Few debuts have been met with more anticipation and fanfare than It's Dark and Hell is Hot. After somehow getting down with the in crowd, featuring with Jay-Z, Mase and LL Cool J among others, the mysterious rapper delivers a gritty, violent debut that doesn't really disappoint. This was by far his best project, and I feel like this was his only album where the production matched his dark, bleak subject matter, while also providing a backdrop for his more aggressive moments. DMX was always marketed as a party rapper with an edge, but I feel these gloomy street tales represent who he truly was, and IDAHIH perfectly captures that essence. X certainly doesn't cover a wide variety of topics, but he has a strength in storytelling, adding a layer to the album on ATF, Crime Story and the classic Damien, and they help to break up some of the lyrical monotony that wears itself a bit thin over 17 full tracks. There are also a handful of more introspective songs, highlighting X's struggles with his personal demons. Best songs are X is Coming, Damien, Crime Story, Stop Being Greedy, ATF, The Conversation and N!ggaz Done Started Something.