LOX CD Money, Power & Respect (1998), uudenveroinen. For Promotional Use Only
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The Lox are an American hip hop group composed of Jadakiss, Sheek Louch, and Styles P. They were originally signed to Sean Combs' Bad Boy Records before joining Ruff Ryders Entertainment, and are now a part of their own label, D-Block Records
Jason "Jadakiss" Phillips, David Styles "Styles P", 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 1995 they appeared on Main Source's "Shet 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 mix tapes. One of their admirers was the "Queen of Hip hop soul," fellow Yonkers native Mary J. Blige. Mary 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 would later change their name to "The L.O.X" which stands for Living Off eXperience.
The LOX gained national exposure in 1996 with an onside collaboration on Sean "Puffy" Combs Underground Smash "All about the Benjamins". Shortly after gaining even more exposure with their powerful multi-platinum tribute to The Notorious B.I.G. , "We'll Always love Big Poppa". The song which celebrated the life of the slain superstar, captured Biggie's essence and thrust The LOX into the media spotlight as a group to watch out for. The trio later appeared on a multitude of hits, Mase's "24 Hours to Live", Mariah Carey's "Honey", and Jennifer Lopez's "Jenny From The Block". The group's debut album Money, Power & Respect went platinum and helped establish the Lox as an important voice in Hip-Hop music.
In the summer of 1999, the celebrated Yonkers Rap trio found themselves in a fight for freedom. Disappointed with the direction of their career on Bad Boy, the group wanted to be released from their contract in order to join the newly formed Ruff Ryders/ Interscope label. 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, the Lox just didn't feel comfortable in the shiny suits. "We just needed to be with a rougher label" says 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, when the lawyers and conference calls didn't work, the group did what they do best. They took their story to the streets. At a New York rap concert, the defiant group sported "Let the LOX Go" T-shirts and sparked a grass roots movement to "Free the Lox." Their goal was to return Hip-Hop back to its essence as an important form of urban expression. The streets spoke up loud and clear and the Lox were finally released to a heroes welcome. "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."
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