The Great Depression

With all three of his previous releases (It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood, and . . .

With all three of his previous releases (It's Dark and Hell Is Hot, Flesh of My Flesh Blood of My Blood, and . . . And Then There Was X) debuting atop The Billboard 200, it might be assumed that DMX felt some pressure to ensure pop success with his fourth set, The Great Depression. If so, one can't tell. X stays true to his catalog with hardcore tales of street life on this 17-track album. "We Right Here" and "Who We Be," the album's first two singles, are already staples at urban radio. X even teams with R&B queen Stephanie Mills on "When I'm Nothing," which incorporates elements of Mills' classic "Whatcha Gonna Do (With My Lovin')." The only awkward moment on The Great Depression is the rock-fused "Bloodline Anthem." The guitar-driven track just doesn't seem to equal the rapper's passion.—RH