I think it's safe 2 say that all the beats are okay...just not that incredible. I'm gonna talk about the gems tho.'

I like the "Intro" alot. It's got this chunky beat with a dash of an old school feel. And he comes hard on the lyrics. "In Here" has a beat with that champion sound 2 it...which fits perfect under X's no-holds barred lyrics approach. "Baby Motha" has this nice summer R-N-B kinda beat with down 2 earth subject matter. I really like this one. The next track "Dog Love" is real dope 2. The laid back Hip-Hop beat and chilled delivery just works. "Give 'Em What They Want" has a cheesy intro...but it gets good once it's over. I just wish the beat waz stepped up a bit. "Blown Away" is a stand out track. U can tell it's gonna be dope from the second it starts. The simplistic, yet unique beat and altered vocal sample is real nice. DMX drops his best lyrics at a pace like this. "Goodbye" is another track 2 check. "Life Be My Song" is next and another dope one. As always, "The Prayer" is a stand out moment on his album. X's speaks raw from the heart on EVERY album thru' "The Prayer." It's nothing less that amazing. The album is wrapped up with the hit single "Lord Give Me A Sign." U've heard it on the radio...u've seen the video. U don't need me 2 tell u this track is dope.

DMX's fans will probably have a similar opinion as i do on this new album. It's better than the last 2, but u'll be left scratching your head asking why it's so hard 2 make an album as dope as the 1st. Fans who are strictly fans of commercial rap should LOVE this album. True school Hip-Hop heads will probably like a select few trax (probably the ones i mentioned) but think the album needs more when it comes 2 production.

If u pick up the album soon, u'll get the Limited Edition with a bonus DVD (which i'm about 2 pop in). The album is on sale at Circuit City for just $9.99 (which as a CC exclusive comes with a DMX dogtag). Those of u who don't like cussing can pick up the edited version at Wal-Mart for $9.71 (even tho' it doesn't have a sale sign up for it).

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I just checked the DVD. It's roughly 20 minutes long. It has him spitting verses from the album acappella which shows how dope these lyrics. There is also footage of him flowing in the studio recording the album. There are bits and pieces of interviews where he talks about how he didn't wanna record anymore until Mase told him that if he waz blessed with the talent, he needs 2 be entertaining (this is probably Mase's only contribution 2 Hip-Hop). His reason 2 hang up the mic waz all the phoney people he had 2 deal with in the industry (i'm guessing he waz mainly talking about his beef with Ja-Rule). X also talks about his love of Hip-Hop and rapping...and how he doesn't do it for the money. He talks about how Def Jam didn't really exist anymore (an indirect stot at Jay-Z) and that his career waz going nowhere while on that label. I can't say that the DVD is that impressive. It's pretty average in my opinion. But if u like an artist, there's no reason 2 wait and miss the limited edition with the DVD.

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I think I'm going to check for this album. I have mixed feelings for DMX's music there are some tracks which I think are great but then there are a few tracks which are typical of any commercial rap artist ever. As Chris mentioned I think he has a tendency to make catchy hooks, he can also put in real emotion into his music but he isn't really witty with his rhymes or wordplay (at least what I heard of him).

Thanks for the review AJ!

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I've been basically listening to this album non-stop since I got it yesterday and I gotta say that this definately brings DMX back to his top form and is easily one of the best albums you'll find in hip-hop this year, his career has gone full circle, in '98 he brought an alternative to all that bling bling crap that was dominating the radio at the time and now in '06 he brings an alternative to the snap crap that's on the airwaves now, he's a true artist that doesn't follow trends that's why these pop rappers can't check a mic for him and have half the career he's had, the way that the industry's been it's amazing that he'd be going for his 6th straight #1 album where we most true mcs can't even go platinum once, it's amazing that he's had the same/more success than rappers like Jay-Z and Ja Rule who had to water themselves down to stay on the charts during that time, but anyway on to the album now it lives up to the it's title of being the year of the dog again since it bangs from the Intro through "Lord Give Me A Sign", X shows on this album how he is a man among boys in the rap game, the highlights in between are "Come Thru"(Move) with Busta, "Baby Motha", "Dog Love" with Amerie and Janyce, "Give Them What They Want", "Blown Away" with Jinx and Janyce, "GoodBye", "Life Be My Song", and "The Prayer IV", I give the album 8 out of 10 this is an album that real hip-hop heads that're frustrated by the state of hip-hop need to go out and support

btw, I agree with AJ that the DVD is really not much special and basically cover topics that've been addressed before, if some of his fans been living under a rock it's good for them to catch up and see why he wanted to leave the rap game for a while and the situation with Jay-Z at Def Jam, but it's a nice lil' bonus though, I'd really like to see "Soul Of A Man" get released on DVD though

