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23 Years Ago Today, DMX releases his debut album ‘It's Dark and Hell Is Hot’

Today is (May 12) anniversary of DMX’s Debut Album ‘It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot.’

It's Dark and Hell Is Hot: DMX's haunting magnum opus turns 23

Happy 23rd Anniversary to the late DMX’s debut album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot.

In the wake of his death, X's ‘It’s Dark and Hell is Hot’ tells the story of a tortured artist searching for answers. The 27-year-old Earl Simmons, better known as DMX, released his debut album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, and everything changed. The multi-platinum effort went number one.

DMX made his major label debut with his 1998 album, It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, The album took two years to put together and was released under Ruff Ryders and Def Jam Recordings.

This is DMX’s most popular project to date, with Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood serving as a close second. Within the first week of its release selling 251,000 copies debuting at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

This project came at a turbulent time in Hip Hop. The genre was coming off of the loss of two titans, Tupac and The Notorious B.I.G., and was facing a change in what was hot. With the rise of high energy production melded with dark and oft-violent lyricism coming from camps like No Limit, Cash Money, and Three 6 Mafia, DMX’s sound allowed him to find his place perfectly within the current trend while add his own twist.

DMX’s melancholic realism spoke to the generation. This project was able to simultaneously turn the party up and cause its listeners to think introspectively about the concept of good and evil and existence as a whole. This album touched on the struggle and pain that came being DMX. As most rappers would glamorize the finer side of the industry life, DMX reveals through this debut that even early on in his career he had been wrestling with the demons that come with wealth and fame.


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