|Also known as||The Bomb Squad, D-Block, The Warlox|
|Origin||Yonkers, New York, U.S.|
The Lox (stylized The LOX or The L.O.X.) is an American hip hop group from Yonkers, New York, formed in 1994. The group is composed of East Coast rappers Sheek Louch, Styles P and Jadakiss. They had originally signed to Puff Daddy's Bad Boy Records in 1996, before joining Ruff Ryders in 1999, and have since launched their own label, D-Block.
Formation and career beginnings (1994–1996)
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 Warlox 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 Warlox 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 (2001–2020)
During the years that followed, the group contemplated signing to other labels 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.
Verzuz against The Diplomats and aftermath (2021–present)
The Lox (Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheek Louch) and DipSet (Cam'ron, Jim Jones, Juelz Santana and Freekey Zekey) went head-to-head in a highly anticipated Verzuz battle at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden Tuesday, August 3rd. It was a no-nonsense New York hip-hop fight, and while no one got killed, unlike previous confrontations, the lyrical assassination committed with malice aforethought by the Lox should be against the law. Someone call Westchester County District Attorney Mimi Rocah to charge the Yonkers trio with premeditated murder by microphone, voluntary microphone manslaughter in the first degree and assault with a deadly microphone. It wasn't merely a slaughter, it was a lyrical summary execution!
AJ Woodson's lead paragraph in his article in the July/August 2021 issue of Black Westchester on the Verzuz battle between the Lox and the Diplomats
On August 3rd, 2021, the Lox participated in a battle with Harlem rap group The Diplomats (DipSet) via Timbaland and Swizz Beatz' Verzuz at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden and were widely regarded as defeating the Diplomats decisively with professionalism and preparedness attributed as major factors. Moments in the battle included Jadakiss calling out the Diplomats for rapping over tracks including their vocals instead of using TV tracks before performing his freestyle over The Notorious B.I.G.'s "Who Shot Ya?" released on his 2010 mixtape The Champ Is Here, Pt. 3 and the Lox responding to Diplomats jabs with chosen songs. First, Jadakiss responded to Cam'ron's remark before performing "Welcome to New York City" that the Lox did not have a New York record that could not beat it, to which Jadakiss responded with his verse in Ja Rule's "New York" that also featured Fat Joe, who was in attendance (Jadakiss also performed the verse when Fat Joe and Ja Rule faced each other in the subsequent Verzuz at the same venue). A Juelz Santana jab after Cam'ron's "Hey Ma" that the Lox had no records for female fans was then responded to with a medley that included "Ryde or Die, Bitch" featuring Eve followed by remixes featuring them of Mariah Carey's "Honey", Jennifer Lopez's "Jenny from the Block" and Mary J. Blige's "Family Affair", plus Sheek Louch's "Good Love" and Jadakiss' "Knock Yourself Out". Styles P also shouted out incarcerated ByrdGang member Max B – who Jim Jones had an ongoing feud with – before performing his verses in Akon's "Locked Up".
Following their victory, streams of Lox music increased by 215%. In the same month, the group was featured on "Jesus Lord pt 2", the final track on Kanye West's 10th album Donda alongside Jay Electronica, and received the key to the city of Yonkers. Just over a year after the battle while they were performing at LL Cool J's Rock The Bells festival at Forest Hills Stadium in Queens, Jadakiss presented Styles P and Sheek Louch with Lox championship rings and unveiled his.
- Studio albums
- Money, Power & Respect (1998)
- We Are the Streets (2000)
- Filthy America... It's Beautiful (2016)
- Living Off Xperience (2020)
- Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 240. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
- "Kingz Kounty Media Group Presents Jaz-O's New EP "The WarmUp" Available February 7th on All Platforms Via Equity Distribution". www.rfdtv.com. February 7, 2020.
- MTV News Staff (January 15, 1998). "The Lox Get By With A Little Help From Puffy And Mary J. Blige". www.mtv.com.
She was like a number one fan for us. She was loving our music before anybody, and she just brought us to Puff. Puff was looking for a group, a rap group, at that time. It was instant. It just clicked like that. It was chemistry.
- "Jaz-O & The Immobilarie "Kingz Kounty" (Album)". MRCNN Live. January 25, 2020.
- Bristout, Ralph (June 6, 2013). "Jadakiss Says, "The LOX Might Get An Offer From MMG" - Page 2 of 2 - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- Diep, Eric (December 18, 2013). "The LOX Release New Surprise EP 'The Trinity' On iTunes - XXL". Xxlmag.com. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- Tardio, Andres (December 26, 2013). "Hip Hop Album Sales: Week Ending 12/22/2013 | Get The Latest Hip Hop News, Rap News & Hip Hop Album Sales". HipHop DX. Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- Rose Lilah. "The LOX Announce "The Trinity" World Tour". HotNewHipHop. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "The Lox Announce 'The Trinity Tour'". Rap-Up. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "New Music: The Lox "New York" - Rap Radar". Rap Radar. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "The LOX - New York City - OnSMASH". OnSMASH. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- Edwin Ortiz. "The LOX Know How to Have a Good Time In "Faded" Music Video with Tyler Woods". Complex. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Music Video: The Lox "New York City"". Watchloud.com. Archived from the original on April 2, 2015. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "The Lox - New York City (Official Music Video)". rapWAVE. Retrieved March 9, 2015.
- "Filthy America… It's Beautiful by The Lox on Apple Music". Itunes.apple.com. December 16, 2016. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- Adelle Platon (December 3, 2016). "The LOX Talk Forthcoming Album 'Filty America... It's Beautiful'". Billboard. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
- "The LOX Releases New Album 'Living Off Xperience' Featuring Westside Gunn, Benny the Butcher And More". The Source. August 28, 2020. Retrieved September 7, 2020.
- Woodson, AJ. "The Lox Slaughter DipSet in Highly Anticipated Verzuz Battle". Black Westchester. Vol. 4, no. 12. Retrieved August 23, 2021.
- Buford, Jayson (August 4, 2021). "In the Lox and Dipset's Verzuz Battle, Hip-Hop Wins". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- Elibert, Mark (August 4, 2021). "The Six Best Moments From The LOX & Dipset's New York Heavyweight Live Verzuz Battle". Billboard. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- "The Best and Worst of the Dipset and the Lox VERZUZ Battle". Pitchfork. August 4, 2021. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
- The Breakfast Club (August 11, 2021). "The LOX On Showmanship, Brotherhood, Dipset Verzuz + More". YouTube. WWPR-FM (Power 105.1). Retrieved August 17, 2022.
- Gee, Andre (August 3, 2022). "The Price Went Up: How The Lox Pulled Off Their Iconic "Verzuz" Victory". Complex. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
- Araújo, Keka (August 7, 2022). "The City of Yonkers Honors The Lox With Key to the City". Black Enterprise. Retrieved August 17, 2022.
- Cummings-Grady, Mackenzie (August 8, 2022). "Jadakiss Gifts Styles P & Sheek Louch Championship Rings Ahead Of Benny The Butcher Mixtape". HipHopDX. Retrieved August 17, 2022.