It's Dark and Hell Is Hot

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It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
Studio album by
ReleasedMay 12, 1998 (1998-05-12)
StudioNew Horizon Sounds Studio, Inc.
(Capitol Heights, Maryland)
Power House Studios, Soundtrack Studios, Chung King Studios, Quad Recording Studios
(New York City, New York)
DMX chronology
It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood
Singles from It's Dark and Hell Is Hot
  1. "Get at Me Dog"
    Released: February 10, 1998
  2. "Stop Being Greedy"
    Released: March 7, 1998
  3. "Ruff Ryders' Anthem"
    Released: May 5, 1998
  4. "How's It Goin' Down"
    Released: June 9, 1998

It's Dark and Hell Is Hot is the debut studio album by American rapper DMX. It was released on May 12, 1998[1] by Ruff Ryders Entertainment, Def Jam Recordings, and PolyGram.[2] It was supported by four singles—"Get at Me Dog", "Stop Being Greedy", "Ruff Ryders Anthem" and "How's It Goin' Down", in order of release—and their accompanying music videos.

It primarily includes production from Dame Grease (13 tracks) and PK (8 tracks), in addition to production from Irv Gotti and Lil Rob (2 tracks), Younglord (1 track; add.), and Swizz Beatz (1 track). The album is widely considered a classic among hip hop fans and critics.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[4]
The Daily VaultA−[5]
Entertainment WeeklyC[6]
Q4/5 stars[8]
Rolling Stone3/5 stars[10]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide4/5 stars[11]
The Source4/5[8]

It's Dark and Hell Is Hot was met with positive reviews from music critics. AllMusic commented that "Unlike so many other hardcore rappers who are more rhetorical than physical, DMX commands an aggressive aura without even speaking a word."[4] Leading Hip Hop magazine The Source described the album as "a mind-gripping opus that fully encompasses the appeal of one of rap's newest sensations."[8]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, and sold 251,000 copies in its first week in the United States.[12] The album was certified 4x Multi-Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on December 18, 2000.[13]

Track listing[edit]

Standard edition
2."Ruff Ryders' Anthem"
Swizz Beatz3:34
3."Fuckin' wit' D"
4."The Storm (skit)"
  • Simmons
  • Blackman
  • Fields
  • Joaquin Dean
  • Mad Man
  • Dame Grease
  • PK
  • Waah (add.)
  • Mad Man (add.)
5."Look Thru My Eyes"
  • Simmons
  • Fields
  • Blackman
  • PK
  • Dame Grease (co.)
6."Get At Me Dog" (featuring Sheek Louch)
  • Dame Grease
  • PK (add.)
7."Let Me Fly"
8."X-Is Coming"
  • Simmons
  • Fields
  • Simmons
  • Blackman
Dame Grease3:42
10."How's It Goin' Down"
  • Simmons
  • Fields
11."Mickey (skit)"
  • Simmons
  • Fields
  • J. Dean
  • Rajah Winn
12."Crime Story"
  • Irv Gotti
  • Lil Rob
13."Stop Being Greedy"
  • PK
  • Dame Grease (add.)
  • Simmons
  • Blackman
Dame Grease1:56
15."For My Dogs" (featuring Big Stan, Loose, Kasino and Drag-On)
Dame Grease4:11
16."I Can Feel It"
Dame Grease4:13
17."Prayer (skit)"SimmonsDame Grease2:32
18."The Convo"
  • Simmons
  • Blackman
  • Barry Alan Gibb
  • Maurice Ernest Gibb
  • Robin Hugh Gibb
  • Ed Penney
  • Jerry Gillespie
Dame Grease3:34
19."Niggaz Done Started Something" (featuring The Lox and Mase)Dame Grease5:14
Total length:1:05:15
  • Track listing and credits from album booklet.
  • "X-Is Coming" features additional vocals by Jamie, Warren and Randy.
  • "I Can Feel It" features additional vocals by Nardo.
Sample credits

Chart positions[edit]

Chart (1998) Peak
US Billboard 200[14] 1
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[15] 1


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[16] 4× Platinum 4,000,000^

^shipments figures based on certification alone
double-daggersales+streaming figures based on certification alone

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Pendleton, Tonya (March 20, 1998). "New & Improved Ready To Take Over". Philadelphia Daily News. Philadelphia, PA, USA. p. F19. His album, "It's Dark and Hell Is Hot,'" comes out May 12.
  2. ^ "DMX | Biography, Albums, & Streaming Radio". AllMusic. December 18, 1970. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  3. ^ "50 Greatest MCs of Our Time (1987 - 2007)". Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Jason Birchmeier (May 12, 1998). "It's Dark and Hell Is Hot - DMX | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  5. ^ "The Daily Vault Music Reviews :". December 27, 2006. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  6. ^ Mukherjee, Tiarra. "It's Dark and Hell is Hot | Music Review | Entertainment Weekly". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on October 11, 2008. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  7. ^ "DMX: It's Dark and Hell is Hot - Pitchfork". March 5, 2017. Retrieved March 5, 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d "Dmx - It's Dark and Hell Is Hot CD Album". May 19, 1998. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  9. ^ "Feature for January 28, 2003 - DMX's "It's Dark and Hell Is Hot"". January 28, 2003. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  10. ^ DMX (June 18, 1998). "DMX: It's Dark and Hell Is Hot : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on October 2, 2007. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  11. ^ Ex, Kris (2004). "DMX". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (eds.). The New Rolling Stone Album Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. p. 248. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  12. ^ "Now! 22 Ends DMX's Billboard Winning Streak". MTV. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  13. ^ "Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - December 18, 2015". RIAA. Retrieved December 19, 2015.
  14. ^ "DMX Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  15. ^ "DMX Chart History (Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums)". Billboard. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  16. ^ "American album certifications – DMX – IT'S DARK AND HELL IS HOT". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved September 20, 2019. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH.