When the LOX dropped their last album, We Are the Streets, the world had just finished breathing a collective sigh of relief, thankful that their computers didn't crash in the Y2K scare. Not that the Yonkers, New York, rap trio made up of Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheek Louch haven't been busy dropping solo albums and mixtapes over the past 11 years.
"Paperwork, paperwork, it ain't on us. All I'm gonna say is, LOX-wise, you hear how many verses we do, freestyles we do, songs we do, LOX songs we drop here and there," Styles P said about the group's long-awaited third album. "Due to common sense, it's paperwork. When the paperwork pans out, you got LOX. That's all I'm gonna say. We would've been gave y'all LOX."
The LOX got their start on Diddy's Bad Boy Records in 1997 after they dropped their debut single, "We'll Always Love Big Poppa." The song stood as a dedication to the Notorious B.I.G. after he was murdered earlier that year. In 1998, the group dropped their debut album, Money, Power, Respect, but soon after, they became disgruntled with their label and organized a "Let the LOX Go" campaign to be let out of their Bad Boy contract. Diddy eventually obliged, and the threesome dropped their sophomore album on Ruff Ryders in 2000. Aside from the group effort, each member dropped a number of solo albums on various labels, leaving entangled contracts that are now getting sorted out.
"It's a lot of heads involved with the new LOX album. You got Ruff Ryders, you got Bad Boy, you got Interscope. It's a lot of politics in one set of paperwork, but it's gettin' close," Styles said.
If Dr. Dre's Detox is rap's longest-delayed LP, then the LOX aren't far behind. Jada and P are amused at the comparison. "Nah, we ain't longer than Detox. We close! We right behind it; we ain't neck and neck, though," Styles said, laughing at the notion that his group could eclipse Dre's drought if the producer's album is dropped this year as planned.
Jadakiss begged to differ, starting a little debate with his rhyme partner. "We passed Detox," 'Kiss proclaimed.
"Nah, they said Detox was coming in '99," Styles argued.
Despite common misconceptions based on the album's title, it was 1999 when Dre dropped his 2001 LP. Work on his third album was said to have started in 2003, but details are sketchy. Jada suggests a joint Dr. Dre and LOX album release to satisfy the fan's demand. "We need to do a double album: the Detox and the new LOX album," he joked.
After a few laughs, Jada got serious and said the group was close to a breakthrough in the legal holdups, but he wouldn't nail down a specific label where the album would be released. "Big shout-out to J Records, Geffen Records, Atlantic, Warner," he said. "Big shout-out to all of these labels."
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