‘Ruff Ryders Anthem' Was Recorded Only After DMX Lost A Bet

‘Ruff Ryders Anthem’ Was Recorded Only After DMX Lost A Bet

One of DMX’s greatest hits was so unliked by DMX that it only happened because the gruff-sounding recording artist only recorded it because he lost a bet to the producer of the hit song.

For those listening to hip-hop in the late 90s, and early 2000s, it was common knowledge that Swizz Beatz, whose real name is Kasseem Dean produced many hits for the Ruff Ryders label. His uncles were Joaquin (Waah) and Darrin (Dee) Dean, co-CEOs of the fledging hip-hop label. Nepotism may have gotten him in the door, but his musical tracks kept him there.

One of the first tracks he recorded for the late artist, DMX wasn’t well-received by the Yonkers rapper. That song, Ruff Ryders’ Anthem didn’t vibe with DMX. Luckily, a bet between the two resulted in the song making the album and becoming one of the biggest, if not THE biggest hit of his music career.

In an interview with SiriusXM’s Hip Hop Nation, Swizz expresses the reason the song made the album and it was eventually released as a single.

“I was Atlanta in school and then, um, they got the project to where it was at, and then I came in last minute with Stop Drop. X lost a bet or I wouldn’t even been on the album. But he didn’t lose the bet because that song ended up changing all of our lives. So, he technically won the bet for my Uncle D and that changed all of our lives. So it was just enough to do what it needed to do.”

“You know, like that song commercially went bigger than everything at the time. And then we came immediately, uh, with our sound next after that, and Dame Grease and PK was a part of that as well. I wanna get them they props cuz they, people they feel that they don’t get they props. I’m in a comfortable space to give people they props. At those particular times we was definitely bumping a little heads and things like that, but we all was a part of making history at the end of the day.”

According to American Songwriter, arguably the best song in DMX’s catalog, it was definitely one of his highest charting Billboard records. Ruff Ryders’ Anthem was recorded and released off his 1998 debut album It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. The song would go on to hit a peak position at No. 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 while being certified 2x platinum by RIAA (The Recording Industry Association of America).

DMX was hospitalized on April 2, 2021, following a reported heart attack and passed away less than a week later. After being admitted to the hospital, the rapper never regained consciousness and was reportedly on life support in a “vegetative state.” As confirmed by his family at the time, the rapper, who was 50, died at White Plains Hospital in New York a week later on April 9.

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