One-Man Dialogues

These beats and DMX's spiritual schizophrenia save Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood from floccinaucinihilipilification, 'cause when he's not dealing with the dilemma of his own duality, DMX gives in to the dark side, and things get ugly. There's a lot of "faggots" on Flesh of My Flesh, returning hiphop perilously close to the asinine days of MCs onstage shouting "All the people with AIDS, be quiet!": "Them faggots killed my people," "Bust a faggot like you for free," "Faggots talk shit, but I don't really care." And there are at least three deaths on the album, cold bodies hitting the concrete on wax for hardcore hiphop cred.

You want to believe that it's all part of DMX's master plan. "If I don't know where I'm coming from, where can I go," Mary J. Blige croons on "Coming From," and X keeps revisiting his desperate survivalist past; he only finds comfort in his dogs. But DMX is clearly torn. You want to believe, like in Busta Rhymes's latest hypercharged opus, that DMX will bump his head sometime soon and switch it on 'em. That maybe like Tupac before him (and this would be their only similarity— let the brother go, y'all), X plans to rally his niggas together with a voice and an aesthetic they can get with before leading them against that Infrastructure with a new agenda. You want to believe life will imitate art and DMX, like Tommy, will find the salvation his soul is searching for. DMX understands the Divine Dichotomy, right? He rhymes with God— what?!?!

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