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3.9 out of 5 stars25
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 13 March 2004
Earl 'DMX' Simmons does it again. After a two year absence, DMX returns with what was to be his final album 'Grand Champ'; and it's one hell of a return. Over the last six years, DMX has consistently proven to be one of hip-hop's biggest players, injecting all his material with the token enthusiasm and aggression that first got him noticed, and producing some of the all time great rap anthems. This album is right up there with 'It's Dark and Hell is Hot' and 'Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood', but somehow even manages to surpass those classics.
Some have criticised his overuse of explicit language and some have even dared to say that his subject matter is repetitive; what they failed to mention is that virtually no other rapper projects so much of their soul and character into their raps as DMX does. This album is no exception, as every single song, of which there are 19 (plus 5 skits), stands out as a truly innovative piece of work.
DMX shows here that he doesn't need to recruit the likes of The Neptunes in order to garner interest and record sales, and instead gets the producers he knows best to pepper the album with hot beats and diverse production. Old faces such as Swizz Beatz, Dame Grease and Rockwilder make a welcome return, as well as new recruits Tuneheadz, Kayne West, and Shatek King, to name but a few. And with each different producer comes a different flavour, ranging from the fiery aggression of Tuneheadz' 'Where the Hood At', to the sinister bass of Salaam Wreck's 'Shot Down' to the soulfoul collaboration joint 'Ain't Gotta go Home', which perfectly blends Monica's silky smooth singing voice with X's gruff street slanging.
Of course there are some joints that aren't so hot, namely 'My Life' and 'F**k Y'all', but the hot joints totally eclipse these weaker sections. To summarise, here's a breakdown and verdict of each song:
1. Dog Intro: Odd build up, but great verse. 4/5
2. My Life: Incredibly repetitive verse - chorus structure. 2/5
3. Where the Hood At: Awesome track, typical DMX. 5/5
4. Dogs Out: Bafflingly good sample work from K West. 4/5
5. Get it on the Floor: The album's party piece. Thumping. 5/5
7. Shot Down: Darkness personified, verging on frightening. 4/5
8. Bring the Noize: Quite similar to 'Where the hood At'. 4/5
9. Untouchable: A brilliant Ruff Ryders collabo track. Ace. 5/5
10. F**k Y'all: Quite poor. Nuff said. 2/5
12. We're Back: Excellent production. 5/5
14. Rob All Night: Dodgy beat and re-use of older lyrics. 3/5
15. We Go Hard: Not keen on the tune, or Cam'Ron for that matter. 3/5
16. We 'Bout to Blow: Ace music, Big Stan is awesome. 5/5
17. The Rain: Similar to 'My Life', but not as repetitive. 3/5
19. Don't Gotta Go Home: Just awesome. Incredibly soulful. 5/5
20. A'Yo Kato: Heartfelt tribute to a lost friend. 4/5
21. Thank You: Another soulful joint, maybe a little loud though. 4/5
23. On Top: A bit like a bonus track, but still great. 4/5
24. X Gon' Give it to Ya: Just ace. But strangely censored(!). 5/5
So there you go. People who doubted that DMX could make a comeback after a two year absence have been put in their place. I just hope that he sticks with his decision not to retire, as the game needs more artists like DMX. Long live the king.
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on 15 November 2003
The Dogg is back! And he is on top form with this new album which has already earned full respect!
I am a fan of rap and I partiuarly like DMX (Dark Man X). I like his style, how raw it is!
I love each and every song on this album! No Doubt!
1.Dog Intro 6/10
Slow, soothing intro, can be seen as a gradual build up to the rest of the album.
2.My Life(feat.Chingy) 6.5/10
A song about X's life, like the title says, it also features a recent star to the rap scene, chingy!
3.Where da' hood at! 7.5/10
A hit song, great song, get's you rappin' along every time!
4.Dogs Out 8.5/10
A song dedicated to the streets! Great example of DMX's skill, I love this one!
5.Get it on the Floor (feat. Swizz Beats) 8/10
Turn up the bass on this one, great song!
6.Come Prepared
Skit where someone isn't being accepted at a club, Ruff Ryders teaches him a lesson!
7.Shot Down (feat.50 Cent) 6.5/10
50 Cent, a rap chart topper of this year backs up DMX in this dark song, low toned, slow paced.
8.Bring the Noize 8/10
X turns up the tempo on this one, decent lyrics, decent tune, im happy!
9.Untouchable 9/10
Slow it back down, a great slow song from DMX, proving that he in Untouchable in the rap game!
10.F*ck Y'all 10/10
I love this one! Great beat to it, turn up the bass with this well paced song, catchy lyrics and everything, 10/10!
