dark and h is hot

5 Reasons Why DMX’s Debut Album Is A Classic Album

This week marked the 15th anniversary of DMX’s debut album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. The dark, raw offering introduced the world at large to DMX and helped change the late 90s, early 200s hip-hop landscape. Dust off your old CD and revisit why this album is a modern hip-hop classic. ---Sowmya Krishnamurthy

Vocal Delivery
Most rappers bark more than they bite, but for DMX, this was literal. The rapper’s brusque delivery was peppered with his signature dog barks and growls, which to this day, might be some of rap’s strangest ad libs. The album’s lead single, “Get At Me Dog,” was a fitting introduction to the animalistic rapper and proved that the dog was out for rapper blood.

Hardcore Lyrics
Darkness dominated DMX’s lyrical content on the album. Songs like “X Is Coming” were openly violent and horrifying while even introspective cuts like “Look Thru My Eyes” and “Let Me Fly” were depressing as hell. Rapper authenticity was never questioned when it came to Dark Man X; he was rapping bar by bar the bleak and twisted life he led.

Dark ‘N Emo
From the get go, DMX had star quality. The album and its subsequent music videos proved that X could do it all. He was dangerous but also alluring; men wanted to be him and women wanted to be with him. Cuts like “How’s It Goin’ Down” with Faith Evans showed his sex appeal, while retaining his male bravado (Not an easy task). One of the album’s standout cuts, “Prayer (Skit),” was a raw showing of contrition and asking God for guidance. X’s live performances of the affective cut still stand as some of rap’s most moving and by the end of many shows, X would literally be weeping onstage. Like 2Pac before him, DMX was not afraid to show emotion and let it all hang out and fans loved him for that.

Meet Swizz Beatz
Before Swizz Beatz was buying Basquiats and looking cutesy with wifey Alicia Keys, he was just another producer on the Ruff Ryders roster. Swizz, along with Irv Gotti and Dame Grease, produced much of the album, including the aggressively catchy “Ruff Ryders Anthem.” After It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot, Swizz became a go-to producer for the rest of the Ruff Ryder roster and quickly turned into a celebrity in his own right

Def Jam Back
When the album came out in 1998, hip-hop was a landscape of shiny suits (Hi Diddy and Ma$e!) and party rap. It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot brought back gritty street rap and helped usher in new life into Def Jam Records. Soon thereafter, DMX, Jay-Z and Ja Rule would make Def Jam into a powerhouse and burn those shiny suits once and for all.

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Ebro Calls Out Kodak Black For Sexual Assault During Interview

The Internet's latest victim of unwarranted hate is Ebro Darden, host of Hot 97's Ebro in the Morning. currently awaiting trialThe Internet is split on Darden's attempt to try to discuss Kodak Black's sexual assault allegations. He is for charges of criminal sexual conduct from a sexual assault indictment in 2017.

During the rapper's visit to the radio show on Wednesday (Dec. 12), everything seemed fine and dandy. However, around 15-minutes in, Ebro brought up the Floridian's current sexual assault case.

“Look man, at this point, it’s a pleasure to meet you man,” Ebro says near the 15-minute mark of the 17-minute interview. “You know, looking at all your cases and everything you’ve been through, and I know the recent one right now is very sensitive. Respect to everybody involved in that case, we can’t get into details today… We take sexual assault here serious. We can’t get into details, but we hope to have you back, so that we can have a deeper conversation about that. It’s a serious topic, we’re hearing these stories a lot."

Peter Rosenberg swiftly tries to deflect from the conversation by asking Kodak if the moon landing of 1969 was a conspiracy. However, Ebro brings up the musician's clear anxiety over the fact that he brought up the case.

"I feel like sometimes, when n***as like me are going through sh*t, y'all be entertained," says Kodak as he squirms in his chair. "Like, change the subject... talk about something else." Ebro then brings up that they tried to change the subject, and if there's nothing left to discuss, the interview could be over. At that point, Kodak gets up from the mic and walks away.

