Money, Power & Respect
By: Adam A. Nielsen
Sheek, Jay, and Styles a.k.a. The Lox (Livin'Off Xperience) are the latest project by Puff Daddy and Bad Boy Entertainment. Although they are a Bad Boy project, The Lox shy away from the stereotypical Bad Boy sound. They don't have an album full of guest rappers, nor do they steal every other beat from 80's pop music. What the Lox do is bring a variety of beats and rhyming styles to the increasingly monotonous East coast rap scene. Not to say I don't like East coast rap, I love it. But, it is starting to mainstream and bleed together.
The Lox are very original. The album's title Money, Power & Respect is the focus of the entire album. Twenty one tracks focused exclusively on Money: cars, women, jewelry, houses, Power: not taking any shit, dissing their critics, and Respect: establishing a name for themselves and not being overshadowed by Puff Daddy or Notorious BIG. They proclaim, "No matter where you go or what you do, you need money, power and respect. From kindergarten to graduate school."
It is not only the beats and rhymes that make the Lox so good, but a lot of it depends on their one liners and hooks in each song. They are able to make most of their songs danceable but they keep it real at the same time. Also, they dish out very creative and sometimes funny one liners. For instance, "I don't mess with no fat ladies but if you pay like you weigh then you can stay baby" or "You didn't love me when my name was Shawn, now you should see how bitches act when Benjamins comes on." They also use these hooks to brag and maintain respect, "Too many people worried about what we got. Everything we drop, it be hot. Puff Daddy and the Goodfellas don't stop; Can't stop won't stop." and "Y'all thought y'all was comin' to get us cause we lost B.I.G., but he still wit us.
Money, Power & Respect is definitely one of the best albums so far in '98. It has strong beats to bump in your Jeep and beats you can dance to as well. Their rhyming style is obviously creative and new. If you are a real rap fan, you already have this one or are on your way to pick it up right now.
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