The LOX Have A New Album And Three Solo Projects On The Way
After more than 20 years in the game, The LOX continues to fire up the streets with their classic D-Block sound after releasing two projects in the month of November. The Trinity: 2nd Sermon came in the form of a 5-track EP, while their third and final installment of the Trinity series came via a free mixtape earlier last week. And while both projects have been received to rave reviews, The LOX isn't stopping there with the music. The reunited trio will be dropping their long-awaited We Are The Streets 2 in 2015 along with solo projects from each member.
Fresh off The LOX's 15-city mini-tour and while doing promo runs for their latest projects, Jadakiss, Sheek Louch and Styles P stopped by the XXL offices to speak about their current music and their plans for 2015. —Roger Krastz
XXL: What was the creative approach for both of the projects you recently dropped?
Styles P: Weed, liquor, water, the Bible, incense and good people around us. Sheek lights the incense and we light the weed and drink and get busy.
On the lead track for The Trinity: 3rd Sermon mixtape, "No Selfies," you guys chose to go over the classic "Rapper's Delight" record. Who chose the beat and why?
Jadakiss: Sheek picked the beat.
Sheek: Yeah, this producer DJ U-Neek had came into the studio playing some wild shit and he be killing those types of tracks. Them sample joints, from old school records to classic '90s records. We heard the record and I just went in first and in my last line I said, "Stop taking selfies," and then 'Kiss took it from there and ran with that concept and then the record just popped off. On the track, we're talking to the dudes that be with their phones taking selfies all day long when they're supposed to be getting money or doing whatever. We ain't talking to the chicks on that.
Styles P: Rest in peace to Big Bank Hank from Sugarhill Gang.
Would you guys be opposed to recording a project over classic hip-hop beats?
Styles P: We would do it over a couple of songs, but not a whole project.
The video for that song was shot by Dame Dash. How did you link with him for that visual?
Styles P: Yeah, it came about because Dame was shooting a movie called Loisaidas, so we'll be in the movie.
Does this third Trinity installment conclude the series?
Sheek: Yeah, that pretty much concludes the Trinity series. It's time for the album now.
What was the reason behind putting out the third installment as a free mixtape as opposed to another EP?
Jadakiss: Because just like they do it in the streets, you buy two of something and you get one for free.
Styles P: It's appreciation, you know. It's been a while since people heard a LOX project, so when we dropped the first Trinity people purchased the EP and when we dropped the second EP people supported. So with the 3rd Sermon we wanted to say thank you to the fans with the release of the mixtape.
So when are we getting the album?
Sheek: Everybody smiles and laughs when they ask that question. That shit is like a myth, but it's coming in 2015.
Styles P: What fans should expect is a full length LOX album and three solo albums.
Whose solo project will be coming up first?
Jadakiss: My project would probably be first.
Can you tell me a bit about Jada's solo project?
Sheek: I heard some songs and he's got some fire, and you know what's good about his project is that no matter when he drops it, it's like timeless. You know, some shit is for right now, but the overall songs that I heard from 'Kiss' album will be timeless.
How do you feel about the current hip-hop scene right now?
Styles P: We like some of it and we don't like some of it. It's a lot of good rappers out right now, but you know what it is. Mainstream shit, you don't hear a lot of good shit on mainstream. If you search for the good music it's out there, but not on the radio. A lot of dope artists out there though.
You've been together as a group for 20 years now. What do you attribute the chemistry to?
Jadakiss: Just keeping it real with each other. No yes men around.
Styles P: It comes with a code. The LOX over everything. This is a brotherhood and it's bigger than the music. It's like the army, the mob, a sports team—team first.
A lot of groups break up and get back together in hip-hop. Why do you think that happens?
Styles P: They ain't come with a code.
Sheek: They come from a different cloth. Some people came in the game with us back then. You gotta have respect for each other, that's where it starts at. That shows weakness within the group.
There were talks of you guys going on tour with G-Unit, is that tour still in the works?
Sheek: It's the 50 Cent Tour he's trying to put together. It's supposed to be, I think, in May is when they trying to get it going, some time next year. I mean we'll do it, I'm with it.
Aside from that will you be touring for the projects you recently dropped?
Sheek: Hell yea. We mapping that together right now. We just finished running around last month. We did like 15 shows straight.
Since The LOX are free agents, what would be the ideal situation for you guys in a label?
Styles P: A partnership. You know, we don't want to work for nobody, but we'll work with somebody. They gotta be able to accommodate our other needs and other ventures when we venture off and not really be a problem. We're businessmen, so we ain't trying to be nobody's slave, but we'll be willing to get money with people.
Will there be another Wu-Block project?
Sheek: Yeah there's a part two of the Wu-Block project on the way. Big fans waiting for that project. That will probably come out next year too. We got a lot ready for the fans.
What's like in the studio recording with the Wu members?
Sheek: Those are my niggas all day long. Funny guys too, and to me they always sound like the album. And even talking to you, you can hear the album playing with Rae and them niggas.
Styles P: It's dope to do. We're big fans of the Wu, so it's a beautiful thing to be recording a project with them. They're really good dudes.