From rapper DMX’s (real name Earl Simmons) 1998 debut album “It’s Dark and Hell is Hot”, “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” is the fourth single from DMX.
The track, produced by Swizz Beats (real name Kaseem Dean), was originally rejected by DMX. In a 2011 Complex magazine, Swizz Beats discussed the story behind the track: “I made the ‘Ruff Ryders Anthem’ beat in Atlanta. It was me just bugging out, having my New York influence and having my Atlanta influence. That track was the perfect blend which was awkward and different at the time because nobody had ever heard anything like that. DMX didn’t want to do it. He was like, ‘Man, that sounds like some rock ‘n’ roll track, I need some hip-hop shit. I’m not doing that. It’s not hood enough’. I told him, ‘Yo, we can make it hood!’ […] Then he came in and did it and we were just hyping him up. The ‘What!’ ad-lib and all of that came about in the middle of us hyping him up. We left it in the track to add energy. Collectively, we came up with that vibe. It was his best shit at that time. Since then, X has trusted my judgment.”
The music video features DMX and friend bodybuilding, as well as footage of motorcycles, and cameo appearances from other rappers such as Eve and The LOX. As of August 2019, the official YouTube video has almost 113 million views since its upload in June 2009.
Release Date: 5th May 1998
Songwriter/s: Earl Simmons & Kaseem Dean
Producer/s: Swizz Beats
Label/s: Ruff Ryders / Def Jam
Music Video Release Date: 17th June 2009
Chart Rankings & Accolades: In its year of release, “Ruff Ryders’ Anthem” peaked at #93 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as ranking at #79 on VH1’s “100 Greatest Songs of Hip Hop”.