DMX’s …And Then There Was X Turns 15. Celebrate a Hip-Hop Icon (Video)
Salute to DMX whose …And Then There Was X album turns fifteen years old today. The controversies surrounding Earl Simmons over the years sometimes make it easy to forget that he was one of the biggest stars on the planet in 1999 and still, to this day, remains one of Hip-Hop’s most iconic figures.
1999 was nearly the apex of the recording industry. After 2000, the decline would commence. But, even with record sales at their zenith, what X did that year was nothing short of extraordinary. It was commonplace at the time for artists to release an album a year, give or take. Very few people, however, dared to release two albums in a 12-month period. In fact, it was verboten to record companies who, at the time, spent millions marketing albums and calculatedly releasing singles over an extended period to maximize an album’s sales. As rare as it was to have multiple releases from an artist in a year, however, it was absolute insanity to release an album of significance in December. Black Friday was commonly the last day for the fourth quarter’s biggest releases to hit stores, just in time for the Christmas rush.
So, for DMX to release his third album in eighteen months, coming off two number one smashes with It’s Dark and Hell is Hot and Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, was nothing short of insanity…and then X hit number one again. It was precisely that type of ferocity and unpredictability that made DMX great, and which possibly led to his trouble further down the line.
For today, however, we celebrate the album that brought hits like “Party Up (Up in Here),” “What’s My Name” and “What These____ Want.” Press play and reflect on the greatness that is DMX.