Edited by bigted
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I notice on the DVD how he does a song in the studio that wasn't appearing on the album, it was very dope too, hopefully it pops up on a mixtape or something...

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I just checked the DVD. It's roughly 20 minutes long. It has him spitting verses from the album acappella which shows how dope these lyrics. There is also footage of him flowing in the studio recording the album. There are bits and pieces of interviews where he talks about how he didn't wanna record anymore until Mase told him that if he waz blessed with the talent, he needs 2 be entertaining (this is probably Mase's only contribution 2 Hip-Hop[).

:rofl:

I've said it 1nce, and I'll say it again. You should be getting paid for writing reiviews. Even though I'm not a DMX fan, you made me want to check out the album.

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It'd be more interesting if X gave his thoughts on how he feels about Mase going to G-Unit, btw it's actually ironic that Ja Rule's main producer Irv Gotti actually produced quite a bit on DMX's best album "It's Dark And Hell Is Hot", maybe X should end his beef with the Inc. and have Gotti produce some of his material in the future, him and Ja could bury 50's career at the same time too, lol,Ja Rule was basically just inspired by DMX 'cause he respected him and they were cool for a while especially since Irv helped X get his deal on Def Jam but really though I don't think Ja was just trying to imitate him, it's just like some might say that DMX is a Pac wannabe but I think he was just inspired from Pac as well...

Sure his beef with Ja might've had a role for helping him leave the rap game but overall he was just as frustrated about the way Def Jam wanted him to water down his style like the other rappers on the label over the last few years, he was explaining his frustration about that many times during the release of the "Grand Champ" album in interviews, you could tell that some tracks on that album were what Def Jam wanted rather than what he wanted and that's why he felt dissapointed and wanted to leave the rap game, he recently referred Def Jam as the new version of Bad Boy, he was originally gonna sign to Bad Boy before he got on Def Jam to start his career but he saw how watered down the label was and it wouldn't fit his style and he sees Def Jam as a pop rap label now too and that's why he wanted to leave there, I think that's why LL's planning to leave there too after his next album... I notice too how there's been all this promo for Rick Ross' album who just continues this hustlin' gimmick in the rap game right now and yet a real hip-hop group The Roots are droppin' this month and they ain't gettin' any promo, Method Man and Redman are in limbo right now, I think Jay's doing this on purpose to promote himself, he'll be coming out with an album acting like he's doing it to save hip-hop but not really, I think it's the opposite, it's obvious that Jay don't care about bringin' real hip-hop back, he even noted in an interview recently that Em and 50 need to release more albums to help raise hip-hop's status, he's lost credability to me since I heard that ... He got a label and he's playing the pieces perfectly so that the real mcs won't overtake him, he gave up promoting Ghostface and LL's albums, he won't let Nas sell more than him either, he actually probably signed Nas to control him from overtaking his status, I think he became president for his own personal gain, not to improve the game, if you ask me if he really wanted to save the game, he wouldn't give up on DMX, he'd promote LL, and then wouldn't sign Young Jeezy and Rick Ross and help fuel the south rap crap even further onto the airwaves....

I actually watched the DVD again and I read the credits and I see that there's a song listed called "One More Night" produced by Dame Grease, that's probably the track that he was performing on there that didn't make the album, I recognise the other titles that're on the album but maybe if anybody could find the audio for it let me know, for you overseas peeps here is it a bonus track on your album? They do that a lot too...

