Undisputed (DMX album)

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Undisputed
Studio album by DMX
Released September 11, 2012
Recorded 2008-2012
Saltmine Studio Oasis
(Mesa, Arizona)
Bishop Powerhouse Studios
(Yonkers, NY)
Genre Hip hop
Length 54:41
Label Seven Arts Music, Fontana
Producer DMX (exec.), Dame Grease (also exec.), Bird, Caviar, Deezle, Divine Bars, Elite, J.R. Rotem, Snaggs, Snaz, Swizz Beatz, Tronzilla
DMX chronology
Year of the Dog...Again
(2006)
Undisputed
(2012)
Singles from Undisputed
  1. "I Don't Dance"
    Released: April 7, 2012
  2. "Head Up"
    Released: September 4, 2012

Undisputed is the seventh studio album by American rapper DMX. It was released on September 11, 2012 on Seven Arts Music.[1]

Background[edit]

On October 11, 2011 DMX performed at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards. He stated that he has been working "nonstop, every day" on the new album, and plans to release it before December 2012.[2] During a performance at New York's Santos Party House on December 25, 2011, DMX stated that the new album will be entitled Undisputed and would be released on March 26, 2012. This was later confirmed by DMX via his official Twitter account, where he also confirmed that its first single is scheduled for release in January 2012. A video for a new track entitled "Last Hope" was released via Internet on September 24, 2011. This was later released on his The Weigh In EP and omitted from the final release of Undisputed.

Seven Arts Entertainment Inc. recently purchased David Michery's music assets, which included some of DMX's music. DMX's had announced that Undisputed will be released on March 27, 2012.[3] However it was later revealed that DMX did not plan to release the album on that date, and that date was one forced upon him by the record label. The release date for the album was set for June 26, 2012. However, DMX announced in Detroit, Michigan on June 9, 2012, that due to the record label, the date will be pushed back again.[4] It was then scheduled for release on August 28, 2012. Later, an official press release from the label pushed the back date to September 11, 2012. He donated the album's first week sales to the victims of the September 11 attacks. The album features only one male guest appearance by rapper Machine Gun Kelly. The album was also supposed to feature Sean Kingston, Tyrese and Busta Rhymes, but none of these artists were featured in the final cut.[5]

Release and promotion[edit]

On May 15, 2012, DMX and Dame Grease released a pre-album EP which would be free for download, called The Weigh In featuring artists such as Snoop Dogg, Big Stan and Tyrese. It also featured production from West Coast rapper and producer Dr. Dre.[6] Promoting his album, DMX announced the Undisputed Tour, with 15 concerts, across the United States throughout June and early July, hitting everywhere from New York to Hawaii.[7]

Singles[edit]

On January 6, 2012, DMX performed live the first single of the album, "I Don't Dance" featuring MGK in Long Beach.[8] It was released on iTunes on April 7, 2012.[9] DMX shot a video for the song, also featuring MGK. He also released a behind-the-scenes video.[10] The official video premiered on MTV Jams on June 23, 2012 and was later uploaded to his YouTube account. Xzibit made a cameo appearance.[citation needed] DMX released the second single, "Head Up", on September 4, 2012.[11]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[12]
Boston Globe (mixed)[13]
RapReviews 6/10[14]
TheVersed 2.5/5 stars[15]
XXL 3/5 stars[16]

Upon its release, Undisputed received generally mixed reviews from music critics. Christopher Minaya of XXL said, "X provides more bark than bite this go-around, as he often leaves listeners yearning for more lyrically while the selection of beats is open to discussion as many are up to snuff at best. Peaking so early in his career was a gift to his legacy but a curse to his longevity. As a result, fans understandably expect another "Party Up (Up In Here)," yet "I Don't Dance" is simply not that. Undisputed exhibits little of X’s impressive illustration but renews the high level of passion and energy he excels at relaying to listeners. X has been staying out of trouble, making it to shows and has improved his raps since The Weigh In, a trend one can only wish continues."[17] In a mixed review Ken Capobianco writing for the Boston Globe stated, "on his comeback after years of career self-destruction, he doesn’t come close to recapturing the intensity and glorious contradictions of his best work. Despite some excellent beats from some of his Ruff Ryder heyday producers including Swizz Beatz, the MC struggles to tap into the menacing, confrontational bark that made him a star."[13]

