DMX, “Undisputed” (United Music Media Group)
It’s been awhile since DMX made headlines in terms of music. Instead, over the last few years, the once-great lyricist has been reduced to a tabloid target due to his many arrests, his drug issues and his disturbing appearances on reality TV.
“Undisputed,” his first album of new material since 2006, likely won’t change that. The rapper lacks the magic found on his previous efforts. His seventh release offers more misses than hits, and it seems as if the 41-year-old is past his prime.
DMX’s trademark growls, barks and ad-libs are found throughout the album. And for the most part, he still raps about his struggles overcoming his own self-inflicted mistakes as he prays for guidance.
But “I Don’t Dance,” the first single that features hip-hop newcomer Machine Gun Kelly, is one of the album’s most lackluster pieces of work — by DMX’s standards. And there are more songs that sound just as bad. The veteran rapper’s once powerful words are now hard to digest — on some songs he even mumbles — throughout most of his 17-track album.
The production on “Undisputed” is respectable with Swizz Beatz, J.R. Rotem, Dame Grease and Tronzilla laying down the tracks. But their efforts don’t help the overall quality.
Surprisingly, the most enjoyable songs aren’t the hardcore ones. Instead, it’s the R&B-flavored “Cold World” and “No Love” — two songs that feature singer Andreena Mill — that stand out.
CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: “Slippin’ Again” is a good listen, with DMX rapping about falling victim to his series of regrettable missteps.