Postmodern irony and hip-hop have been attached at the hip ever since the first suburban kid found their first copy of “Gangsta Gangsta”. “Hard” songs from artists like N.W.A., Wu-Tang, or any other hardcore hip-hop group you care to name have lived out their usefulness as ways to accentuate dorky/nerdy tendencies for comedic effect. An MC whose work has been dragged through this rigmarole more than any other would have to be DMX; because there’s nothing “cooler” than doing something dorky or being quirky while “Party Up” is blasting in the background. At the same time, there are worse things to think about while you’re doing six months in lockup for unpaid child support.
The trailer for Deadpool premiered online last night (August 4), and while the character, costume, and tone are Marvel Cinematic Universe levels of note-perfect, the trailer busts out “X Gon Give It To Ya” while the jokes and blood are flying like it’s 2003 all over again; Salt & Pepa’s “Shoop” playing at the beginning was a nice touch, mostly because I’ve never heard the song used in a movie before, but 20th Century Fox’s editing team throwing “X” in here just strikes me as lazy. Before you jump on me, I get the fact that it’s all a part of the schtick, but why *this* song? What does pop culture love about this song? Why is it and DMX’s list of singles the go-to cache for both deadpan serious hardcore moments *and* cinematic hipster enshrinement – often at the same time? I can’t tell you, but here’s 5 other instances where pop culture straight fell in love with it.
Cradle 2 The Grave
“X” was recorded for – and the lead single to – the soundtrack to this DMX/Jet Li-starring crime thriller back in 2003, so it’s only fair that it completely makes this trailer. Produced by co-soundtrack organizer Shatek, the song took off once the trailers entered rotation.
Def Jam Vendetta
EA Sports BIG released this hip-hop wrestling sim around the same time as the Cradle soundtrack, and the song was featured prominently as DMX’s newest track, complete with tacky instrumental versions during the actual fights. To this day the only place where you can see N.O.R.E. fight Scarface in Ludacris’ club while listening to DMX music.
Baseball warm-up songs
San Diego Padres outfielder Xavier Nady uses the song to warm up before games, because even baseball could use the all the excitement of a caged pitiful while mascots are jumping about.
Rick and Morty
Near the tail end of this mind-bindingly hilarious Adult Swim show’s first season, drunk scientist Rick Sanchez and his niece Summer get jacked and beat ass across the country to the Ruff Ryder’s words. The song’s used fairly well here, if only because two animated muscle heads beating up bullies and bigots is funny enough on its own.
Mortal Kombat X
Even Ed Boon’s fighting franchise had to get in on the action to help promote game #10 that dropped earlier this year. Hey, it’s better than that Wiz Khalifa joint.