“Party Up (Up In Here)” by DMX

DMX is an artist who made it in the industry by his hooks. He was blessed with that type of voice and delivery that makes it virtually impossible to mistake him for another rapper (besides Ja Rule, in some instances). But that is not to imply that he can’t actually rap. In fact X has dropped some of the most-introspective, even religious songs ever put forth by a hip-hop artist of his stature. 

But as far as his bangers, such as this one (“Party Up (Up In Here)”), go, the subject upon which X bases such tracks is virtually the same.  That is to say that they center on the rapper levying high-level threats against his enemies.

Verse 1

And yes, when X resorts to this modus operandi things can get pretty graphic. For instance, at the beginning of the first verse, he alludes to sexually abusing his rivals’ homeys in jail. This is meant to illustrate that his enemy, as well as the crew he belongs to, are “cowards”, i.e. individuals who DMX can feminize. As such, the rapper stating that they “sucked (his) d***” probably isn’t meant to be taken literally, but still.

Later in the verse DMX makes another reference to getting his pecker buffed by his opps, once again to illustrate his superiority or machismo over them. The vocalist then goes on to illustrate what will most likely happen to a rival if said individual continues to tempt him, by foretelling this person’s funeral.

Verse 2

The beginning of the second verse implies that whom X is actually addressing, at least in this particular stanza, would be some fellow rapper(s) whom he has beef with. 

In fact things get quite personal by the middle of the passage, with DMX dropping ambiguous clues as to who exactly he is dissing.  And on top of claiming that his musical enemy is “broke”, he also proceeds to basically depict him as a dumba-s. He refers to him as being so dumb that he is loyal to a woman who does not act the same towards him. And “everybody know(s)” this except, apparently, said dude himself.

The most-prevailing conspiracy theory of whom it is DMX is talking about points to Dogg Pound rapper Kurupt. However, it should be noted that X also had a well-publicized tiff with Ja Rule at the time. But apparently the clues point more to the former than the latter.

DMX then proceeds to call out “weak ass n*g*as” who “(whine) over puss that don’t belong to them”. Or stated otherwise, he doesn’t respect dudes who make an issue over unfaithful females, as Kurupt apparently did concerning DMX bonking his fiancee at the time, fellow rapper Foxy Brown. 

X feels that when guys do so, they make it harder for “real n*g*as” like himself and his homeys to do their thing. So it appears, in his own roundabout way, that DMX is challenging male who get emotional over loose females to instead man up.

Verse 3

And as far as the third verse goes, it is fundamentally the same as the first. X further disrespects rivals, claiming that they’re “fake”, “soft” and what have you, i.e. not measuring up to his own toughness. And he also further alludes to the notion that he has few, if any, qualms as far as murdering enemies is concerned.

Chorus/Hook of “Party Up (Up In Here)”

So with all of that in mind one can easily conclude that the hook – which features DMX ‘losing his cool’, ‘acting the fool’ and what have you – is centered on his violent ways.  Such does make sense within the context of the verses. 

But as Swizz Beatz recounts, DMX came up with the chorus due to being frustrated on the particular work day in which he recorded this track. In other words, when he penned it, he wasn’t actually addressing his enemies. Rather it’s more like he was speaking to Swizz Beatz and the other people he was working with in the studio.

Lyrics of "Party Up (Up In Here)"

Bridge of “Party Up (Up In Here)”

And such an origin story may explain why the bridge of this song, unlike the verses, isn’t violent at all. “Meet me outside” may sound like an instruction you give to a person whom you want to fight with. 

But X goes on to delineate that who he is in fact relaying these words to is his Ruff Ryder cohorts, “big ballers”, “fly ladies” and other people who he has respect for. So this is the only part of the song which is like overtly party-ish, for it reads as if DMX is inviting them to dance or something like that. 

And ultimately, considering the title of the track and all, the hook can also be interpreted in such a way. Or put differently, DMX ‘going all out’ and ‘losing his cool’ may also imply him dancing in an uninhibited fashion and likewise encouraging the audience to do the same.

All in all

So once again going back to the idea of X being the master of hooks, it can be said that the chorus is in fact the main draw of this song. After all, the general audience would be able to relate more to getting wild in a party than say killing somebody that they don’t like. 

Indeed all things considered, we can conclude that for the most part, even though the hook and the verses come off as if they related, in actuality they aren’t.  Instead the former is about partying and the latter street violence and personal beef.

Release Date of “Party Up (Up in Here)”

DMX’s third album, “…And Then There Was X”, produced three singles, with this being the second of the lot. The track originally came out with the rest of the project on 21 December 1999, before being released on its own approximately four months later. 

And its labels, which were constants during the early part of DMX’s career, are Def Jam Records and Ruff Ryders Entertainment.

This song is one of DMX’s most-notable hits, appearing on four Billboard Charts altogether. Also VH1 placed it amongst the “100 Greatest Songs” of the first decade of the 21st century.

Writing Credits

“Party Up (Up in Here)” was written by DMX alongside the musician who helped launch his career, Ruff Ryders Entertainment’s Swizz Beatz. And Swizz Beatz also produced the track.

2 Responses

  1. CJX says:

    I would have to disagree with the ‘chorus’ influence. Over the last 20 years I could only conclude the label inserted the title ‘Party Up’ as the song clearly isn’t about partying per say. The beat is the only partyish factor as the way I interpret the chorus is DMX literally is about to ‘lose his mind’ with all of the so called thugs he’s exposing in his verses. Similar to the really old school song from Napoleon called ‘They’re Coming to Take Me Away’ where he chanted about losing his mind over a botched relationship – X is losing his mind surrounded by these soft hearted men, trifling females, and apparently his chaotic life at that point so it makes sense he dropped the classic chorus during the recording session with Swizz. When he calls his ballers and females to join him I interpret that more as his crew joining him in support to ride and die during his peril such as the Ruff Ryders Anthem. These soft hearted men will not go up against the entire crew. Never once does X claim to “Party Up”, yeah he ends it with ‘Bouncin’ which does not have to be ‘dancing’. The song could have been called ‘Bouncin on them’ and probably still as big. Most casual folks think it’s called “Ya’ll gonna make me lose my mind’. “Lose My Mind” would have been my choice as the title as “Party Up’ title does not make sense!

  2. Cie-Weed! says:

    I agree with comment 1. About the title. But the song is fire!!!!

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