DMX once had a bigger buzz than Jay-Z. This was around 1997-98, before X started his string of consecutive number one albums by replicating bits of spirituality with gangster bravado. New York City was on fire at the time and X seemed poised to be one of the genre’s best crossover successes.

Much like what his name stands for, Dark Man X has seen some bleak times in search of light.

Earl Simmons is now 40, a rapper known more for his mug shots and arrests all over the country these days as opposed to his complete domination of rap from the late 90s to the early aughts.  Inside of the House of Blues on Wednesday night, X found his sanctuary on the stage, performing the hits which have made him a fan favorite.

At times, it felt like 1998 again as Simmons with his perfected growl, bark & pavement level diction commanded a crowd that was as diverse as a United Nations meeting times a biker rally times The 1995 Source Awards. There were teens in CM Punk t-shirts & Hulk Hogan snapbacks, bikers in full Ruff Ryders regalia, old hippies begging X for more, old white women in the balcony with their eyes locked on X at every move and women that couldn’t help but fall for the Dog.

The night’s biggest shock didn’t come from X himself but rather X bringing out Scarface, he himself fresh from a stint in jail. The crowd was floored by the return of the Houston legend as Face stayed for the entirety of X’s set. Fun thing about Facemob being there? The potential of new Geto Boys material.

Though his set contain many of his hits including “Ruff Ryders Anthem”, “Party Up”, “What These Bitches Want” and more including wanting to do a new track called “Sucker For Love” but the DJ didn’t have it, X did make sure the ladies were involved by taking off his shirt, gauging the ladies and even having the beginning of “How It’s Goin’ Down” cut because the DJ with a voice almost equally as gravely as X’s stated “Fuck with the ladies.”

So X did. Repeatedly.

He motioned to photographers on stage to pull ladies he chose from the balcony. He leapt in the crowd and pulled more women and stashed them near the DJ booth for later. Pretty much, X was a kid in a candy store. Well, a kid who was on so many different things that him teasing the ladies in the crowd with his dick was one of the small moments of his hour long plus set.

Also, we would be remiss to mention that X’s party joints, especially “Where The Hood At?” and “Party Up” didn’t nearly incite a riot near us. Once “The Prayer” was finished, X’s time in his cathedral was over and his parishioners held their Xs aloft, witness to a 600-person plus baptism of the streets.

The Set List: “We Right Here”, “Ruff Ryders Anthem”, “Touch It Remix”, “Get It On The Floor”, “How’s It Goin’ Down”, “Love My Niggas (But Where My Bitches)”, “What These Bitches Want”, “Where Da Hood At?”, “Party Up”, “Ayo Kayto”, “Slippin’”, “The Prayer”

Crowd Quotables: Normally we’d reserve this section for the random things we’d hear in the audience and there were a few noteworthy lines such as “I don’t wanna see your dick!” in X’s direction & someone yelling “Fuck science!” when Scarface spoke about God near the end of the show but instead we’ll turn this into DMX Quotables:

“I was the first rapper to have white kids saying nigga. And they were saying it WITHOUT the ER!”

“I’d rather be on stage than up in some pussy.”

“Sip the fucking bottle, don’t make a movie with the shit.” (this was during the Sip & Pass portion of the show where X hops in the crowd with a full bottle of Hennessey and gives everyone around him a drink. At one point, X doused us with Hennessy – instantly making it the most thugged out moment of our lives.)

“If you’re worried about another niggas lips on the bottle, remember it’s alcohol!”

“Get your fucking hand out of my pocket!”

“Yeah, you like that shit? Whose pussy is this? I’m beating that shit up ain’t I?”

Apparently some chick was asking X to talk dirty to her. Or imitate Wesley Pipes, I forget which.

“This is for those we’ve lost in the streets – not the fucking war in Iraq!”

Yeah, we need another DMX reality show.

Notable Faces In The Crowd: J. Prince, Bun B, Slim Thug, the aforementioned Scarface & Willie D in spirit.

Recommend For Future Events: It’s DMX, in rare form and if you didn’t read the paragraph proceeding “Notable Faces” then read it and then grab a ticket when X comes to town.