One of rap's top dogs was muzzled this week in his own backyard.
DMX couldn't get a permit from New York City to bring his Hoodstock tour to his hometown for a Monday or Tuesday show due to "security reasons," according to a spokesperson for Def Jam, his label.
DMX has been on tour since October 12 to promote The Great Depression, which dropped Tuesday. He has thrown a free outdoor concert at each stop along the way, rapping for winners of radio station-sponsored contests from atop an 18-wheel flatbed truck.
A spokesperson for the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, which would be responsible for granting approval for the outdoor performance, said the department has no record of anyone applying for permit for such a show.
DMX performed the single "Who We Be" Tuesday afternoon on MTV's "TRL." A few hours after the show, he planted his paws in Harlem to sign autographs at an HMV record store.
"X is the man," said 29-year-old Harlem resident Rafael Rodriquez, who brought his "wifey" and two preteen daughters to meet X. "My family loves him. To have prayers on every album is real right there. That touches the parents that don't even like rap."
Rodriquez has no qualms about letting his kids hear X's raw raps. "I don't have the albums without the curses, so they have to listen to them," he explained. "I'd rather they listen to it with me than with anybody else."
Eighteen-year-old Nikeyna Henry of Antigua is old enough to bypass parental advisories. "DMX isn't like any other rapper who talks about hos, money and cars," she said while waiting on line. "I cannot relate to hos, money and cars, but I can relate to his style. Meeting him is a dream come true. I don't know if I'm gonna cry or what."
Some of X's fans cried hysterically while meeting their hero. With The Great Depression playing loudly throughout the store, fans ascended stairs up to a small stage where DMX sat and signed album covers, posters, T-shirts and other paraphernalia.
One woman was so moved by being in the presence of the Yonkers, New York, native that she fell to the ground in tears, overturning Snapple bottles on X's table during her plummet. The dog stayed all smiles, however. "Bring her back, bring her back," he said to members of his entourage as they helped her away. X gave her a hug, demonstrating once again that a dog is a fan's best friend.
"He must have know I been here for a long time," 27-year-old Bronx resident Neosom Thomas said. He'd arrived at HMV five hours before the signing began. "They said 'no pictures' but he let me take a picture. I told him I loved him. He said, 'Thanks a lot, dog.'"
"This is a blessing," DMX said with a smile to longtime collaborator Dame Grease. "This is what it's all about."
DMX performs in Philadelphia on Friday. Rather than rap outdoors, he'll perform his Hoodstock set onstage as part of radio station Power 99's Powerhouse concert. P. Diddy, Fabolous, Busta Rhymes, Bubba Sparxxx, Mr. Cheeks, Noreaga and Jadakiss are also on the bill, according to the station.
For a feature interview with DMX, check out "DMX: Depression Blues".
(This story was updated at 7:36 p.m. ET Thursday, October 25, 2001.)