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The Lox have been around since 1994 when Jadakiss and Sheek appeared on Main Source's "Set It Off." Three years later they signed to Bad Boy, and the rest is history. The Yonkers trio would go on to have a successful run as members of the Ruff Ryders collective, releasing their sophomore album under that flag. With respective solo careers taking precedent, the crew decided to release a trio of EPs, called The Trinity, in recent months, hopefully in an effort to build up to a long-awaited follow-up to 2000's We Are the Streets.
Styles, Jada, and Sheek have been through the good—successful solo careers, held their own with legends at a young age, made classic records—and the bad—multiple labels, beefs, and bad contracts. Through it all, they've stuck together as one of the few successful groups in rap history to never break up. We caught up with the Lox to talk juice bars, longevity, and their plans for We Are the Streets 2.
We Are the Streets was with Ruff Ryders, and Swizz was all over it. What producers are you guys looking to work with on We Are the Streets 2?
Styles P: We’re going to definitely work with Swizz, Primo, and Alchemist. We’re going to try to work with Mustard, Hit-Boy, a few other dudes, and then of course all the producers we worked with on The Trinity and whoever else has good beats.
There aren’t too many rap groups out like there used to be—Migos, Rae Sremmurd. But you guys survived multiple eras and worked with legends. How have you stuck together and not let the business get in the way of your relationship?
Jadakiss: Because that’s not what comes first. Respect, brotherhood—the family comes first, and everything else falls in place after that. This is just a job, just like your job is to record us right now. You can have differences and disagreements, but you keep them in-house and you get on with the shit.
Sheek Louch: I love these brothers, God. When I hear both of them on different songs I’m happy for them. You have to be happy for a motherfucker. People aren’t like that these days.
So, Haze or Sour?
J: Haze, baby.
SP: I got Sour. He smells my Sour. [Laughs.] I actually got Girl Scout Cookies in the bag and some Sour in the bag.
Fucking with the edibles?
J: A little bit.
SP: I’m a vegan, so it’s hard to find a good edible. I don’t really like the candy edibles. I’m more of a pastry edible dude, and you have to kind of know who you’re getting it from and all of that.
You’re all the way vegan now?
Both of you have a juice bar too, right?
J: Yeah, we’re partners.
SP: We’re partners. Louch is definitely going to get one.
SL: Kiss and Styles, they got the joints.
You’re not fucking with the juice, Sheek?
SL: I love the juice, man. But you know, they had more of an interest getting it in. I’ll get with it a little later when we do another one.
Respect, brotherhood, the family comes first, and everything else falls in place after that.
I tried juicing, but it’s hard.
SL: You lost weight?
Yeah, but then I gained it right back because when you smell food it makes you go crazy.
SP: You know what it is, that diet is just temporary. You have to start trying to change your lifestyle slowly but surely. That’s what it’s about.
J: You mean to tell me you lost weight and gained it back?
I gained it right back [Laughs.] I want to talk about posse cuts because you guys were involved with a lot of classic ones like, “Blackout”...
J: —“Reservoir Dogs,” you name it.
SL: “Last Days,” “Money, Power, Respect,” everything.
Do you think rappers are too friendly with each other nowadays? In terms of when they get on a track? Back then, you guys would get on a track and you would try to murder each other. It was competitive. I don’t get that feeling nowadays.
SP: I think they’re too friendly, personally. Hell yeah.
SL: I don’t know.
J: It’s just what’s out there. If there's five dudes on a song, probably three of them are only really good.
SP: That’s true too.
There was a Sheek line on The Trinity: 3rd Sermon where he said you guys learned a lot from being around Puffy and Hova.
SL: You had to pick up certain shit from being around them. Mandatory.
Good? Bad? Give me some examples.
SL: Let’s say with Puff. His work ethic, being there later than us in the studio.
J: Never going to sleep.
J: He said sleep is not a part of his life.
SL: Remember when he told us that shit, Kiss? He said, “Yo, y’all don’t have more money than me. Why are y’all going home before me every night?” That was crazy back then.
SP: Work ethic and business. These are people that have done a lot for the industry. Hov is a dude who came off the street, and he’s now a mogul. How could we not watch what they’re doing and look at what they’re doing and salute it?
You guys put out a remix to Dej Loaf’s “Try Me” back in September, and it really blew up in the hood after you touched it. Talk to me about when you first heard that song.
SL: You mean like, blew up here? In New York? You don’t think it was big wherever?
It was getting there. I’m from North Jersey, and whenever I would go back all you heard in the streets was the “Try Me (Freestyle),” you didn’t hear the original.
SL: That’s crazy. I didn’t know that. I thought it was already a big record.
SP: It was.
Hov is a dude who came off the street, and he’s now a mogul. How could we not watch what they’re doing and look at what they’re doing and salute it?
It was bubbling, but I think you guys put it over the top over here.
J: I heard about it in the Sneaker Room, in Jersey City, N.J. I heard about it over there and just came back to the studio and told them to get ready.
Jada played it first for you guys?
SL: Yeah, I didn’t know what it was.
J: Look at the video on YouTube. Check it out. I had it looped up, put in Pro Tools when they came in the studio, and we did what we do. [Sings “Try Me.” Laughs.]
And then Dej brought you all out at a show.
SL: Kiss called her and brought her out to the B.B.King's in New York. Then we went out with her at Santos.
Jada, is your solo album Top Five Dead or Alive still coming before We Are the Streets 2?
J: Yeah, definitely.
And The Trinity EPs are a warm-up for We Are the Streets 2. Still looking for the perfect situation?
J: Mmhmm. Better hurry up and get it because we’re wiping it off iTunes because we’re making it a collector's item. [Laughs.]
SP: We’re working, baby.
El-P and Killer Mike are a good example. They put the shit out for free, but then they put the mastered version on iTunes. I thought that’s what you guys were doing.
SP: Part three is for the people. We just wanted to say, “Thank you for getting part one and two.”
J: That’s our gift to you.
SP: That’s our love back.
J: That’s how we do it. Like in the hood if you buy two bags, you can get one for free anyway.
SL: The Trinity 3, baby, get that. Get all of them!
SP: Get the collector's item.
J: You need them all. We’re going to wipe them out. It’s going to be no more.