Pete T of RapReviews said, "the at-times triumphant return Undisputed wears many hats and dons most of them admirably. Here you'll find his trademark street anthems replete with horns and barking, desolate monologues toward a silent God, and endless exploration of a chronically conflicted character. He doesn't break much new ground, nor does he lend the sense that he's forcibly trying to reclaim past glory. Upon hearing the opener "What They Don't Know," an archetypal Swizz Beatz jam that stands among the best the duo ever concocted, it's almost impossible not to proclaim the return of the dog."[14] Huffington Post labeled DMX as past his prime, but also said "The production on Undisputed is respectable with Swizz Beatz, J.R. Rotem, Dame Grease and Tronzilla laying down the tracks, but their efforts don't help the overall quality. Surprisingly, the most enjoyable songs aren't the hardcore ones. Instead, it's the R&B-flavored "Cold World" and "No Love"."[18]

Rap Radar named it the fifth most disappointing album of 2012.[19] Colton S. of TheVersed stated, "Overall, Undisputed, is an admirable effort from one of hip hop’s most esteemed, important, and interesting artists. As strange as it sounds, DMX is at his best here when he holds himself back a little and opens up about his personal struggles. Unfortunately, he only does that on a small handful tracks. Throughout the rest of the project we get some interesting, yet technically deficient religious songs, and some misguided attempts at some of the high-energy party anthems he became famous for."[15]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number 19 on the US Billboard 200 selling 17,000 copies,[20] while making it to number 2 in R&B/ Hip-Hop Albums.[21] As of December, 2014, it has sold 54,000 copies in the US.[22]

Track listing[edit]

  • All songs were written by DMX.
No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Lookin' Without Seein'" (Intro) Earl Simmons Elite 0:50
2. "What They Don't Know"   Earl Simmons, Kaseem Dean Swizz Beatz 3:42
3. "Cold World" (featuring Andreena Mills) Earl Simmons, Damon Blackman, Nick Zesses, Dino Fekaris Dame Grease, Snaz 4:04
4. "I Don't Dance" (featuring MGK) Earl Simmons, Richard Colson Baker, Jonathan Rotem J.R. Rotem 3:27
5. "Sucka for Love" (featuring Dani Stevenson) Earl Simmons, Darius Harrison Deezle 4:10
6. "I Get Scared" (featuring Rachel Taylor) Earl Simmons, Damon Blackman Dame Grease 3:55
7. "Slippin' Again"   Earl Simmons, Gertis Lamont McDowell Bird 3:47
8. "Prayer" (Skit) Earl Simmons X 1:42
9. "I'm Back"   Earl Simmons, Gertis Lamont McDowell, Leonard Caston, Jr., Pamela Sawyer, Frank Wilson Bird 2:33
10. "Have You Eva"   Earl Simmons, Damon Blackman, Barry Eastmond, Jolyon Skinner Dame Grease 3:44
11. "Get Your Money Up"   Earl Simmons Snaggs 2:21
12. "Head Up"   Earl Simmons, Maurice White Tronzilla 4:31
13. "Frankenstein"   Earl Simmons, Kannon Cross, Gregory Ford, Jr. Caviar, G'Sparkz 2:34
14. "Ya'll Don't Really Know"   Earl Simmons, Kaseem Dean Swizz Beatz 2:38
15. "I Got Your Back" (featuring Kashmere) Earl Simmons, Kannon Cross, Gregory Ford, Jr. Caviar, G'Sparkz 3:15
16. "No Love" (featuring Adreena Mills) Earl Simmons, Damon Blackman, Barry White Dame Grease, Snaz 3:20
17. "Already"   Earl Simmons, Pat Gallo Divine Bars 3:59
Total length:
54:41
Notes
  • All song samples and production credits are according to the album booklet.
Sample credits

Personnel[edit]

Credits for Undisputed adapted from Allmusic.[23]

