The song DMX wrote to make his audience “feel worse”
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The song DMX wrote to make his audience "feel worse"

DMX was a 1990s legend, and his legacy lives on to this day. With his career beginnings rooted in the late-’80s, the rapper became one of the most prevalent and exciting rappers of the 1990s and 2000s. 

DMX got his first break during his time at Ruff Ryders, where he was introduced to Swizz Beatz, who produced the legendary ‘Ruff Ryders Anthem’. ‘Ruff Ryders Anthem’ became the lead single of his debut album, which went to number one in America, selling over four million copies.

when he released his debut album, It’s Dark, and Hell Is Hot, in 1998. The record propelled DMX (real name Earl Simmons) to critical and commercial acclaim, selling no fewer than 251,000 copies within its first week of release, in turn etching his name into the annals of hip-hop history in the process.

From that moment on, DMX didn’t look back, forging a new path for hip-hop alongside his contemporaries. Simmons was known for his angry, aggressive tales and hoarse voice, and his tracks were often haunting.

That said, in 1999, DMX released a track that was made to make his fans “feel worse.” Following the release of …And Then There Was X, Simmons spoke to GQ magazine about the recording process of the album and the meaning of some of the project’s songs.

The lead single of …And Then There Was X was ‘What’s My Name?’ Produced by Irv Gotti, the song was recorded in Miami and hears the Yonkers rhymer lash out against the haters and pretenders in his life.

On the song, he raps lines such as “I’m not a nice person” and “No more deaths / ‘Cause in a minute you gon’ have grandma bein’ / The only family member left.” The track has a negative feeling throughout.

Speaking with GQ, Simmons explained why he chose to go down the dark path, detailing, “Sometimes people want to feel worse. You don’t always want to feel better. However you want to feel, there should be a song that helps you feel that way. Who wants to be happy all the time? You’ll get taken advantage of all the time.”

You can listen to What’s My Name?’ below.