The Lox (stylized The LOX or The L.O.X.) is an American hip hop group formed in 1994, from Yonkers, New York. The group is composed of East Coast rappers Sheek Louch, Styles P and Jadakiss. They had originally signed to Sean Combs' Bad Boy Records in 1995, before joining Ruff Ryders Entertainment in 1998, and have since launched their own label, D-Block Records.
|Also known as||The Bomb Squad, D-Block, The Warlocks|
|Origin||Yonkers, New York|
|Associated acts||Sean "Puffy" Combs|
Formation and career beginnings (1994–96)
Jason "Jadakiss" Phillips, David "Styles P" Styles, and Sean "Sheek Louch" Jacobs, began their musical careers in their hometown of Yonkers, New York. As high school students they formed a group called the Bomb Squad and began performing at local shows and producing their own demos. In 1994, they appeared on Main Source's "Set It Off" from the album Fuck What You Think. While the local rap scene was being dominated by artists like Raw Rome, Lord Devon and a young DMX, the group began to gain attention for their lyrical style and ability to present tales of urban life. The group eventually changed their name to the Warlocks and continued developing a fan base by appearing on underground mixtapes. One of their admirers was the "Queen of hip hop soul," fellow Yonkers native Mary J. Blige. Blige passed their demo tape on to Bad Boy CEO Sean "Puffy" Combs who signed them to a deal. At the behest of Combs, the Warlocks later changed their name to the L.O.X. After signing with Bad Boy, the Lox started gaining a bigger buzz off the strength of their first single "Well, Well, Well" featuring Kasino, which appeared on DJ Clue's 1996 mixtape Show Me the Money.
Mainstream success (1997–2000)
The Lox gained national exposure in 1997 with an onside collaboration on Sean "Puffy" Combs' single "It's All About the Benjamins", shortly after gaining additional exposure with their multi-platinum tribute to The Notorious B.I.G. "We'll Always love Big Poppa". The trio later appeared on a multitude of hits, Mase's "24 Hrs. to Live", Mariah Carey's "Honey", and Jennifer Lopez's "Jenny from the Block". The group's debut album Money, Power & Respect, went Platinum by the RIAA.
In the summer of 1999, the trio found themselves disappointed with the direction of Bad Boy, and the trio wanted to be released from their contract in order to join Ruff Ryders. The Ruff Ryders had always served as The Lox's managers and the group felt like the new label could better represent the hard-core sensibilities which they expressed in their rhymes. Bad Boy was known for its radio friendly dance hits and high priced videos, while the Lox were quickly establishing themselves as hardcore rap artists. The identities clashed — "We just needed to be with a rougher label," said Sheek Louch. "A harder label that fit our image."
The Lox tried all of the legal maneuvering available to be released from their contract with Bad Boy. However, the lawyers and conference calls did not work. At a New York rap concert, the trio sported "Let The LOX Go" T-shirts and sparked a grass roots movement to "Free The Lox." Pressure resultant from the campaign ultimately caused Bad Boy and Puff Daddy to release the trio from their contract. "We really changed the game by doing that," says Styles concerning the contractual drama. "It might take years from now, but other people are gonna do it. We made it so they don't have to be scared to speak up."
Hiatus and resurgence (2001–present)
Through much of the years following, the group contemplated other labels to sign to as a collective. All the while working on music, each member continued to record steadily releasing various solo studio albums. The Lox are to date one of the only musical groups of any genre to have three different members debut solo albums in the Billboard Top 10.
A collaborative album with the Wu-Tang Clan was released in 2012 titled Wu Block, bringing together two historic groups on an album. The end result was billed as a collaborative album between members Sheek Louch and the Wu-Tang Clan's Ghostface Killah. In June 2013, Jadakiss told XXL magazine that several labels, including Bad Boy and Maybach Music Group, made offers to release the next Lox album.
On December 18, 2013, the group released a surprise extended play (EP) titled The Trinity, on iTunes. The EP debuted at number 141 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 8,400 copies in its first week. On February 24, 2014, the Lox announced a worldwide concert tour, named after their EP The Trinity.
On March 1, 2014, the Lox continued their release of new music with a song titled "New York", which was premiered by Funkmaster Flex. "New York" saw the three Yonkers emcees rap over a beat reminiscent of which samples the Pudgee, Biggie-assisted "Think Big" featuring Lord Tariq, backed by the "Ashley's Roachclip" drum break. On March 16, 2014, the Lox released the music video for "Faded", from their Trinity EP. On March 24, 2014 the music video for "New York", was released.
- Studio albums
- Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 240. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
- Bristout, Ralph (2013-06-06). "Jadakiss Says, "The LOX Might Get An Offer From MMG" - Page 2 of 2 - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
- Diep, Eric (2013-12-18). "The LOX Release New Surprise EP 'The Trinity' On iTunes - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
- Tardio, Andres (2013-12-26). "Hip Hop Album Sales: Week Ending 12/22/2013 | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved 2014-04-03.
- Rose Lilah. "The LOX Announce "The Trinity" World Tour". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "The Lox Announce 'The Trinity Tour'". Rap-Up. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "New Music: The Lox "New York" - Rap Radar". Rap Radar. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "The LOX - New York City - OnSMASH". OnSMASH. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- Edwin Ortiz. "The LOX Know How to Have a Good Time In "Faded" Music Video with Tyler Woods". Complex. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Music Video: The Lox "New York City"". Watchloud.com. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "The Lox - New York City (Official Music Video)". rapWAVE. Retrieved 9 March 2015.
- "Filthy America… It's Beautiful by The Lox on Apple Music". Itunes.apple.com. 2016-12-16. Retrieved 2016-12-16.
- Adelle Platon (2016-12-03). "The LOX Talk Forthcoming Album 'Filty America... It's Beautiful'". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-12-16.