A$AP Rocky & A$AP Ferg Rework A DMX Classic That Still Barks Loud (Video)

A$AP Ferg and A$AP Rocky are two New York City rappers whose childhoods coincided with fellow New Yorker DMX’s astronomical rise to fame. Both born in 1988, Ferg and Rocky had a front-row seat to the Yonkers MC’s chart-topping journey, which began with 1998’s quadruple-platinum It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, followed by the triple-platinum Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood that same year and the five-times platinum …And Then There Was X in 1999. By 2003, DMX had two more platinum-selling albums and the teenaged members of the future A$AP Mob had an icon.

X’s influence on Ferg and Rocky is obvious in “Pups,” a track from the two which samples the Ruff Ryder frontman’s “Get At Me Dog.” Released in 1998, “Get At Me Dog” cracked the Top 40 charts and paired DMX with Sheek Louch, of The LOX. In the music video, X rocks the stage in the legendary bygone NYC nightclub The Tunnel. It’s crowded, energetic and exemplary of the rapper’s undeniable strength as a performer. Ferg and Rocky appear to take inspiration from the video for the visual to “Pups,” which also features a Big Apple nightclub setting. However, the duo (who co-directed the video with Shomi Patwary) opt for color, while DMX’s video was released in black-and-white.

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Like DMX’s frequently did, Ferg and Rocky’s video includes pit bulls, late ’90s overalls and moments of shirtless abandon. The Frankie P-produced song’s title is also a derivative of X’s work and a clear homage to the Big Dog who came before them (plus, there’s barking). The intros of the two tracks are essentially the same, featuring the refrain “Where my dogs at?” and “Right here, dog” as a response. The tone of the two songs are reminiscent of one another; “Get At Me Dog” is an aggressive invitation to anyone who might want smoke with DMX, while “Pups” is filled with the flashy, boastful raps the Uptown New Yorkers are known for (“Kinda runnin’ late for this meeting with Obama,” Rocky spits at one point).

Earlier this month, DMX wrapped up the 20th anniversary tour for It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, the album which spawned “Get At Me Dog.”

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On May 26, he’ll be a headlining performer at the 2019 Soundset festival in Minneapolis. Meanwhile, “Pups” will appear on A$AP Ferg’s forthcoming Concrete Chandeliers EP.