Edited by bigted
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X did stop beefing with The Inc. He said thatr in a interview in The Source last month. Irv Gotii got to visit X while he was in prison last year, and they cleared theyr beef. He`s also cool with Ja again. They wouldnt beat each other up anymore,lol. And Aj, by saying that Ja`s is copying X`s style you once again make clear to me that you didnt realy listened to anything of him. By saying he makes music like huis 15 yeard old sister... Come on, and Nick Cannon is dope & creative? lol. Ja made more than 8 Albums if you count his group stuff, I dont think he cares if you find him a rip-off,lol. Ah well... This will never have a end anyway.

By the way, I think this Album is amazing! I like it when he gets aggresive! I also love the Deep tracks. Blown Away is amazing. And the guest spots are nice picked with Busta, Jada and Styles, I love "It`s Personal". I heard that the Ruffy Ryders are getting together for a group album too. That would be dope.

Edited by Turntable
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I've known about Ja-Rule since 1997...he tried coming alot harder back then. 2 me, he waz trying 2 use DMX's forumla while also biting 2Pac. Totally unoriginal and uninspired. Then, since 2000 he's been making super soft crappy R-N-B type stuff. No offence, but u are overrating him severly. U also say i judge without hearing, but i listen 2 anything with an open ear. But after an artist releases 2 or 3 crappy albums, u don't need 2 give them any other chances.

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Well anyway nobody knows anything about that "One More Night" track? I really'd like to find the audio for that...

Now as far as Ja Rule, come on now his first couple albums were hot, but after that he started dumbing down with all that r&b stuff which is still better than hearing all that snap crap now, but after 50 started attacking him his last couple albums have been more aggressive again, it's actually good to hear that him and X are cool again 'cause I think that they could do something great together, at this point I think everybody bites something at one point or another, hip-hop's been around for over 30 years, there's bound to be somebody biting something 'cause so many different things have already happened, it's hard to completely original now, even JJFP came out doing SugarHillGang type songs and 2Pac came out doing NWA type songs...

Edited by bigted
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Ja`s 2003 Abum Blood In My Eye was probably one of the hardest of that time, and thats not that long ago. There has one been one other album since. But people slept on that, even tho there wasnt 1 single Pop song on that. Than R.U.L.E. was mixed caus half of the album was hard (It`s just that only the 2 R&B Singles blow up, except for New York), which is the best formula I think.The Last Temptation was Ja`s only straight Pop Album `d say, and even that was aight caus I dont have problmes with a lil Thug Love songs sometimes. But that just was a lil over the top tho,lol. The rest of his albums was either only rough (Blood In My Eye, Venni Vetti Vecci) or it was mixed. And his group albums mostly were hard too, except for the ones that also had the Murda Inc Chicks like Ashanti on it.

Now I see your saying that Ja is biting DMX`s style, but that aint true to me. He never flowed like X to me. Maybe he was close sometimes on Venni Vtti Vecci but on the other hand DMX was all over that album himself, so it was just the direction those 2 guys where going together before the beef. Its like Cam`ron and his guys, or Fat Joe & Big Pun caus people would say they are biting each other 2.

Edited by Turntable
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Well it's like when people say LL has only been doing r&b songs over the past few years 'cause he hasn't released that many of his hardcore tracks as singles, even quite a bit of people probably thought the "G.O.A.T." album only had r&b songs on it 'cause he released "Imagine That" and "You and Me", basically LL created the formula for rappers to go platinum by mixing r&b tracks with hardcore tracks, most platinum albums in hip-hop history has had that formula, Ja still had hardcore tracks on his albums too when he was doing those r&b songs, people always tend to judge artists off of singles more than anything, and the only way that anybody could be completely original now is if they create their own genre of rapping...

Edited by bigted
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Actually, in an interview on KMEL heard on a Kay Slay mixtape a few years ago, Irv said that the only Ja Rule song formulated like DMX was "Holla Holla", and it was by design. He was like, (and I'm paraphrasing) "Can you see DMX with a song like "Put It On Me", or "I'm Real"? Has he ever done a song like that?". So Turntable you're right. "Holla Holla" is the only legit argument, which Irv Gotti said "Alright, I'll give you 'Holla Holla'." That's it.

Even on demos, Ja had his own style than DMX.

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