The LOX – Recognize (prod by DJ Premier)

The latter parts of the 90’s were arguable ruled by Puff Daddy. He was able to shift the focus from the West Coast sound that ruled the airwaves with an iron fist for the first half of the decade.  One group of MC’s that Puff just couldn’t keep strapped in the shiny suits was The Lox.  We all knew they were harder than what the videos on MTV showed us.  They knew it as well, so when Puff refused to release them from their contract, The Lox campaigned for a release themselves. Remember the Free Lox Tees? The year 2000 marked not only a new millennium, but a new beginning for the Lox. They were able to sign with The Ruff Ryder’s which matched their rough mentality. They were now able to create their own identity and lyrically murder everyone on their 2nd release We Are the Streetslox

The production on this album definitely differentiated itself from Puff and The Hit-man’s heavily sampled club friendly production. Swizz Beatz made sure of that and crafted nearly the entire album sample free himself. Just hard hitting staccato beats that matched Jada, Styles and Sheek‘s rhyme style. He left 2 gems for other producers.  Timbaland stepped up on “Ride or Die Bitch“.  The last and standout track on the album is the DJ Premier produced “Recognize”.  You knew you were hearing something special once the piano laden beat came blazing through your speakers. Vintage Jadakiss started off this instant classic with:
Now I know y’all couldn’t wait to hear ‘Kiss over Premier
Kill you on tape then watch it over a beer


Sheek follows up and asserts that he is not to be effed with:
Ayo I give it to you point blank, in your mom’s place
So like Point Break with a mask on with president’s face
Clear my space, when big sheek crash the boards
Y’all ain’t just mark niggas, y’all Hallmark niggas
With all that soft ass writin might as well be in cards

The Ghost concludes with his thought provoking introspective lyrics:
If I knew heaven had a ghetto that was sweeter than here
You know P would pack his bag and just leave next year……

Never too young to die or too old to live
Ain’t it hard to bust your gun, go home and mold your kid?”

Styles has to ability to match reflective lyrics with hard hitting rhymes when he let you know the “Ice is for my niggas, but the heat is for y’all

What enhances these three behemoth verses is Eve on the hook.  DJ Premier just took her saying “Recognize” and looped it, making this a simple yet effective hook.  The Lox are slated to release We Are the Streets 2 this year, and a DJ Premier collab is certainly anticipated.

The LOX – Recognize (prod by DJ Premier)

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