DMX - It's Dark and Hell is Hot 
Music Disc Reviews Audio CD
Written by Jason Karsh   
Tuesday, 19 May 1998

It's Dark And Hell Is Hot,
Def Jam Records
| Performance 7.5 | Sound 7 |

Possibly the most over-hyped album of the year, 'Dark' was going to be hard-pressed to live up to its publicity, yet, in all honesty, it comes damn close. The debut release from the latest challenger to the King of New York MC crown features DMX doing it all. Melding rhyme style after rhyme style, he weaves between voices and flows with a dexterity that conceals the difficulty it takes to accomplish such a feat.

'Dark' is particularly impressive on cuts such as "Get At Me Dog," "The Convo," and the acappella "Prayer," but mostly, it is impressive all the way through. Also of note, this CD is the first in a line of Def Jam releases to be accompanied by a second disc. This disc, 'Survival Of The Illest Part I' contains rhyme samples from upcoming Def Jam releases, including but not limited to, L.L. Cool J.'s response to Canibus' "Second Round KO." The other two 'Survival' discs are available on Onyx's latest, 'Shut 'Em Down' and Def Squad's 'El Nino." As good as DMX's album gets--and it does get good--it is this bonus disc which really hits the spot making this album almost a must buy.

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