A few words to DMX – A letter of love to Rap

Ok. Wie vor ein paar Tagen schon mal angekündigt, schreibe ich heute über DMX. Eigentlich wollte ich nur über eine Scheibe von ihm schreiben, nämlich über „Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood“, aber je mehr ich drüber nachgedacht hab, desto mehr hatte ich zu sagen. Und jetzt ist aus dem Ganzen ein ganz anderer Beitrag geworden. Ein durcheinandergewirbeltes Etwas: Eine Annäherung an Rap, an Missverständnisse, die viele Menschen mit Rap haben und an meine Liebe zu Rap. Und es ist ellenlang geworden. Sorry! Wie immer werde ich in Englisch schreiben weil ich Musik einfach auf Englisch denke. Ab jetzt ist also wieder Erwachsenenzeit, explicit lyrics and free thoughts ahead. Menschen unter 18 Jahren müssen nu leider heimgehen, s’is jetzt Sperrstunde für Euch.

Ok, here we go:
I have all records by DMX. I even bought „Undisputed“, his first record after a long hiatus, without hesitating or listening one second before buying it. DMX is one of the artists I truely love. He gets me excited, touches me, lifts me up or breaks me down. His musicality, his struggle to get a grip on life, his willingness to lay open the truth of his beliefs and feelings – all those things make him real for me.

I once saw an interview he did at the famous Breakfast club in which he was funny as hell, which was a serious surprise to me. He made a lot of intelligent jokes about himself and his inability to walk a straight path in life. I like that. I make fun of myself all the time and it is a thing many people can not do. What touched me the most besides how funny he was, was how clear he saw his situation. That’s not something you would expect from someone who went to jail several times, has thousands of tickets for driving without licence and so on. You’d think someone like that would be in denial, but there was nothing of that. He knew very well who and where he was , there was no denial. That impressed me.

What I saw was more acceptance, that he can’t say no. Acceptance and knowledge of who he is. He sees the wall he will hit, but just can’t stop, because the ride till he hits that wall is too damn nice or the only ride he knows. Of course, this is a path to destruction, but I have to say, if you see it and still go down that path, that has a certain glory. We will come to that later on.

Fucking flawless – 4 things I think when listening to DMX

First: I have to say, Ruff Ryders production of DMX early records is fucking FLAWLESS. Awesome. For example, I have „Flesh of my Flesh, Blood of my Blood“ as a CD. That disc is many years old and has many scratches. I converted it to my electronic devices and there is not a tiny difference between this record and songs that were produced in 2016. That’s crazy and impresses me deeply. The bass is still so bassy, it makes all atoms in my body vibrate and shakes my brain. The voices sound rich and real, the heights aren’t hurting your ears or sound like the tins of a just married car. Lovely.

Second: What DMX spit in 1998, 2001 or 2003 is still relevant today. Now that is class and genius. Period. If you listen to „Who we be“ or „The Rain“ or „Where the hood at“ or countless other joints, they could be made today and still reach the people hearts and chart. I can’t think of many artists you could say this about. Maybe Nas and Jay. They too have this timeless floating class.

But not even the great Tupac, who sounded very much like his time, could do that with the same consequence as DMX could (and yes, I stand to that opinion, even if people will yell at me for that): Tupac would have to make different beats to some of his lyrics, rap them different, if he would want to release them now, while you could take almost every DMX song and release him today without tweaking a single note, a single bar.

Third: Although DMX’s music is very funky, it is difficult to dance to it.image Music always moves me, can’t help it and so I dance to almost all artists I love, but to DMX I just can’t do much more than nod my head. That seems very remarkable to me, because at first listen, one would think his music is great to dance to, because it often is funky disco boogey like. I thought about it and I think the reason for that is, that it is too fast. It seems to be a tiny bit faster. Maybe others who know about the theoretic side of music can confirm that explain it better?

Four: DMX was born to be an artist. Was born to express himself. Remember, he didn’t only rap, produce, he also acted. He has that special permeability you need to be an artist. Like Kendrick Lamar he is a Storyteller. He sees the different angles, understands the motivations of people and can translate them to us. He can grab inside his soul, get a hold of something, pull it out to look at it and tell us what he sees. He can see beyond his own decisions and reasons. That doesn’t help him much as a human being, on the contrary. But as an artist it does.

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