Yonkers rappers The Lox (Jadakiss, Styles P, and Sheek Louch) officially proclaimed their induction to Bad Boy Records in 1996, debuting their spit skills on "You'll See" with the Notorious B.I.G. and Puff Daddy. Jadakiss was immediately heralded as the standout of the three, with his raspy voice, witty bars, and murderous flow.

In the fifteen years since then, Jay to the Muah bounced around to different labels (though always maintaining his Ruff Ryders affiliation), releasing two Lox and three solo albums all littered with hits, appearing on numerous classic compilations and street mixtapes (including his own The Champ Is Here trilogy), and making unforgettable features with everyone from Gang Starr to Ghostface Killah.

His resume is undeniable, which is why his self-proclaimed placement on the “Top Five, Dead or Alive” list is rarely disputed. With Jada’s new Def Jam mixtape, I Love You, out now and set to blaze all summer, we knew it would be the perfect time to reminisce with Kiss and get all the stories behind his 25 Essential Songs.

He came through lovely, recalling what the early Bad Boy days with B.I.G. and Puff were like, how Jay-Z introduced him to Beanie Sigel during the "Reservoir Dogs" session, why the original beat for "Knock Yourself Out" wasn't used, and how he was recruited to be on "New York" with Ja Rule and Fat Joe. Plus, he tells us the naked truth on his plans to stop songs from getting leaked, and gives us his “Top Five, Dead or Alive” list (which isn’t really five). Ahaaa!

As told to Daniel Isenberg (@stanipcus)