DMX and Jay-Z: A Complicated History

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DMX and Jay-Z are two of the most iconic rappers of all time. They both rose to prominence in the early 1990s, and their careers have been intertwined ever since. Their relationship has been marked by both collaboration and conflict, and it is one of the most fascinating stories in hip-hop history.

Early Days

DMX and Jay-Z first met in the early 1990s, when they were both up-and-coming rappers in New York City. They quickly became friends, and they even collaborated on a few songs together. However, their friendship was soon tested when they both signed to Def Jam Recordings.

Def Jam Rivalry

At Def Jam, DMX and Jay-Z became rivals. They were both vying for the same spot at the top of the label, and their competition was fierce. This rivalry came to a head in 1996, when DMX released his debut album, It’s Dark and Hell Is Hot. The album was a huge success, and it catapulted DMX to stardom. Jay-Z was not happy about DMX’s success, and he felt that Def Jam was favoring DMX over him.

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The Ruff Ryders vs. Roc-A-Fella Beef

The rivalry between DMX and Jay-Z escalated in the late 1990s, when their respective crews, the Ruff Ryders and Roc-A-Fella Records, became embroiled in a beef. The beef was fueled by disses on both sides, and it even turned violent when members of the two crews got into a fight at a nightclub.

The End of the Beef

The beef between DMX and Jay-Z eventually cooled down in the early 2000s. They both realized that their feud was hurting their careers, and they decided to put it behind them. They even collaborated on a few songs together, including “What’s My Name?” from DMX’s 2003 album, Year of the Dog.

Later Years

In later years, DMX and Jay-Z remained friends. They spoke highly of each other in interviews, and they even appeared on stage together at a few concerts. DMX even said that Jay-Z was one of his favorite rappers.

DMX’s Death

DMX passed away on April 9, 2021, at the age of 50. His death was a shock to the hip-hop world, and Jay-Z was one of the many people who paid tribute to him. Jay-Z released a statement calling DMX “a true original” and “one of the most gifted artists I have ever known.”


DMX and Jay-Z are two of the most important rappers of all time. They both had a profound impact on hip-hop, and their music will continue to be enjoyed for generations to come. Their complicated history is a reminder of the power of hip-hop to both unite and divide.

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