On Twitter after the interview began to gain virality, Ebro wrote that he did not discuss any specifics about the case, and that he was just trying to have a "balanced" conversation. While many members of the Twittersphere are praising Ebro for attempting to have a conversation about the elephant in the room, others are calling him out for "baiting" and bringing up something that "he shouldn't have brought up."

What are your thoughts?

I was tryna have a balanced convo with Kodak Black & not ignore the serious allegations against him but also not ask specifics to make his situation worse... and he wanna get an attitude with me?? Nah....

— El Viejo Ebro (@oldmanebro) December 12, 2018

He’s young black rich and ignorant. He was suppose to be uncomfortable about it.

— Nisha2much (@NautiNish) December 13, 2018

If you bring it up then say "we cant get into details tho" thats not a balanced convo thats baiting

— Scam SZN (@SumBlaqGuy) December 12, 2018

READ MORE: Vic Mensa Defends Critical XXXTentacion Freestyle On Instagram

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Sir Elton John covered Khalid's 'American Teen' single for Spotify Singles.
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Sir Elton John Covers Khalid's "Young Dumb And Broke"

Khalid has had the opportunity to cover songs from some legendary musicians like Tracy Chapman. Now, the tables have turned. Sir Elton John recently covered the Texan’s 2017 hit “Young Dumb & Broke.”

The “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” musician reworked Khalid’s American Teen track for the Spotify Singles series. In a statement, he praised the young musician’s growth, and he called the song “one of [his] favorites.” Khalid can be heard at the end of the Elton version singing along.

“I discovered Khalid’s music a few years ago, and have been a fan ever since,” Sir Elton wrote. “We finally met when I played his home town of El Paso last year. It’s a thrill to be a small part of any new artist’s journey, and it’s been wonderful to see his star continue to rise and rise. ‘Young Dumb & Broke’ is a fabulous song, one of my favorites, and I’m really pleased that he liked my cover enough to contribute vocals.”

This wouldn’t be the first time Sir Elton has praised members of the newer generation of music. His song “Rocket Man” is sampled in Young Thug’s On The Rvn EP. In the past, he’s sung Thugger’s praises, namely in a 2015 interview with Noisey, where he noted he enjoyed how he pushed the boundaries of hip-hop.

Listen to Sir Elton John’s cover below.

this is so crazy Thank you so much @eltonofficial pic.twitter.com/QVkQjqCSuM

— Khalid (@thegreatkhalid) December 12, 2018

READ MORE: Young Thug Has A New Fan And His Name Is Elton John

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'Sesame Street' Praised For The Inclusion Of Homeless Character

Sesame Street continues its crusade to include statement-making characters on their block. This time around, families will be introduced to Lily, the show’s first homeless character.

According to USA Today, Lily- an adorable hot pink, red haired puppet- was first introduced to the show in 2011, but in new online clips, Lily opens up about being homeless and staying with friends.

"Now we don't have our own place to live, and sometimes I wonder if we'll ever have our own home," she says to Elmo in one clip. In her initial appearances on the show, Lily discusses her family’s food insecurities, meaning they didn’t have much to eat.

“We know children experiencing homelessness are often caught up in a devastating cycle of trauma – the lack of affordable housing, poverty, domestic violence, or other trauma that caused them to lose their home, the trauma of actually losing their home, and the daily trauma of the uncertainty and insecurity of being homeless,” said Sherrie Westin, President of Global Impact and Philanthropy at Sesame Workshop.

“We want to help disrupt that cycle by comforting children, empowering them, and giving them hope for the future," she continues. "We want them to know that they are not alone and home is more than a house or an apartment – home is wherever the love lives.”

In recent years, Sesame Street has introduced a slew of ground-breaking new characters, including Julia, a puppet with autism, and Alex, a character whose father is incarcerated.

READ MORE: 'Sesame Street' Introduces A Character Who Has A Father In Jail

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