Our top 10 DMX songs list presents ten of the best songs released by a hip-hop rapper renowned for releasing a chain of Billboard chart-topping albums during his primes. His passion for music dates back to when he was fourteen, beatboxing for Ready Ron. DMX would soon land himself in jail following his criminal behavior. While serving his jail term, DMX met rapper K-Solo, who had been convicted of assault. The rapper used his time in jail to hone his rap game and songwriting skills.
As soon as he was released, DMX started releasing mixtapes selling copies in the streets of New York. He would later build a music career that saw him become one of the greatest rappers of all time from the East Coast. His musical style was an amalgam of hip hop and gangsta rap. DMX’s lyrical style saw him take on dark and ominous themes with a touch of spirituality.
DMX’s Career Beginnings and Breakthrough
The rapper quickly gained some following after he started selling his mixtapes in the streets of New York. Eventually, he was signed to Ruffhouse Records in 1992, where he released his debut track “Born Loser” and his sophomore release “Make a Move.” DMX was featured on Mic Geronimo’s hit “Time to Build” alongside legendary rappers Ja Rule and Jay-Z.
1998 marked DMX’s breakthrough year after he released his hit “Get at Me Dog.” The song was his debut hit on a major record label, Def Jam Recordings. DMX’s guest appearance on songs by Mase. The LOX, and LL Cool J before his single “Get at Me Dog” helped him elevate his status as a solo artist. The result was “Get at Me Dog” being certified Gold in the US.
DMX would soon release his debut LP, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot marked the rapper’s first successful release after it topped the Billboard 200. The LP also topped the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot featured songs that allude to themes of treachery, vengeance, and violent skepticism. Some of the best DMX songs from the LP include “Stop Being Greedy,” DMX’s major label debut single “Get at Me Dog,” and “How’s It Goin’ Down.”The LP has since been Platinum-certified four times in the US.
DMX’s Album Releases over the Years
After a successful LP release early in 1998, DMX returned seven months later with his sophomore LP, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood also topped the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. The rapper also achieved commercial success with this LP which sold over six hundred thousand copies during its first week of release. Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood eventually was Platinum-certified three times in the US. “No Love 4 Me” and “Slippin’” are some of the best DMX songs from the LP.
In 1999, DMX returned with his third studio album …And Then There Was X. The album was issued through Def Jam Recordings and Ruff Ryders Entertainment. Once more, DMX saw the album top the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. The album is home to musical gems such as “What’s My Name?” and “Party Up (Up in Here).” …And Then There Was X sold almost seven hundred thousand copies in the first week. Ultimately, the LP was Platinum-certified five times by RIAA.
DMX returned in 2001 with his fourth LP, The Great Depression. The LP featured Mashonda, Stephanie Mills, and Faith Evans, with production done by DMX, Just Blaze, Black Key, and Dame Grease. “We Right Here,” “I Miss You,” and “Who We Be” are some of the best DMX songs from the LP.
The Great Depression saw DMX top the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. Its sales went above the four hundred and forty thousand copies within the first week. The album has since then achieved Platinum certification.
In 2003, DMX issued his fifth studio album, Grand Champ, through Def Jam Recordings and Ruff Ryders Entertainment. This was his last LP through Def Jam Recordings until the release of Exodus, his 2021 posthumous LP. Grand Champ saw DMX feature Cam’ron, Styles P, Eve, 50 Cent, Jadakiss, and Monica on different songs.
“Get It on the Floor” and “Where the Hood At?” are some of the best DMX songs from the LP. Grand Champ topped the Billboard 200 and Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts. The LP sold over three hundred thousand copies in the first week. Grand Champ was later Platinum-certified by RIAA.
After cutting ties with Def Jam Recordings, DMX released his sixth LP under Ruff Ryders Entertainment, Columbia Records, and Sony Urban Music. His sixth LP, Year of the Dog… Again, featured other reputable artists such as Jadakiss, Busta Rhymes, Amerie, and Styles P. Life after Def Jam Recordings was still successful, with the LP managing to top the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Billboard Top Rap Albums charts.
On the Billboard 200, Year of the Dog… Again managed the second spot. While the album’s still managed to achieve mainstream success, it marked DMX’s first release not to achieve Platinum certification. Some of the best DMX songs from Year of the Dog… Again include “Lord Give Me a Sign” and “We in Here.”
