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DMX, a Yonkers MC who debuted with home-town friends, the Lox, on a DJ Clue mix-tape, DMX hit the big time in 1998 when his single "Get at Me Dog" became a club and radio smash. He instantly became known for his trademark growling and barking, that appears on almost all the tracks that he records. According to popular belief, this arises from DMX's love of dogs.
He has multiple tattoos that are based on his relationship with them. He is said to believe that dogs can be a man's only loyal friends. An interesting fact is DMX received a tattoo in remembrance of one of his dogs that died after being run over by a motorist.
In a music industry that often specializes in manufactured stars - neatly wrapped packages that look the right way and do and say all the right things - it is a rare event to witness the emergence of a true artist. DMX, rap's ruffest ryder, is of this rare breed of artists.
He has held the hip hop world spellbound with his raw, unbridled energy, unyielding passion and lyrics of fury since his explosive arrival in 1998, the year that was unquestionably the year of the dog. After stand-out performances on tracks like LL Cool J's "126.96.36.199", the Lox's "Money, Power, Respect", and Mase's "24 Hours to Live," DMX got the world's attention with his own, bonafide street anthem "Get At Me Dog." He released his groundbreaking first effort "It's Dark And Hell Is Hot" - featuring the intoxicating, gritty joints "Stop Being Greedy" and "Ruff Ryder's Anthem" - which debuted at number one and quickly went multi-platinum.
That summer, after a headlining stint on the Survival of the Illest tour, DMX retreated to the studio yet again, and in December of that year he released the classic horror-film-on-wax, "Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood." "Flesh," which included the poignant, autobiographical song "Slippin'," and released only six months after its predecessor, also held the top spot on the chart, making DMX the first artist ever to have two number one debuts in the same year.
After spending the first part of 1999 on tour with fellow Def Jam artists Jay-Z, Method Man and Redman on the most successful hip hop tour ever, the Hard Knock Life tour, DMX split for the heat of Miami. There he set to work on his next offering, "...And Then There Was X." In true DMX style, "...And Then There Was X" served up yet another feast of driving beats, ferocious rhyme flows and tales from the dark side.
DMX sums up his formula of success by saying, "I'm real. And people like real. I haven't crossed them yet, I haven't been on no fake shit yet, no bullshit yet. And they feel my shit. People like a real person." Then he smiles. "Everybody likes a dog, though."
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