I know I said the last post would be my last of the night, but I lied and frankly I want to procrastinate with one more post...
Earl Simmons is better known for his Ruff Ryder, ride or die persona. It's only fair. Afterall he is the man that brought us the hard hitting tracks "X Gon' Give It to Ya," "What's My Name?," and "Where the Hood At?" He's the same rapper that brought us party anthems "Get It On the Floor" and "Party Up (Up In Here)," but anyone who wants to accuse the Dark Man X of being a one dimensional artists hasn't listened to his discography past the radio hits.
It's on songs like "Slippin'" where the listener really gets a sense of who Earl Simmons is as a man: a man who is very flawed, a man who has battled through drug addiction and depression and come through it a better person. Even with DMX's rough, gravel-voiced delivery, this song is simply beautiful. If one were to only listen to the lyrics of "(Ain't) No Sunshine," one would put it on par with most of the DMX songs that the lay listener has heard. The track features the same glorification of violence and bravado that is present on many of his other tracks, but the sample of Bill Withers' song of the same name completely transforms the tone of the song. Instead of the swagger that fills other DMX tracks, this song is full of regret over violent actions the rapper has committed.
X needs to get his life together. The past few years have witnessed him relapse into drug use and he's had several run ins with the law. Despite the stigma attached to him by songs like "Party Up," DMX has always had the capacity to be one of the better rappers in the game. It's just sad to see a legend become a shade of his former self.
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