It’s been an anxious week after hearing the news about the late great DMX’s health, and of his passing, Friday. All I can say is that this is something that hits me on a very personal level, harder than the passing of any other emcee in my lifetime. DMX was much more than just a ‘rapper’. He was the “Grand Champ”, the Great Dog of our time (aka “Top Dog”), and the people were behind him. I’d say he was the realest ‘real one’ in music entertainment. Over time, the body of his work showed the spiritual significance of the fire that we saw in him from day one. He wasn’t here to be a perfect individual. I think that among other reasons, he was here to show us the power of the human heart. He showed people what it meant to speak from the heart. He made it cool to be spiritual and God fearing, as well as God loving. He left an unfathomable legacy through his music, his many children and family members, and of course, his fans. As unfortunate and shocking as this is, I feel that there were countless fans who loved and appreciated DMX, aka Earl Simmons, unconditionally during his lifetime. We didn’t have to know him personally. We knew what he stood on, and that was enough for us to appreciate his life and his mission as an artist.

People loved DMX and still love X because he was real and passionate. He kept it 100%, 100 percent of the time. More than we’ve seen from any other entertainer, I would argue. He was funnier than a lot of comedians. He was as spiritual as a pastor. He was as hardcore as any so-called roughneck, but to quote the man himself, that’s because he had a “good heart”. And he didn’t regret the path that he took to get to where he stood at any one time.

One song that touches on this is one of his most famous, Slippin’. I probably don’t need to talk about this one… But as far as this blog goes, what’s interesting is that it was mastered and released without any real cursing, which was edited out. DMX explains why in this interview. Since the clean edit is the official version that was released, it’s “Clean Rap”, as far as we’re concerned, especially in honour of DMX. Rest in Power, and Rest in Peace, DMX.

Let us hope and pray for DMX.

I would normally post this to the “Children’s” category, since it’s from a kids movie… But this track is actually kind of frightening lol.

This is brand new from Abstract Rude and you are some of the first to hear and see this.

We’re all about showing a holistic view of Hip-hop culture, with its four elements. The only problem is that Graffiti is traditionally something that the artist does without an audience. They’re trying not to be seen, and those who work all night likely sleep during the day, lol. So this isn’t just a music video, it’s a bit of a street documentary too. You might have wondered: what is really behind those spray-painted murals, on trains and bridges, in almost every city you’ve ever visited?

A big shout out to all of the Graf artists who do paid work as well. But we cannot forget that this element began as and continues to be a rebellious expression made on public, private and abandoned properties. It’s the silent clash between the people, and the powers that be. And for that reason, I smile every time I see it.

“Hell will be a place of outer darkness;
Survivors of the nuclear attack live in a computer, heartless,
Operating society where technology prospers,
Controls all facets of life and paradise is promised…”

There is a scary amount of truth in those lines. These days I can’t stop listening to this track.

Songs like this make you stop and just appreciate the fact that the artist decided to do something different. Sometimes being ‘unique’ can be taken a bit too far. But even then it’s just cool listening to something that isn’t meant to sound like… everything else. Just Siah alone on this track, and based on an interview he did in 2012 (see below), I suspect he laid down the piano that you hear throughout. Peace.