  • Robert Cardenas - Graphic Direction, Layout
  • Marz Castro - Images
  • Caviar - Mixing
  • R. Colson - Composer
  • Kannon "Caviar" Cross - Producer
  • Dame Grease - Producer
  • DMX - Primary Artist
  • Charles Dorman - Instrumentation, Keyboards, Strings
  • Barry Eastmond - Composer
  • Gregory Ford Jr. - Composer
  • Jason Fowler - Management
  • Pat Gallo - Producer
  • Patrick Gallo - Composer
  • Brian "Big Bass" Gardner - Mastering
  • Bob Gotti - A&R
  • John Gray - Editing, Engineer, Mixing
  • Darius Deezle Harrison - Producer
  • Jannyce - Featured Artist
  • Ronnie Jones - Marketing, Promoter
  • Peter Karroll - Executive Producer
  • Kashmere - Featured Artist
  • Kannon Kross - Composer
  • Jason Levine - Editing, Engineer, Mixing
  • Machine Gun Kelly - Featured Artist
  • Gertis Lamont McDowell - Composer
  • David Michery - Executive Producer
  • Greg Miller - Marketing, Promoter
  • Adreena Mills - Featured Artist
  • Cale Moss - Concept
  • Jordon Nuttall - Photography
  • Jonathan Rivera - Composer
  • J.R. Rotem - Producer
  • Colin Rothwell - Assistant Engineer
  • Don Salter - Quotation Author
  • Phil Schlemmer - Engineer, Sound Effects
  • Earl Simmons - Composer
  • Jolyon Skinner - Composer
  • Dani Stevenson - Featured Artist
  • Swizz Beatz - Producer
  • Morris J. Tancredi - Composer
  • Rachel Taylor - Featured Artist
  • Joe Warlick - Editing, Engineer, Mixing
  • Barry White - Composer
  • Maurice White - Composer
  • Jason Whittington - Marketing, Promoter
  • Ashley Williams - Vocals

References[edit]

  1. ^ Seven Arts Entertainment, Inc. (2013). UNITED STATES SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549 FORM 10-K. p. 79 http://www.7artspictures.com/SevenArtsEntertainmentInc-20131015-10K-20130630%20-W_Certs_FINAL.PDF |url= missing title (help). Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  2. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. (2011-08-02). "DMX Speaks On Recording New Album, Keeping A Clean Slate | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2011-10-22. 
  3. ^ Horowitz, Steven J. (2012-01-02). "DMX Enlists Busta Rhymes, Tyrese & Jennifer Hudson For "Undisputed" | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  4. ^ "DMX Tears Up NYC, Talks Album Delay and Fresh Start - The Juice". Billboard.com. Retrieved 2012-03-30. 
  5. ^ DMX Again at The Breakfast Club - Power 105.1 on YouTube
  6. ^ DMX – The Weigh In | RealTalkNY
  7. ^ DMX Announces Undisputed Tour Dates
  8. ^ Rap Radar: DMX & Machine Gun Kelly Debut Collabo
  9. ^ iTunes - Music - I Don't Dance (feat. Machine Gun Kelly) - Single by DMX
  10. ^ Rap Radar: Behind The Scenes: DMX x MGK “I Don’t Dance”
  11. ^ "DMX - "Head Up"". HipHopDX. 4 September 2012. Retrieved 4 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Undisputed - DMX : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards : AllMusic
  13. ^ a b By Ken Capobianco (2012-09-11). "CD REVIEW: DMX, ‘Undisputed’ - Arts". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  14. ^ a b "DMX :: Undisputed :: Seven Arts/Fontana". Rapreviews.com. 2012-12-04. Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  15. ^ a b "DMX – Undisputed Album Review". The Versed. 2013-07-28. Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  16. ^ DMX, Undisputed - XXL
  17. ^ "DMX, Undisputed - XXL". Xxlmag.com. 2012-09-14. Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  18. ^ Landrum, Jr., Jonathan (13 September 2012). "DMX 'Undisputed' Review: Album Shows Rapper Has Passed His Prime". Huffington Post. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  19. ^ Homie, Big (2013-01-07). "’12 Disappointing Albums: #5 DMX Undisputed". Rap Radar. Retrieved 2013-12-07. 
  20. ^ Hip Hop Album Sales: The Week Ending 9/16/2012 | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales | HipHop DX
  21. ^ "Undisputed - DMX". Billboard. 
  22. ^ http://www.ingrooves.com/wp-content/themes/ingrooves-responsive/images/nrbooks/nrbook_dec2.pdf
  23. ^ Undisputed - DMX : Credits : AllMusic