DMX :: Year of the Dog... AgainSony Urban/Columbia RecordsAuthor: Steve 'Flash' JuonTo be quite honest I wasn't mad that I spent the better part of yesterday morning and afternoon stuck in airports and on airplanes. Oh shoot, that means I can't cover the new DMX album until Wednesday. DARN. To be ….
Three years since he retired from rap, Earl "Dark Man X" Simmons' return to the vocal booth coincides with the debut of his fly-on-the-wall show on US television. He is one of the most durably fascinating characters rap has thrown up, a troubled loner who spent his teens hanging out with abandoned pitbulls. His raps lay bare his constant inner conflicts, with his garrulous belligerence set to punishing, pugilistic beats.
DMX released his sixth album three weeks after the first episode of his BET reality program, DMX: Soul of a Man. If the first five albums and the string of well-publicized run-ins with the law didn't make it obvious that the man is a live wire of nerves and predictable unpredictability, the program exacerbated his larger-than-life persona while also making him seem more human. As for Year of the Dog...Again? It's more of the same old, same old: a lot of anger, torment, and put-downs over rallying and drama-filled productions from Swizz Beatz, Dame Grease, Scott Storch, and a handful of others.