DMX had a knack for showcasing vulnerability in his lyrics that resonated with the masses. The music was his diary, and he had no qualms about sharing both the good and bad in his life with his listener. While he had plenty of anthem-quality rap bangers in his catalog, the tracks he made with some of R&B’s most revered artists at the time were special.
“How’s It Goin’ Down” featuring Faith Evans climbed to No. 79 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1998. The mid-tempo groove has less bark and bite from X as he tells the story of a shorty who’s creepin’ on her man with the rapper while Faith’s seraphic vocals complete the track.
Then there’s his 2000 collaboration with Aaliyah on her track “Come Back in One Piece,” one of the singles from the Romeo Must Die soundtrack for the film they both starred in. On the song, X admits he’s a “dog for life,” but keeps it true, and Aaliyah’s warm vocals feature her looking out for X and giving him the OK to hang with his dogs as long as he makes a promise to “make it back in one piece.”
That same year, the MC connected with Sisqó for “What These Bitches Want,” one of several songs that earned X a top 50 position on the Billboard Hot 100. This track came in at No. 49. The famed effort is most notable for all the women X names on the track: “There was Brenda, Latisha (Uh), Linda, Felicia (OK)/Dawn, LeShaun, Inez and Alicia (Ooh)/Teresa, Monica, Sharon, Nicki (Uh-huh)/Lisa, Veronica, Karen, Vicky (Damn)/Cookie, well, I met her in a ice cream parlor (Right)/Tonya, Diane, Lori and Carla (OK)/Marina (Uh), Selena (Uh), Katrina (Uh), Sabrina (Uh)/About three Kims (What?), LaToya and Tina (Woo)/Shelley, Bridget, Cathy, Rasheeda (Uh-huh)/Kelly, Nicole, Angel, Juanita (Damn)/Stacy, Tracy, Ronna and Ronda (What?)/Donna, Yolanda (What?), Tawana and Wanda (What?),” the rapper lists out on the Nokio the N-Tity-produced song as Sisqó belts out lines like “Tell me what you want from me.”