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DAR Hip Hop: The 5 Best Albums From The LOX

By @TrueGodImmortal 





Let's be honest: D-Block/The LOX are more known for their mixtape and guest verse prowess than their actual albums, whether group or solo. However, that doesn't mean they don't have viable projects and good albums, it just means they aren't known for them as much as their mixtapes. Regardless, the quality of music released by Jadakiss, Styles P, and Sheek Louch can't be denied and with that, I wanted to take a look at the top 5 albums released in their collective catalogs. Unfortunately, there are no Sheek Louch solo albums, which might be a topic of discussion for some, but you're welcome to make your own lists. As far as Jadakiss goes, you'll see him once on this list, and that might shock you, but it says more about his individual catalog than anything. Still, figuring out the top 5 albums from a group that has such an extensive catalog between them is no easy task, so let's get right into it.

5. The LOX- Money, Power, Respect (1998)


-I remember when this album dropped, I oddly enough wasn't a big fan of it. It's the style of Bad Boy that rubbed me the wrong way more than anything, but whatever the case may be, I wasn't too fond of the album when it first released. Truth be told, I was young and listening to every freestyle I could find from the streets and The LOX always seemed to bring solid verses and tracks that were better suited for a more street centered label. Not that Bad Boy couldn't be gritty as well, but it was a much more polished sound that at the time, I wasn't too fond of. I've since my changed my tune, as I've grown to appreciate the music and I put this on my list over Jadakiss' second album, which was my initial no. 5 choice, but oddly enough I feel like Money, Power, Respect has aged better than Kiss Of Death. The title track, the Jada and Styles solo records, "The Heist Part 1", and the Biggie dedication "We'll Always Love Big Poppa" are all standouts, and if they trimmed about 7 songs off of this album, it could possibly be a classic. Still, it's an enjoyable introduction to the Yonkers crew.

Top 3 Songs
"Money, Power, Respect"
"All For The Love"
"The Heist Part 1"

4. Styles P- Time Is Money (2006)


-While not as solid as his debut solo, I still found this album to be one of the more enjoyable projects from Styles and his 2nd best album. While most slept on this project, I had a big interest in this from the start. For the production side, Styles utilizes Lil Jon, The Alchemist, Havoc, Hi-Tek, and Scott Storch, which gives him a bit more commercial sound than his first, but for the most part, it works. Tracks like "I'm Black", the Jadakiss featured "How We Live", the Reflection Eternal assisted "Testify", and more, Styles turned in a solid sophomore effort that continued to set the distance between himself and the rest of the group as solo artists.

Top 3 Songs 
"How We Live"
"Testify"
"I'm Black"

3. Jadakiss- Kiss Tha Game Goodbye (2001)


-This is a disappointing album, yet it's also a really good album to me. It's hard to describe it. This isn't the album I expected from Jada on his debut, so I was a bit disappointed with the commercial direction and the lengthy tracklist, but I would be lying if I said I didn't enjoy this album a lot when it first came out. With production from Timbaland, The Neptunes, DJ Premier, The Alchemist, Just Blaze, and of course Swizz, Jada gives us solid verses, exaggerated street tales, hit singles, a ton of great features from names like DMX, Nas, Nate Dogg, Snoop, Carl Thomas, and of course the Ruff Ryders crew. Kiss Tha Game Goodbye is also infamous for giving us the epic Styles and Jada classic "We Gonna Make It", which has made the line "fuck the frail shit" a massive part of hip hop in one way or another. While Kiss Tha Game Goodbye isn't a classic, it's still a very solid listen overall, the tracklist just needs to be trimmed down some.

Top 3 Songs 
"We Gonna Make It"
"None Of Y'all Betta"
"Show Discipline"

2. The LOX- We Are The Streets (2000)


-When The LOX made it to Ruff Ryders, I think many of us suspected that it would be a perfect fit for them duebto the style and brand of music. While I was never the biggest fan of Swizz Beatz and his production, he found a rhythm on the group's second album that he hasn't replicated since IMO. With other top tier producers like Timbaland and DJ Premier contributing as well, The LOX had the perfect sound with a great blend of hard hitting beats and high energy tracks. From songs like "Wild Out,
"Recognize", "Fuck You", the title track, the hit single "Ryde or Die Bitch", and the Jadakiss solo "Blood Pressure", We Are The Streets was exactly the album that the hip hop world wanted from The LOX. In many ways, this was East Coast gangsta rap at its absolute finest.

Top 3 Songs 
"Recognize"
"Fuck You" 
"Wild Out"

1. Styles P- A Gangsta And A Gentlemen (2002)


-If you had any doubt that this was going to be no. 1, well it's time to wake up. Styles makes the best albums in The LOX, and in my opinion, he's the best member of the trio. This album is as close to a classic as I've heard from their entire camp, as Styles mixed every sound we would want to hear from him and made it work for this album almost perfectly. I say almost, because the tracklist is exhaustive and should be cut down, but for the most part, this album works on many levels. Styles lyrically is at his best, and while using a lot of lesser known producers at the time minus Alchemist and Swizz, he crafts a ton of gems through the project. Songs like the Pharoahe Monch featured "The Life", "We Thugs (My Niggas)" with the rest of the LOX, the heartfelt "My Brother", the M.O.P. assisted "Y'all Don't Wanna Fuck",  another LOX banger in "Lick Shots", the mega hit "Good Times", and of course the title track and "Black Magic", Styles hits us with one of the most balanced and best albums to come from the entire Ruff Ryders crew, not just the LOX.

Top 3 Songs 
"Black Magic"
"Good Times"
"Lick Shots"

-True

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