It’s been three years since the loner from Yonkers brought
hip-hop to a standstill and introduced his grimy, eerie flow and street lyrical
content. Ruff Ryders‘ first
introduction to the game, DMX, has
hit the hip-hop world with his fourth album, The
Great Depression
. With 17 tracks, and production by DMX himself, Dame Grease, Swizz and
other Bloodline producers, this
album doesn’t seem to hit the same cord that his previous albums did.

Over the summer, the Dark Man has
been in a label ‘battle’ with Ruff
Ryders
, set up his own label, Bloodline
records, as well as a few spells in jail, and it seems his album has suffered
as a result.

The first track, Sometimes, is X talking, in his classic gruff voice,
and that leads into School street, which
comes as a surprise as it bangs into the senses. Other standout tracks include Who We Be, which will have you
banging your head with the beat and X‘s
flow. Trina Moe, sounds like classic DMX, We Right Here and
Number II will be definite club bangers.
Also You Could Be Blind featuring Mashonda, is a nice track with the
female singer making her presence known.

The next instalment in the Damien series, Damien III has a
nice piano loop but fails to clutch the attention of listeners as well as the
previous versions did. Shorty Was The Bomb
sounds like another ‘getting p*ssy, then gone’ type of song which made me fast
forward. And a borrowed sample from Stephanie
Mills
song Watcha Gonna Do (With My Lovin’)
plays the main point in the track When I’m Nothing
but it doesn’t play well with the mentals.

The anticipated Bloodline Anthem was expected to do
what Ruff Ryders Anthem did but is
filled with a rock guitar and a hook, which screams ‘it’s our time to let them
know’. But the saving grace of this track is X‘s shot at fellow Def Jammer, Ja
Rule
, Told Niggas to ‘do yo’ courtesy of Flex/
Put out…Then There Was X, then there was X again/ Ain’t my next of kin, just
some hard-headed, dick-riding, grown-ass man
.

DMX worked hard to get where he is
but it sounds as if he is now put his attention onto other things, and his
album suffers as a result. The album is more ‘fast-forward’ than ‘rewind’ but
die-hard DMX fans will push it to
the platinum status that he always receives.