Trina Moe - DMX (The Great Depression) 
This song has a special place in my heart because it’s a version of DMX I don’t think many people know exists. I discovered this Earl Simmons album during 5th grade when a friend at school handed me the original disc and said he was giving up on hip-hop and sticking to reggaeton (don’t ask). Before the internet gave us second by second alerts on what new music was coming out, I remember having to stay glued to MTV every hour at ten to the hour just to get my updates (Thanks Sway!). 
My brother and I were still secretly listening to “…And Then There Was X” in his room because my mom would never have allowed us to play it in the car. The moment they handed me "The Great Depression" I popped that disc into my red Sony Walkman and began listening (yes, think deep about your old CD players). 
What surprised me the most about this album was that the violent, gangster, homophobic Earl Simmons most people know all too well was not the main character. It seemed like DMX had finally found a balance between rapping about dogs/gangster shit and trying to empower his community.    
In my opinion, this is DMX's best album. If I could freeze his creativity and state of mind for one moment in time and have him only release music like this, I would never get tired of listening. He speaks about where he’s from, the problems facing his community, things he can do to make the world a better place, trying to stay positive while being surrounded by negativity, and of course, his grandma. You can tell a rapper has reached a certain level of maturity in their evolution when they start rapping about their grandma. 
Anyway, if you’re like me and love the Grand Champ album but feel a little piece of your soul shrivel up and die every time you hear those gay bashing lyrics on "Where The Hood At" then this album is for you. The best thing that can be said about this album is that it passes the mom test. AKA: you can probably play the whole thing in the car with your mom without too many curse words in a row that would trigger her to turn it off. Do yourself a favor and listen to this entire album. 
Now. 
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