Tuesday, 21 July 2015

The Lox "Money, Power & Respect" (1998)

The LOX (Living Through eXperience) are an American trio from Yonkers, New York who signed to Bad Boy records in 1995. Impressed with their feature on the track "Last Day" from Biggie's "Life After Death" I decided to check their debut record out which came out the following year. It struck me as a record lost in the flood of records that made up the bling era, but one with substance and character that could stand on its own two feet and still sound great today.

Initially I was a little slow to get into this record. The production comes off as being caught between two eras. The vibes of these tracks fall in line with the styles of the late 90s where money and success was the image most rappers tried to portray, but the sampling, loops and instruments didn't have the clean cut sound and had the rawer early 90s fidelity about them. Across the 21 tracks their are a few great beats, but most of them sit a mark above average, making for a record that does little to offend, but often falls a touch short of being great. Some of the best moments come from the numbers that embrace RnB influences through calmer vibes and harmonious guest vocals that flesh out the choruses and hooks.

The trio of rappers are clearly talented, possibly the best Puff signed alongside Biggie. Each bring a distinctive tone and style but Jadakiss a mark above his counterparts Sheek Louch and Styles P. Puffy's appearance on the record was once again irritating as he makes affirmative remarks in the background of tracks, but its to be expected on Bad Boy. The album is probably a little lengthy at 70 minutes, but it personalty gets better as it progresses, moving away from success oriented, boisterous tracks in the beginning and developing uplifting vibes in the later half. It's an interesting debut that very much fits the mold of the time and comes across as a little disposable but theres some substance to be found here.

Favorite Tracks: Let's Start Rap Over, I Wanna Thank You, Can't Stop Won't Stop, All For The Love, So Right
Rating: 5/10