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
. 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.
Formation and career beginnings (1994–1996)
" 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.
At some point, the trio connected with Jaz-O
, and had a demo tape produced by him. One of their admirers was the "Queen of hip hop soul," fellow Yonkers native Mary J. Blige
After acquiring the demo tape that the group made with Jaz-O, Blige passed it 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
", 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.
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.
''Filthy America... It's Beautiful
'' was their third studio album
, and their first in 16 years. The album was released on December 16, 2016, by D-Block Records and Roc Nation
In 2020, they released the song "Loyalty & Love", which was later included on their fourth studio album, ''Living Off Xperience
'', released on August 28, 2020.
*''Money, Power & Respect
*''We Are the Streets
*''Filthy America... It's Beautiful
*''Living Off Xperience
External linksOfficial websiteThe Lox
Category:American hip hop groups
Category:Bad Boy Records artists
Category:D-Block Records members
Category:East Coast hip hop groups
Category:Interscope Records artists
Category:Musical groups from New York (state)
Category:Ruff Ryders artists
Category:American musical trios
Category:African-American musical groups
Category:Musical groups established in 1994
Category:Gangsta rap groups
Category:1994 establishments in New York (state)