The snake, the rat, the cat, the dog
How you gonna see them if you living in the fog
This chant he speaks in the background and in the chorus is foreshadowing the eventual deception that will take place for the narrator and his eventual downfall by not being able to decipher the difference between a demon and angel.
“Livin' in the fog” is a reference to having no direction and living a life of crime.
In the first verse exists a game of opposities. There is a duality (in this DMX’s disc is very common) between animals which are victims and killers at the same time. “Livin' in the fog” means the confusion state in which the man is. Also, we can see the snake image which refers to the devil instrument, in the creation myth of Genesis.
“The snake, the rat / the cat, the dog” can be broken into mirror images of each other.
The first scene is simple, of a snake (playing the role of Damien: the devil’s instrument and a rat’s natural prey) and a rat (playing the role of D: a harmless creature tricked by the snake — but rats are also undesirable plague-bringers, which adds to the complexity of D’s character.)
The second scene is more complicated. There is the cat, a dog’s prey, so according to slang this can represent the women (and other prizes) that D chases. Then there is the dog, which if you know D, is a metaphor for himself, and is a cat-chaser. But in this context, it is Damien really chasing D, so there is a reversal of roles. The dog is certainly a “D,” but not DMX. Evidence for this is in the line spoken by Damien “My name D like you…”
So the first and second parts of this line mirror each other in meaning (of Damien luring/chasing DMX) and structure, and the initial deceit of the second half where “the dog” seems to be DMX but is in fact Damien further characterizes the devil as deceitful.
An even higher level can be taken with the deceitful “dog” DMX-Damien dispute. By using his own name as part of a metaphor that finally becomes Damien, DMX suggests comparisons between himself and the devil. He suggests that the greedy thug character of “DMX” in this song is in fact the real evil that exists in gangsta rap, not snitches, police, or haters. Instead it is the very thug mentality held by gangstas that propagates all of the problems gangstas complain about.
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