This week, Justin Timberlake’s The 20/20 Experience Part 2 Of 2 will be the No. 1 album in the country, making it his second No. 1 record of the year following the success of the initial 20/20 Experience. This type of success—two No. 1 albums in the same calendar year, both going (likely) platinum—is almost unparalleled in the history of pop music. Key word: almost. You see, someone has had that type of runaway success before, and that someone goes by the name of DMX.
Yep, that’s right. In case you somehow forgot, in 1998, DMX was the king of the charts. With It’s Dark And Hell Is Hot, which was released in May of 1998, the rapper born Earl Simmons made his debut on the charts by selling 251,000 in its first week. The record would go 4x platinum and spawn four hit singles, along with creating a wider commercial lane for the type of raw, uncompromising hip-hop that DMX trafficked in. He followed up the record’s runaway success with Flesh Of My Flesh, Blood Of My Blood in December, the album’s blood-soaked cover filling Christmas stockings all over the country. As the 1990s came to a close, DMX was unstoppable.
As you probably know, DMX’s star hasn’t stayed quite as high since then. Recently he’s become more known for his legal run-ins, erratic behavior and Dr. Phil appearances than his music. Meanwhile, Justin Timberlake has remained pop music’s golden boy, racking up awards and accolades, starring in big-screen movies and scoring lucrative endorsement deals. At this point in their careers, DMX and Justin Timberlake don’t seem to have much in common, but looks can be deceiving. In celebration of Timberlake’s chart-topping feat and DMX’s continued commitment to excellence, we’ve found 10 things that DMX and Justin Timberlake have in common.