Depending on who you ask, DMX’s debut album It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot is one of the greatest albums of all time — I’d gladly vouch for it, for whatever that’s worth. Not only did it introduce one of the most explosive and formidable emcees onto the unsuspecting game, it proved he was more than willing to strike for the jugular.

The project was typically grimy, as New York hip-hop was expected to be, but notably dark in its approach to violence. Songs like “Damien,” “Stop Being Greedy,” and of course, the gruesome piece-de-resistance “X Is Coming” painted a portrait of a man in constant blood-feud with his demons. With today marking the album’s twenty-second birthday, it feels right to highlight the aforementioned “X Is Coming,” which stands to this day as one of the most chilling rap tracks ever recorded. 

Kicking off with a nightmarish flip on Freddy Krueger’s demonic lullaby, DMX fully commits to the macabre calling of his darker urges. Lyrically, the track contains some of his most brutal bars, including an incredibly disturbing recount of a home invasion gone horribly awry.  All the while, PKs’ smoldering instrumental provided the perfect backdrop for X’s murderous fantasies. For those inclined to enjoy the twisted realm of horror, “X Is Coming” is essential listening, a much-needed reminder of DMX’s prodigious reign as hip-hop’s deadliest mind. Happy birthday to a classic that only seems to get better with time.


Plucked you like a chicken with your head cut off
They’ll find you wit’ your back open and your legs cut off
And as for your man, don’t you ever in your mothafuckin’ life
Know when I gotta gun come at me wit’ a knife, aight?
And forgetting you ever saw me is the best thing to do
Don’t give a fuck about your family, they’ll be resting with you


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