The LOX’s “What Else You Need To Know” May Be Their Realest Song Yet (Video)
Last month, The LOX released their first album together in 16 years. While the trio of Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheek Louch have been mainstays on the scene since their debut, through EPs, mixtapes and guest appearances, the announcement of the new LP, Filthy America…It’s Beautiful, set the Hip-Hop world ablaze, augmented by the fact that they were partnering with formal rival Jay Z’s Roc Nation on the project. Since then, the crew has been active with a renewed energy, making TV appearances, conducting interviews and, overall, taking a well-deserved victory lap after decades of grinding and navigating the mean streets of the music industry.
Now, Jada, Styles and Sheek have released the music video for one of the album’s lead singles. For a group that has spent its entire career intent on keeping it real, the aptly-titled “What Else You Need To Know,” may be their realest song yet. Each MC spits matter-of-fact truth on wax about the things he’s endured since the start. Sheek kicks things off immediately addressing the latent conflict that always existed between the group’s desire to stay street and Bad Boy label owner, Puff Daddy’s “shiny suit era” vision. “Puff played me ‘The Benjamins,’ I thought it was wack. Wrote a verse, next day I brought New York back,” raps Sheek. He also talks old rivalries, specifically mentioning 50 Cent, and acknowledging decisions he made that cost him a great deal of money. His words aren’t all about the industry, though. In a potent one-liner, he says “Moms died from cancer, I felt like stoppin’.”
Styles picks up with the same candor shared by Sheek, as he opens his verse with “Went and got kilos with that Bad Boy advance. Me and ‘Zino was cool, but I stabbed some of his mans.” Not one to revise history, Ghost also takes aim straight at his current record label host, acknowledging their bumpy past. “We had beef with the Roc, I was ridin’ with the strap. Hov, Sigel, and Free could have all got clapped.” For Styles, time has brought wisdom, though. While he’s still in the hood to this day, he moves with different intentions. When he raps “but now I sell juice, but I used to sell blow,” he is speaking to the juice bars that he and Jadakiss have opened to provide healthier alternatives in inner cities.
Jada closes things out and, like his D-Block brothers, he runs down their history, from his perspective. “Before takin’ rap serious I had that work. Wrote a few songs for Diddy. Yeah, I got jerked. Just a young kid thinkin’ that life ain’t fair, but I was mad cool with Biggie, so I ain’t care,” he opens. Throughout, Jada touches on their “Let The LOX Go” campaign to be released from Bad Boy, the pros and cons of joining Ruff Ryders, and more. Like Sheek, Jada also sums up the deeply personal in one line “Five kids, three baby mothers, what else you need to know?”
The video for the song is a short film featuring all 3 members of the group. As they rap on the roof of a building overlooking the type of mean streets that raised them, a story unfolds that suggests while they’ve escaped the hood, they’re never too far away.