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Meaning of ‘What These Bitches Want’ by ‘DMX’ feat. Sisqo

Released: 1999

Features: Sisqo

The cut we’re vibin’ to today is “What These Bitches Want” by the legendary DMX, featuring a melodic hook from Sisqo. Discourse on this track hovers around the women DMX interacts with and the expectations they have of him, ultimately revealing tension between materialism, sexual desire, and emotional investment.

The track opens with a simple yet complex question “What these bitches want from a nigga?” The repetition of this interrogative underscores DMX’s uncertainty and frustration over the complexity of his interactions with women. He believes they want something from him but can’t pin down exactly what — is it money, sex, or emotional connection? He’s unsure.

In the early verses, DMX details his encounters with women. He distinguishes among the “street bitches” who hold their own and the “discrete bitches” who keep the relationship low-key. He’s explicit about not getting emotionally attached and bounces when feelings get intense. His fear of commitment keeps him at a distance, as he sees a relationship as a potential threat to his lifestyle.

The hook, “What these bitches want from a nigga?” sung by Sisqo, enhances the theme of confusion and uncertainty, reinforcing the sense of bewilderment DMX feels.

Halfway through the track, DMX lists a slew of female names, symbolizing the many women he’s met. It appears he’s drawn to the excitement of new encounters, but the list also evokes a sense of emptiness and repetitiveness. The insecurity in his dealings with women escalates when he starts noticing a change in their behavior once they realize he’s affiliated with Dru Hill, the popular R&B group Sisqo is part of. Here, DMX hints at the exploitation he encounters due to his fame and success.

DMX doesn’t forget to address his haters in the last verse. He casts a spotlight on those who didn’t support or respect him before his rise to fame. The lines “Ayo, I think about when a nigga didn’t have / and a nigga told a joke, and the bitches didn’t laugh” hit hard, showing that part of his struggle with women stems from the scars of his past when he wasn’t as successful.

The final chorus encapsulates DMX’s struggle to understand the expectations and motivations of the women he encounters. His raw, direct lingo and introspective narratives paint a vivid picture of the emotional complexity of his relationships with women against the backdrop of his high-profile lifestyle. The track is a window into DMX’s psyche and his battle with love, lust, and commitment.

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