11.Ruff Radio (skit)
Ruff Ryders take over a radio station, funny!
12.We're Back! 8/10
DMX just lets everyone know that he is back, and he's brought the Ruff Ryders with him!
13.Ruff Radio 2 (skit)
Outro to Ruff Radio
14.Rob All Night 7/10
Average song, not a favourite but still good!
15.We Go Hard (feat. Cam'Ron) 8/10
A different take to this song, sounds different, great intro where it merges into the song, gets to a nice beat....great!
16.We Bout' To Blow 10/10
Everytime I listen to this, I turn the volume waaaay up! Addictive or what!
17.The Rain 10/10
Another great great slow song!
18.Gotta Go (skit)
X's wife ain't at home, he's gotta find somewhere to go!
19.Don't Gotta Go Home 7/10
Another slow song to follow up to "The Rain", featuring an unknown female, good song....
20.A'Yo Kato 8.5/10
Respects to DMX's late friend Kato, all respects to this song!
21.Thankyou 7/10
DMX thanks, well, everyone! Being a religous man, it is based around jesus....
22.The Prayer V 6.5/10
Follows on from "Thankyou", a good prayer....
23.On Top 7.5/10
X shows that he's back on top!
24.X Gonna Give it To Ya 10/10
The hit song, first single from this awesome album!
Great album, worth buying, the best album in my collection!
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on 18 September 2003
I personnaly looked forward to this album so much but when i got i found that its not as good as i thought. i do still like it but there are some parts of the CD that i feel did let it down.
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on 15 September 2003
After his very disappointing last album, 'The Great Depression', I and other DMX fans have been eagerly and anxiously awaiting the 5th album, and here it is...The Grand Champ.
On the first listen through this album, I must admit that I was a little disappointed with it. But I gave it a second hearing, and the album was growing on me quickly...there's definitely some excellent offerings on this CD.
There were 5 tracks which I thought were great on this album: 'Where the Hood at?' was his first release, but beware that this song has very strong and explicit lyrics, followed by the tear-jerking 'A'Yo Kato'. 'Don't Gotta go Home' featuring Monica is a fantastic track offering the best of both artists' styles. 'Shot Down' features a mouth-watering combination with 50 Cent and Styles P, and the G-Unit/Ruff Ryderz pairing does not fail to deliver. But my favourite on this CD is undoubtedly the heart-wrenching 'The Rain', which is reminiscent of songs like 'Slippin.'
There some other mentionable tracks as well: 'My Life' with Chinky, 'Untouchable' with Syleena Johnson, 'We're back' featuring fellow Ruff Ryderz Eve and Jadakiss, and 'We Go Hard' with Cam'ron. Certainly X hasn't been shy in doing collobarations on this album, and maybe that's what saves it.
The DVD isn't bad either, but is also not offers a very brief behind-the-scenes look of DMX and his recording of the album, and also a live on-stage performance.
All in all, there's a lot of quality on this album, and if you willing to give it a go, then you won't be disappointed. But, still not quite DMX's very best, but better than the last album.
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on 31 July 2012
just 2 say iv 4goton about dmx music as i was looking iv seen it must say i think this is his best grat songs i rember track 2 ok bad in some bits but the music was good if u like rap i say this 1 is his best in my opion i rember it well now i had the music now grat in car on your own going 2 work
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on 28 December 2007
This album is pretty bad. Most of the songs are generic and the lyrics are the worst DMX has written. A couple of the songs, Rain, Don't gotta go home, A'Yo Kato, Untouchable and Thank you, are good. Very disappointing.
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on 1 October 2015
if your a x fan you already know what it is but this aint the type of album to sit back and chill to haha its a loud album with loud beats. and gives you a headache sometimes.not his best album though
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on 28 August 2014
Item worked in home music system not in car. Maybe music system maybe cd. Since receiving item I have listen to it several time and there are no issues.
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on 19 September 2003
What can i say, fifth album and X can still produce a classic album to add to his four previous ones(even though the great depression may have been too raw for some of you). One of the main points of the ablum is that there arent actually any weak tracks on it, every tune is either a banger like 'where the hood at' or a good roller like 'Kato'. Lyrically X is as mad as ever. This is his last ablum (i hope not) and if it is he certainly has left in style. Get this album if you like any of dmx's other work or artists like 50 Cent, Method Man, Nas etc its not for fans of chart rap like Ja 'fool' Rule. Tracks to look for are 3,5,7,8,12,16,17,20 all classics and the rest are still top quality. Go buy and enjoy....
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on 10 March 2014
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