Beginning in 1998, DMX came out with the "Ruff Ryders' Anthem," which became a big hit early in the year. Once he made his first public appearance, people compared him to Tupac Shakur in stature. Both had bald heads and a muscular figure, while not standing much taller than 5'6.
Early in his career, DMX was a force to be reckoned with and his music was listened to by all hardcore hip hop fans. With two albums released in one year, some were ready to dub him as the second coming of Tupac Shakur. This was in spite of the two rappers having nothing alike besides their looks.
Quickly, DMX rose to the top of the game, but as soon as he took the spot, his old friend, Ja Rule, forced him to make some room. While Ja Rule was very popular, in his own right, most people saw him and assumed he was only in the game because of Jay-Z and DMX. Plus, Rule was viewed by many as a rip-off of his partner, DMX. One thing that DMX was known for was his deep voice and Ja Rule soon became known for his deep voice. But, when Ja Rule soon became more popular than DMX, X began dissing his old friend.
In response to the disses, Ja Rule revealed to the world DMX's drug addiction. At the time, X was still viewed by many as one of the toughest rappers in the game. Even as the Ja Rule feud died down and 50 Cent emerged to take Ja Rule out, X was still considered one of the toughest rappers in the game. Due to their mutual dislike for Rule, DMX and 50 Cent joined forces for a little while. However, later they would have their own falling out when 50 Cent dissed DMX for his drug addiction.
When he returned with his Year of the Dog, Again, album, it was clear that DMX had problems that go far beyond his bi-polar disorder. The next year, Ja Rule was promoting his new album and he publicly mentioned the addiction that DMX had to crack. Ever since 2008, the drugs have gotten DMX into trouble with the law and he is currently serving prison time in Arizona. But, DMX has been working on his latest album, which should come out sometime this year or next year. The album is the first of a round of new albums to come out from the Ruff Ryders' label.
One thing for sure is that DMX is ready to reclaim the position that he held some ten years ago as the most-feared man in hip hop.