DMX – The Definition of X: Pick of the Litter: #448 of best 1,000 albums ever!

DMX - The Definition of X - Pick of the Litter

So why is DMX’s The Definition of X: Pick of the Litter on this best 1,000 albums ever thing?

Here’s where I am with DMX: when it hits, it really hits.

Example: “X Gon’ Give It To Ya” is one of the best songs produced in this century to date. It’s got everything one can ask for in an aggressive rap song. This thing jumps, with its bombastic, ultra-minimalist production, super fast pace, and DMX’s trademark crazy gruff delivery barking out bars about how and presumably when (now-ish?) he plans on giving it to us.

I would be remiss if I didn’t include this montage sequence from Rick and Morty (something the animated show excels at) that leverages “X Gon’ Give It To Ya”* to amazing effect.

* Hat tip to my man Lou on this one. When he’s not saving the world with science, he’s serving the world with comedy.

I’m a huge fan of “Where The Hood At”… musically. This is where I need to talk a little bit about the song’s homophobic lyrics. As I’ve noted a number of times, I often don’t pay close attention to lyrics until I’m really invested in a song and/or artist, and so it was that when I finally tuned into what “Where The Hood At” is talking about, I was kind of taken aback.

Now, to be fair (or at least honest), there’s a lot of music that I enjoy listening to where I don’t necessarily get with all of its lyrical content. And it can particularly be an issue with hip hop music. As I’ve gotten older, I have feelings of unease at times – especially with relation to lyrics in music that I enjoyed when I was younger without bothering to think much about the intent of the writing or the impact it might have on people (and especially kids).  

This piece in the UK’s Independent,written in the wake of DMX passing away at the age of 50 in 2021, does a great job of reckoning with the rap icon’s legacy, and lands on the side of a redemption arc in the end.

All DMX wanted to do was soar, just like he said on his 1998 album cut “Let Me Fly”. But while he hit heights of fame that very few ever reach, his spirit was often grounded by childhood trauma, internal demons and ongoing health issues. For as much as he gave the world, he deserved better.

On that heavy note, maybe it’s best to end on “Party Up,” which is really fun and exuberant musically but, to be perfectly honest, has similar issues lyrically.  

Some stats & info about DMX – The Definition of X: Pick of the Litter

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Hip Hop, Rap, East Coast Rap, Hardcore Rap
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – not ranked!
  • All Music’s rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • When was DMX – The Definition of X: Pick of the Litter released? 2007
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #448 out of 1,000

DMX’s The Definition of X: Pick of the Litter on Spotify

A lyrical snippet from DMX’s The Definition of X: Pick of the Litter that’s evocative of the album in some way, maybe

X gonna give it to you.

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.