It was a family affair at The Blockley last Friday as legendary rapper DMX took the stage with his fiancé, five-year old daughter, and the rest of the Ruff Ryders. “This is NOT a FUCKING game,” X reminded us, before apologizing to his mother, also on stage, for swearing.
What followed was a rowdy, profanity-laden, late night rap-along of DMX’s greatest hits, and for an artist with over fifteen years of experience in the industry and 30 million albums sold worldwide, there were no shortage of hits. From the chart-topping smash hits that everyone knows (“Up in Here,” “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem”), to more introspective selections (“Slippin’,” “Lord Give Me a Sign”), to some signature album cuts (“Who We Be”, “Where the Hood At?”), X tore through his setlist for a devoted crowd of fans who rapped along to every single word. It was clear that the audience were of the generation lucky enough to witness the turn-of-the-century revival of Def Jam, where rappers like Ja Rule, Ludacris, and X himself reigned supreme.
Always one for showmanship (just check his filmography), DMX was a lively presence throughout the night –– dapping up the audience, poking fun at an over-intoxicated woman in the front row, pounding his chest, and quite literally barking at the crowd between songs. His on-stage banter came off like a standup routine and was nothing less than hilarious. At one point, he even had The Blockley’s owner bring out a bottle of Hennessy for the crowd to share, but not before pouring out a good amount of its contents on the stage... for the homies. It’s hard to believe that he is now 43 years old, and with the energy and passion of his performance on Friday, I could have just as easily been watching an up-and-coming emcee rip the mic in the year 1998. Kudos to The Blockley for booking such a major artist and putting on a unique and unforgettable show.
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