Duality is a dominant theme in DMX’s music. Consider “X Is Coming,” a chilling contribution to the timeless traditional It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot. On the monitor, which interpolates a Freddy-centric limerick from Nightmare On Elm Street, DMX indulges in his darkest fantasies. “I am gunnin’ on your partner, tryin’ to ship the bitch again to her maker, and in the event you acquired a daughter older than 15, I’ma rape her,” he raps, within the album’s most haunting second. “Take her on the livin’ room ground, proper there in entrance of you, then ask you critically, whatchu wanna do?” Toeing the road between hip-hop and horror, X appears compelled to dole out the satan’s work. Worse, he seems uniquely fitted to it. Who higher understands the temperature of hell than a person identified to go to?
On the identical album, X dedicates a second to deal with the Lord on “The Prayer,” a collection that will go on to be a mainstay throughout his discography. While X seems unwilling to repent for his sins, he continues to hunt the creator for steering. “You give me the phrase and solely ask that I interpret, and provides me the eyes that I could acknowledge the serpent,” he says. “You know I ain’t good, however you need me to attempt, not like the satan who simply desires me to lie, ’til I die.” In “The Prayer’s” supply, a way of cognitive dissonance emerges. Is X merely oblivious to the carnage he has left in his wake? His most brutal impulses have already been documented throughout the undertaking. Such a contradiction is, in reality, a driving power behind DMX’s thematic attraction. He has seen the satan. Believed his lies. All the whereas, God’s presence stays, maybe dormant, to maintain him grounded.
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I SAW THE DEVIL
“Damien” appears like It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot’s centerpiece. Between X’s alternating cadence, the haunting subject material, and Dame Grease’s ominous instrumental, “Damien” stood out as an intriguing contribution. For one, the apparent parallel with “The Omen,” during which a younger boy of the identical identify seems to be a conduit for a demonic presence. Off the bat, it’s clear that X is coping with the diabolical, the serpent with the forked tongue. In X’s interpretation, Satan emerges by a mush-mouthed hustler, initially showing below the pretense of being a “guardian angel.” Within X’s first interactions with Damien, guarantees are made. Though X makes an attempt a rationalization course of, his base impulses steer his course. It’s a story as previous because the Catholic Bible itself.
As the track progresses, X’s similar violent tendencies from “X Is Coming” proceed to plague him. The second verse finds him committing homicide, solely to be rewarded along with his favourite trifecta: weed, liquor, and prepared ladies. Damien even throws in a Mercedes Benz, on the situation that their unholy union stays intact. At this level, X seems prepared to throw warning to the wind. The spoils are just too bountiful. Yet even X, distant although it might be, has a breaking level. By the ultimate verse, X is already enthralled by Damien’s soothsaying. When Damien sends X on a murderous mission, X is prepared to oblige. Even when tasked with the homicide of his personal pal. For all we all know, X’s moments of bloodsport are the identical macabre nightmares referenced in “X Is Coming.” Given what we’ve acquired to this point, is it truthful to recommend that X’s violent impulses solely emerge when tempted by the Devil’s presence?
SNAKES, RATS, CATS, AND DOGS
D: Either do it or give me your proper hand, that is what you mentioned
X: I see now ain’t nothin’ however hassle forward
Though chapter one of many “Damien” trilogy concluded on an unresolved notice, X would revisit the saga on his subsequent album Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood. The duality of X’s character raged all through the undertaking. “I acquired blood on my dick trigger I fucked a corpse,” managed to coexist with the inspirational reflections of “Slippin.” Once once more, X managed to be disturbingly violent and calmly pious. And as soon as once more, Damien got here by to solidify his chokehold. “The Omen” discovered X teaming up with a self-professed “Antichrist Superstar,” Marilyn Manson. While Dame Grease conjured up a cinematic, virtually Hitchcock-esque instrumental, Swizz Beatz brings the sequel deeper into the realms of cosmic horror.
Picking up the place we left off, X has since recovered from a capturing. Naturally, Damien’s hoofprints are throughout it. Even X’s once-mighty canines are cowed by his presence. This time round, Damien has shed the veneer, forcing X to just accept him for what he’s. Within the opening moments, we be taught of X’s latest homicide spree, which incorporates the lives of “two youngsters.” It means little to the Devil, emboldened by X’s weakening resolve. Veiled threats start to sneak into his rhetoric. “What, I ain’t your man no extra? Just as a result of a n***a do not want a hand no extra?” asks Damien, reminding X of the advantages his friendship has yielded. “You know the way we do, if one goes mushy, all of us take the pussy and go up in her uncooked.”
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We quickly discover out that Damien shouldn’t be above getting his palms soiled. When X’s cousin is murdered by the police, D vows revenge on X’s behalf. “I’mma use the identical gun that you simply killed them two youngsters with Is that arduous to stay with?” he asks, prompting a “nah” from X. Once once more, X’s violent urges overpower his rational sense. Remember that the satan’s bargains seldom finish with out a mess. Lo and behold, Damien blows up your complete police station. The physique rely continues to develop. Such atrocities immediate X to try an escape, just for Damien to situation a damning reminder. You offered me your soul if you did not say no,” he gloats. It is barely then that X turns to God, as he as soon as did on “The Prayer.” “Forgive me, Father, for I’ve sinned,” pleads the rapper. “With your assist, I do know the Devil will not win.”
“I’LL BE BACK, ALRIGHT?”
Though Damien was absent on X’s third undertaking And Then There Was X, he reared his head as soon as once more on The Great Depression. “Damien III,” the ultimate chapter of the trilogy, discovered P Killer Trackz behind the boards. Curiously sufficient, the musical improvement of the “Damien” saga mirrors the thematic arc, descending deeper into overt insanity. For what it’s price, one thing else has modified. The looming sense of violence that permeated his first three albums is essentially absent on The Great Depression. It appears like X has lastly achieved that coveted state of peace, teetering nearer to “gentle” on the morality spectrum. Damien’s timing is impeccable. Greeting X like an previous pal, he wastes little time in sauntering again into the image.
Only X is ready, conserving D at a distance. Clearly, classes have been realized. For the primary time within the saga, it’s X that holds the higher hand. As the track progresses, nevertheless, Damien makes an attempt to discount and threaten in equal measure. When his affords of fabric wealth falter, he resorts to his true nature. “Got a spouse and children?” asks Damien. “Good factor they ain’t come throughout them triflin’ youngsters.” Despite the threats (threats he himself has realized in “X Is Coming”), X stays steadfast, claiming that he ought to have appeared to God for salvation. By this level, it’s clear that X has damaged freed from Damien’s grip. He closes the track with a warning and a prayer, invoking Jesus’ help in conserving the Devil from his life. Like that, Damien seems vanquished. But is the harm not already achieved?
In hindsight, there are various methods to interpret DMX’s trilogy. Those with a choice for horror fiction will possible discover satisfaction with a literal interpretation; it’s definitely a chilling story, within the vein of Stephen King’s The Man In The Black Suit. Another take is extra psychological, with Damien himself representing the darker components of X’s psyche. On one other It’s Dark spotlight, “Stop Being Greedy,” X beforehand waged conflict with himself, utilizing numerous cadences to characterize his dichotomous nature. In that sense, “Damien” works on a metaphorical degree, depicting one man’s wrestle between darkness and light-weight. Either means, the non secular undertones stay a continuing. But does the story have a contented ending? On the floor. Evoking God’s will, DMX managed closed the door on his demons. Yet such forces of nature by no means actually go away the premises. They nonetheless rap the windowpane sometimes.