DMX later issued his seventh LP, Undisputed, in 2012 through Seven Art Music. Undisputed managed to rise to the second spot on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The album managed to rise to position nineteen on the Billboard 200. Some of the best DMX songs from the LP include “I Don’t Dance” and “Head Up.” Undisputed marked DMX’s last LP until the issue of Exodus, his posthumous LP in 2021.
The rapper’s list of releases cannot be complete without mentioning his seven compilation albums, three mixtapes, and one extended play. DMX also released several non-album singles, including “Don’t Call Me,” Still Scratching,” Blood Red,” Get It Get It,” “ Bane Iz Back,” and “X Moves.”
DMX’s Other Musical Pursuits
Other than his solo career, DMX has been featured as a guest artist in songs by other artists, especially in the rap industry. DMX was first featured on the hit “4, 3, 2, 1” by LL Cool J alongside Master P, Redman, Method Man, and Canibus. The rapper would later be featured on The LOX’s chart-topping hit “Money, Power & Respect.” Other artists who DMX have interacted with include Onyx, Jay-Z, Funkmaster Flex, Yung Wun, Mark Morrison, Bizzy Bone, N.O.R.E., N.A.S.A., and Omar Wilson.
DMX’s Accolades and Legacy
A load of accolades comes in handy while showcasing an artist’s well-executed and successful career. However, this isn’t always the measure of success, especially for artists such as DMX. The American rapper didn’t have much to show in terms of accolades won. His only major wins in the Billboard Music Award include the 1999 Top R&B Album and Artist of the Year Award.
In 2000, DMX won the American Music Award for the Favorite Rap/Hip-Hop Artist. The rapper got four Grammy Awards to his name, with one being the 2022 Grammy Awards posthumous nomination for the Best Rap Song award, thanks to “Bath Salts.” DMX also had seven MTV Video Music Award nominations to his name.
Since his entry into the rap game, DMX established himself as a force to reckon with, thanks to his raw delivery filled with passion and emotion. The singer also stands as the only rapper to have had five chart-topping albums back-to-back. Here are the ten best DMX songs of all time.
#10 – Lord Give Me A Sign
Ushering us to the top 10 DMX songs is the impressive hit “Lord Give Me a Sign.” “Lord Give Me a Sign” stands as one of the best Christian hip hop releases by DMX of all time. The song was penned by DMX and producer Scott Storch and featured on the LP, Year of the Dog… Again.
“Lord Give Me a Sign” alludes to how the rapper struggled with suffering and trials in his life. DMX’s struggle came while he was still seeking God, who, according to the Christian beliefs, is the fighter of His followers’ battles. “Lord Give Me a Sign” has been used as the main theme hit in DMX: Soul of a Man.
The song has also been featured in the trailer of the crime drama film Alpha Dog. “Lord Give Me a Sign” failed to make it to the Billboard Hot 100 but peaked at number eighty-four on the UK Singles Chart. The song also made it to the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart at number seventy.
#9 – I Miss You ft. Faith Evans
“I Miss You” takes us back to DMX’s fourth LP, The Great Depression. The song finds DMX teaming up with R&B artist and former wife to the late The Notorious B.I.G., Faith Evans. “I Miss You” was penned by DMX, who dedicated it to his grandma. The rapper addresses how much he misses the grandma.
In this song, Faith Evans croons a verse that recites the Christian hymn “Amazing Grace.” The verse shows how rapper DMX was once a lost soul but finally got redemption. “I Miss You” samples the hit George Benson’s cover of Leon Russell’s hit “This Masquerade.” The song was later remixed by Skrapz. “I Miss You” peaked at number eighty-six on the Billboard Hot 100.
#8- Stop Being Greedy
Our eighth spot on the ten finest DMX songs is the ferocious hit “Stop Being Greedy.” “Stop Being Greedy” has been described by critics as the rapper’s career-defining record. This ethically lingering hit is featured on the LP It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. The song was penned by DMX, Dame Grease, Anthony Fields, and Michael Masser.
“Stop Being Greedy” sampled Michael Masser’s hit “My Hero is a Gun.” The song exploits duality (one of the most rewarding themes in the hip hop genre) to bring out DMX’s two sides. One is a typical man trying to make an honest living, and the other is a murderous character. “Stop Being Greedy” peaked at number seventy-nine on the Billboard Hot 100.
