[THROWBACK THURSDAY] DMX Breaks the “Sophmore Jinx”
The year is 1998 and Hip-Hop is peaking with artists from both coasts and one side below the Mason-Dixon staking claims in the industry. With the 90’s being the decade of overall greatness in music, I heard an artist from Yonkers that growled over tracks and was making noise over at Def Jam.
DMX was the general of the Ruff Ryders camp and alongside label mates such as Jay-Z and Method Man, he had a style and sense of creativity that resulted in his first album Its Dark and Hell is Hot becoming a Hip-Hop album that’s a must-have. 19 tracks of pure, raw lyrics.
During this fluid period in Hip-Hop it wasn’t too common for an artist to hit a wall after the success of their first project. This roadblock was also known as “the sophomore jinx.” With a quadruple platinum first effort, you’d think DMX would fold under the pressure. Seven months later, he drops Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood.
Sixteen tracks of hardcore, gritty rhymes that would not only further display the Dark Man’s lyrical prowess, but also set a precedent as an artist by being the only one to release two albums in a year that both sat at #1 on the charts. The only artist to carry out this feat…Hip-Hop’s greatest artist and soon-to-be inductee in the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, 2Pac aka Makaveli.
We got to witness the continuation of excellent story-telling from DMX in The Omen (Damien pt.2) that featured shock rocker Marilyn Manson. With Swiss Beatz all over the production, the sophomore jinx was broken with this album going three-times platinum after sitting at #1 for weeks on end.
So much for being pressured…
I hear that DMX is back in the studio again with Swiss and is ready to drop a new project. I can only hope that it reflects the creativity and energy that this album created. In spite of his decorated history, the man is a legend. Some of our favorite artists in music came from infamous beginnings. I respect him as an artist and for what he has done for the industry.
Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood was the perfect complement to his first album. It allowed both him and Ruff Ryders to elevate to heights that only Roc-a-Fella and Bad Boy really experienced at that time for the East Coast. It’s a must-have album for heads of real Hip-Hop.
The author Jerry Miller
Aspiring entertainment writer from Indianapolis, Indiana. I served as the Entertainment Editor for the largest African-American magazine in the city of Indianapolis.