June 15, 2019

DJ Self "Let The Lox Go!" (Mixtape, 2000)

"At the time, it seemed like a fatal move. No one in his right mind would leave Bad Boy Records, then an indomitable force in the music industry. But Jayson (Jadakiss) Phillips, David Styles and Sean (Sheek) Jacobs of the hard-core rap group the Lox left and haven't looked back. "We're just happy to be free," says Jacobs. "We weren't the real Lox before, but this time it's us, 100%." ... "We couldn't say what we wanted to say, we couldn't write what we wanted to write" ... "You can't work when you're uncomfortable." Repeated requests to get out of their contract fell on deaf ears. So the group went public with their grievances and launched an unprecedented grass-roots campaign, complete with "Lex the Lox Go" picket signs, posters and T-shirts. Things came to a head in June at Hot 97's "Summer Jam" concert when the group performed in their protest T-shirts. Bad Boy honcho Sean (Puffy) Combs was there, and he was not pleased. He let the lox go in September. "We're the first hip-hop group to go against the powers that be with the power of the people," says Styles. "Too many [bleepers] in the industry don't do what they gotta do. They're too afraid of ending up back in the 'hood - but we ain't." Rhyming together since their high-school days in Yonkers, the Lox (it stands for "Living off experience") are tight enough to finish each other's sentences. Phillips, 24, has a sly grin and the group's most distinctive voice; it sounds gritty, as if he gargles with gravel. Jacobs, 25, is the friendliest in the crew. Not one for youthful shenanigans, he keeps the troops in line. As for Styles - well, the name says it all.... Tattoos that say "hope for the best, but expect the worst" cover his forearms. Honing their skills in local talent shows and on mix tapes, the Lox earned a reputation for delivering rough, true-to-ghetto-life narratives... "We were watered down," admits Jacobs. "Bad Boy's image was flossy. But we've always been - straight underground, straight ghetto." Now, the Lox is ready to prove they're worth the rumored $2.5 million that Interscope paid for their freedom...." - NY Daily News. Listen to DJ Self's "Let the Lox Go" mixtape below, which provides some more to the story, from an audio point of view.