#7 – Who We Be
“Who We Be” is another top song by DMX from the rapper’s LP, The Great Depression. DMX teamed up with producer Mickey R. Davis aka Black Key, in writing this song. The song is among the highest-charting hits by the rapper, peaking at number sixty on the Billboard Hot 100. “Who We Be” has been interpolated by ASA Rocky and Skepta in the hit “Praise the Lord (Da Shine).”
The song has also been covered by the alternative metal/post-grunge band Ra featuring Adrian Patrick. “Who We Be” was nominated for the 2002 Grammy Awards in the Best Rap Solo Performance category. However, it lost to the hit “Get Ur Freak On” by the legendary female rapper Missy Elliot. Other songs that had been nominated for the award that year include “Ride wit Me” by Nelly, “Izzo (H.O.V.A.)” by Jay-Z, and “Because I Got High” by Afroman.
#6 – What’s My Name
Number six on our top 10 DMX songs is the charming hit “What’s My Name?” The song was penned by DMX and featured on the rapper’s LP …And Then There Was X. While DMX might have been known as a “cool” guy, he points out how hard he can be with pretenders and haters in his life on this hit.
“What’s My Name?” achieved commercial and mainstream success. This followed the song charting at number sixty-seven on the Billboard Hot 100 and receiving a Gold certification. The song has been sampled in “That’s Right” by Girl Talk. Rihanna released a song with a similar title in 2010.
#5 – Where The Hood At?
Grand Champ introduces us to our fifth pick on our ten best DMX songs list, “Where the Hood At?” The rapper penned the lyrics to this hit which finds him castigating guys who think he fell off. “Where the Hood At?” features an updated version of Big Daddy Kane’s hit “Young, Gifted, and Black.”
The song sampled Albert King’s “I’ll Play the Blues for You.” “Where the Hood At?” rose to the sixty-eighth spot on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was Platinum-certified in the US and Silver-certified in the UK.
“Slippin’” is one of the best DMX songs from the rapper’s LP, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood. The song is a musical gem penned by the rapper himself, with its lyrics alluding to self-motivation. In the song, the singer expresses his thoughts about making an impactful change in his life to be the man he wishes to be.
The song features the background vocals of Tamyra Gray, the fourth finalist of season one of American Idol. “Slippin’” peaked at number thirty on the UK Singles Chart. It also managed the sixtieth spot on the Billboard Hot 100, receiving a Platinum certification from RIAA. “Slippin’” sampled Grover Washington Jr.’s hit “Moonstreams.”
#3 – How’s It Goin’ Down ft. Faith Evans
Our third pick on our top 10 DMX songs list is the rip-roaring hit “How’s It Goin’ Down.” The song is yet another successful collaborative hit by DMX and Faith Evans. “How’s It Goin’ Down” was written by DMX and Anthony Fields and issued on the LP It’s Dark and Hell IS Hot.
The song’s lyrics allude to a narrative of an affair the rapper has with a cheating wife and mother. However, the rapper chose to quit the affair in a quest to safeguard the woman’s family. “How’s It Goin’ Down” peaked at number seventy on the Billboard Hot 100. This Gold-certified track has been sampled in “I Can Tell You” by Eric Bellinger and interpolated by Drake in “U With Me?”
#2 – X Gon Give It to Ya
“X Gon Give It to Ya” is one of the best DMX songs from the soundtrack to the action film Cradle 2 the Grave. The song was later featured on the rapper’s LP, Grand Champ, as a bonus track. “Z Gon Give It to Ya” rose to the most successful single internationally, thanks to the film Cradle 2 the Grave.
The song finds the rapper asserting his power by having him spit lyrics that warn people to stay away and not pick a fight with him. “X Gon Give It to Ya” received Platinum certification, peaking at number sixty on the Billboard Hot 100. The song’s fame was rekindled in 2021, rising to new feats on the Billboard Hot 100 (reached number forty-six).
#1- Party Up (Up in Here)
Number one on our top 10 DMX songs list is the outstanding hit “Party Up (Up in Here).” Despite the song not receiving as many views on streaming sites compared to “Z Gon Give It to Ya,” “Party Up (Up in Here” remains the most successful and overall best DMX song of all time.
DMX and Kasseem Dean wrote the song, featuring it on the LP … And Then There Was X. The song is a scornful diss track aimed at unnamed artists in the rap game. “Party Up (Up in Here” is the highest-charting song released by DMX. It managed position twenty-seven on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Best Rap Solo Performance category. However, it lost to “The Real Slim Shady” by Eminem.
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