When it’s released on Dec. 16, “Filthy America ... It’s Beautiful” will be the first full-length album from Yonkers hip-hop trio The Lox since 2000. But don’t, as a Queens emcee might say, call it a comeback.
“Everybody says, ‘Yo, the reunion!’“ says Lox member Sheek Louch. “What reunion?“
Over those 16 years, the trio of Louch, Jadakiss and Styles P have consistently worked together, from guest appearances on each other’s solo albums to the latter two opening their own juice store in Yonkers. So why a new album in 2016?
amNewYork caught up with Sheek Louch and Styles P of The Lox to talk about “Filthy America,” longevity in hip-hop and more.
So, the obvious question: Why now for a new album?
Styles P: We finally have a partnership with a company we like, RocNation.
Sheek Louch: We’ve put a lot of stuff out before this, so it felt like Lox albums, but this is just an official one.
Styles P: We’re not worried about one album or two albums. We’re worried about putting out a body of music for our fans on a consistent basis. In music, a lot of people get lost or confused — they get focused on “albums” or “mixtapes” and labels. We just want to provide a vibe.
Groups are practically endangered species in modern hip-hop. What happened?
Sheek Louch: There’s not many. They broke up, they went solo, maybe they had plans of getting back together but never did. It’s raggedy.
Styles P: Or they don’t love each other.
Sheek Louch: They don’t love each other, or respect each other. Or other people get in their circle, they form new friends who don’t really have the same interests. ... For us, we always been brothers, never lost that linkage beyond music. It’s a testament to what staying loyal does.
The new album has a track, “Secure the Bag,” with that hi-hat (cymbal) pattern so big in trap and southern hip-hop today.
Styles P: We get on them southern records as well, but it’s definitely out of the norm for The Lox. The new dudes, they may know Sheek, they may know Jadakiss, they may know Styles P. But they may not know The Lox. So when we’re making The Lox music, we gotta make something that fits their formula, too, but gives them who we are. And we’ve got a lot of down south fans, and we’re trying to say that we respect it all.
Sheek Louch: Our ear is always to the street. Whether it’s what’s going on around us, or — we got kids that’s definitely dancing to all of that. It may not be for me, but I’m paying attention.