If you listen to it closely, DMX’s growl isn’t so much a growl as a ruff ruff.
It’s a cry for help.
A tender soul in a pitbull’s body.
Like the way the hackles go up on a corgi and it waves its little tail.
To scare off the neighborhood cats.
When it actually only desires love and approval.
And a friend to curl up next to during the cold cold nights.
Or maybe not.
Maybe that Corgi wants to rip that cat’s world in two and piss on its soul.
DMX’s growl isn’t a cry for help.
It’s an invitation to play-fight.
A ten-year-old chubby toehead beating his doughy chest in his backyard.
Challenging his twin brothers Jimmy and Joey and the rest of the neighborhood to a game of dodgeball.
DMX’s growl is a ten-year-old pudwack about to get his ass whooped but ready to take his asswhooping with a grunt, not a sob.
DMX’s growl whimpers for no man.
And only for a select few special bitches.
DMX’s growl’s so ugly it chewed off every stick on the ugly tree and played fetch with itself for days.
DMX’s growl’s so gravelly it fixes potholes and still has enough rock left over to break your windshield for tailgating.
DMX’s growl’s so adorable it breaks your goddamn heart every time it tries to bite the hand that feeds it. Which is your hand.
DMX’s growl stops, drops, and opens up shop, sells cupcakes two for a dollar on Sundays.
DMX’s growl gonna lose its mind, up in here, up in here, and here is the lonely graymatter that makes up your brain.
DMX’s growl gon’ give it to you—the hard truth you need to hear about your co-dependent relationship with your rat terrier.
DMX’s growl keeps it a hundred at all times.
DMX’s growl holds loyalty above all else.
DMX’s growl is both bark and bite.
In the end, DMX’s growl is a howl from beyond the grave, Lord give me sign. I’m slippin’ I’m fallin’ Please forgive me, forgive all those for who know not what they growl.
DMX’s growl is Elvis living out his best years on an island in the south pacific. It’s Tupac’s hologram singing holler if you hear me, keep your head up, God bless the dead.
DMX’s growl is eternal like the Bangles. It’s my father’s dying words, your mother’s bedtime story, your little brother’s arm around your shoulders when you want to cry, your big sis snapping her fingers in your face, in your ear, don’t even trip lil man, everything gets flipped after high school, all the jocks end up losers and all the nerds rule the world.
DMX’s growl is, it just is, and furrever will be, DMX’s growl.
copyrighting the world
Before he recut Ice Ice Baby as a death metal song and then went on VH1 and smashed the video tape and TV with a baseball bat and you thought maybe for a second he’d smash the VJs too…
but it was just Dave Holmes so you weren’t that worried…
Before he got that HGTV show flipping houses…
Before all that, some producer from Behind the Music asked Vanilla Ice what the difference was between Queen & David Bowie’s Under Pressure versus his song and this was his answer:
Theirs was Ding-ding-duh-ding-ding.
Ours was Ding-ding-tuh-ding-ding.Remember when one little –t could make all the difference in the world?
Drevlow is the managing editor of BULL, a lit mag dedicated to rewriting modern toxic masculinity. He grew up on a farm in Northern Wisconsin and is the only man in his family with ten fingers. He’s also published some weird books with weird titles and some other stories and essays and recently some pomey poems. You can find these and other stuff linked at thedrevlow-olsonshow.com or on Twitter, Face, & Insta @thedrevlow.