The Lox found their niche at the turn of the millennium with a brash style of street rap all their own: You felt every “Fuck you” in your chest and knew they meant it. The Yonkers trio (Styles P, the live wire; Sheek Louch, a hulking ball of charisma; Jadakiss, a gravel-voiced assassin with a signature laugh and running list of stellar verses on his resume) started out on Bad Boy Records, where they released their debut album, Money, Power & Respect, in 1998. Although it flashed their potential and featured Lil’ Kim and fellow Yonkers native DMX on the title track, it tried too hard to straddle the line between Bad Boy’s flamboyance and the Lox’s rugged aesthetic. After growing unhappy with a contract they deemed unfair, the Lox launched an infamous campaign to free themselves from Bad Boy, triggering a feud with Diddy, which they’ve since smoothed over. They flourished instantly with the Yonkers-rooted Ruff Ryders: “Wild Out” was the perfect breakout single from 2000’s We Are the Streets—an aggressive reset supercharged by their hunger and newfound liberation. They’ve held their own next to the Notorious B.I.G. and left their marks in the presence of DMX’s outsized personality. And if you’re a hip-hop fan, there’s a strong chance you’ve heard and seen them often since the beginning of August.
After thoroughly upstaging the Diplomats during a lauded Verzuz event at Madison Square Garden, the Lox made the final cut of Kanye West’s maximalist Donda, performed at the return of Hot 97’s annual Summer Jam concert, and received the keys to their hometown. Now, on a warm mid-September afternoon, Styles and Sheek are reflecting on their careers from the roof of Roc Nation’s posh Chelsea headquarters. Jadakiss is running late, but the opinionated Styles and energetic Sheek are animated enough to make up for his absence.
The breakneck speed of pop culture creates prisoners of the moment, conditioning people to believe things are irrelevant if they aren’t directly in front of their faces at every turn. But the LOX are always working. In addition to touring, they still make music: Their fourth album, Living Off Xperience, was released last August. “A lot of people say we’re getting our flowers now, and it’s a beautiful thing to be recognized,” says Jadakiss, who arrives amid a flurry of daps. “I'm just thankful to be healthy and still active, at this caliber, at this point in our careers.”
The Lox’s matchup with the Diplomats, from which they emerged as clear victors, was marked by hyper-competitive antagonism. “Some people told me they’ve watched it like five times, but I haven’t watched it yet,” Sheek says with an ear-to-ear grin. Everything that made their flawless three-man weave onslaught so perfect that night—better preparation, a better understanding of their catalog, better chemistry—was business-as-usual to them. Perhaps the Lox were underestimated by some hip-hop fans ahead of the faceoff because their credentials have been forgotten, or people were never aware in the first place.
With Verzuz expanding from pandemic comfort vehicle to big budget production with sponsorships galore, a large audience was given the opportunity to see what anyone familiar with 2 Jews & 2 Black Dudes Review the Movies, the Lox’s podcast with sketch comedians ItstheReal, knows well: they’re abundant in personality. The same energy that makes our conversation punchy makes their idiosyncrasies so randomly entertaining.
“Do y’all have Alkaline water?” Styles asks. “I know I sound bougie.” At one point, Sheek tries to show everyone a spotted lanternfly’s red hind wings (albeit using his custom Bapestas) without killing it, despite the New York State Department of Agriculture’s order to do so. “That’s ill, it’s like a peacock fly!” exclaims Jadakiss, who made a third Verzuz appearance last week, joining Ja Rule and Fat Joe to perform “New York” at the Garden once again. At another point, he and Sheek take over the interview while Styles dines on the plant-based UberEats meal he’s been waiting a good portion of the afternoon for.
Source : https://www.gq.com/story/the-lox-jadakiss-styles-p-sheek-louch-verzuz-interview873