Cover Story | The new Verzuz between the Lox and Dipset has increased the conversation about the two groups. Today, I’m looking at one of the greatest rap trios to have blessed the planet; Jadakiss, Sheek Louch, and Styles P (also known as The LOX). Originally cosigned by the “Queen of Hip-Hop/R&B” (via Sean Carter) Mary J. Blige, recognized them and they went on to become one of the most respected groups in rap history.
The ensemble only had 2 traditional studio albums together during the 90’s and early 200’s. “Money, Power, Respect” (1998), which went platinum, and “We Are the Streets” (2000). The albums’ sales during that time did not tell the full story of the Yonkers crew. Each is individually respected for their contributions to the Hip-Hop community as well as their hometown.
Debuting at #5 on the US Billboard Top 200 charts, “Kiss thee Game Goodbye” was the first example of a member of The LOX having solo mainstream success. Although “Kiss” may have been the most commercially successful of the group in the 90’s, the Gold certification of his deebut (it actually meant something in 2001) was proof that he made sense as a solo artist. He had always stood out alongside his group members and now he was showing that he could do so along other heavy hitters in the game like DMX, Nas, and Snoop Dogg.
The transition between being a “Bad Boy” artists and being on “Ruff Ryders” was apparent with Styles P. I don’t know if he always had his own voice in the group. But with the release of “A Ganger and A Gentleman” (2002), he made it clear that he wasn’t just a “third verse” on a track. He held a special position in the group, that was much closer to the head than most suspected, and having a full-length album to express his opinions made us realize it.
When “It’s All About the Benjamins” was released in 1997, I knew that Sheek was the standout among the Trio. I mean “I’m strictly trying to cop those, colossal size Picasso’s” is a hell of a way to start off a verse. Even though his status in the group may have changed, on each of his albums and features Shwwk made it clear that he was no slouch on the mic.