The Ghost Styles P stopped by the Hot Afternoon Show with Jenny Boom Boom & DJ Craig G to declare the new album from The LOX is a go… but it won’t be the only new music from Styles, Jadakiss or Sheek Louch.
After a long hiatus, The LOX surprised the hip-hop community with the surprise release of a new EP called The Trinity back in December 2013. No one knew if this reunion album was a one-off, or if The LOX was back for real, but according to Styles P in his interview with Jenny Boom Boom, this comeback is legit. And while we haven’t seen new music from The LOX in the past decade, Styles, Jadakiss and Sheek have still been working closely together at their D-Block Studios.
“We’re always in the studio together… we were never not in the studios,” Styles explained. “D-Block studios is like our home, that’s the hang out. We didn’t take any time off from each other. As far as the LOX goes, it didn’t make sense for us to do the LOX project for a long time… it just wouldn’t have been wise for us to do it.”
The trio has been hard at work on music– both for the new LOX album We Are the Streets 2 and solo projects– and Styles confirmed that means there’s a lot of music coming out of their studio. “Every day we’re in the lab, we’ve got lots of joints,” he said. “The Lox album will be out, I have a project I’m gonna drop around April, a digital joint, Ghost and the Phantom. Jadakiss is working on Top 5, Dead Or Alive, he’s pretty much wrapped up with that. And Sheek’s also working on a solo project. Every day in the D-Block studios it’s around the clock.”
While many New York rappers have been influenced by the Southern sound, the Trinity EP proved The LOX isn’t about to change their sound to fit the trends. Styles P admitted he’s not feeling that shift in music. “You don’t have to switch your whole style. Where ever you’re from, you should have a sound from that place. Someone shouldn’t hear you and think you’re from another place. That’s not saying you can’t do a song over a Down-South beat or a song over a West Coast beat, it’s music– you’re supposed to. But your sound– if you’re from a place, your sound should reflect where you’re from.”
Styles has expanded that attitude to the whole East Coast for his latest musical projects, including a collabo between The LOX and 50 Cent. The artists teamed up for a track intended for 50 Cent’s long-awaited new album, and while Jadakiss landed the feature for his D-Block crew, Styles believes it was a good move for the entire East Coast hip-hop scene.
“I think in general, all East Coast hip hop– the veterans and the young people– they understand what it takes to owe your place. The tri-state fans are owed for artists to get together and make authentic music,” the rapper explained. “Sometimes you’ve gotta think bigger than just being an artist, for the sake of culture and for the sake of hip hop, there’s a lot of combinations that need to be done… if you could work with somebody and can do something that can impact hip-hop and keep that mindset of repping your home… you’ve gotta salute and keep going.”
While he wouldn’t say who, Styles also teased this won’t be the only big feature for The LOX. “Expect to see us with a few collabs with a few different people,” he hinted.
Of course, respect between an artist and their hometown goes both ways. Recently, Brooklyn was going to name a street after the Notorious BIG, but the proposal was rejected due to the rapper’s history of selling drugs and objectionable content in his music. Styles still supports the idea, despite Biggie’s history. “America is built off of criminals. I understand society is saying it like that, but if you think of the Rockefellers, Carnegies, dudes like that… they did a lot of dirt,” he stated. “Most of the richest families in America acquired their money through dirt. They should have named [the street] after that man [Biggie]. Frank Sinatra hung with gangsters!”
The rapper believes part of this diss to Biggie’s memory has to do with the perception of hip-hop artists as not being intelligent. This is something else Styles believes is completely untrue. “You have to be really smart to put words together, if you don’t think so, try it!” he said. “This country’s built on stereotypes. If [hip-hop] wasn’t intelligent, the kids wouldn’t gravitate to it. There’s something making kids and everybody from all across the world want to listen to hip-hop. That has to take some kind of intelligence.”
Styles’ described how his creative process is unique… he rarely writes his songs out, instead opting to keep them in his head. “I don’t write anything down. Let me be honest with you– most people say that with a sense of being fly and all that… I’ve never been able to write because I couldn’t get the melody… I would look at the paper and can’t see the melody. It was always easy for me to just remember, I picked it up as a kid. It’s like remembering a speech, you look and say the line over and over and over, then go to the next line and say it over and over and over.”
One thing Styles is committing to paper is his book, which has been a new creative experience for the rapper. “I think it’s about being in the zone, it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done,” he said of writing his first novel. “But when you get in the zone, it starts spilling out, it just starts flowing and you want to express yourself. I’m a dude who likes expressing himself.”
While he’s very interested in seeing the book through to the end, the rapper is putting that project on the back burner right now, so he can dedicate himself entirely to music first. “I’m waiting to finish this LOX album. I’m halfway through one part [of the book] and then I have a quarter of another thing… but I really want to be done with the music so I can focus all on the book,” he explained. “I don’t want to take away from the music right now, because the LOX is a pretty big deal, an event, so we have to hone in and focus everything on that.”
–Bill Sencio, Hot 93.7/ Hartford