“And yall scared I can tell and i’ma get Bucks like Milwaukee, cuz like Sam I ca’ sell” – Jadakiss (Put Ya Hands Up)
It’s been a good minute since we tapped into one of these comparisons but we have a good one for the truest of hoop/rap fans today.
The Lox, maybe the greatest, if not top 3 greatest rap trio’s to ever bless us with audio crack (never forget Jada cooked it on his George Foreman Grill). From their inception into the game with Bad Boy in 98 with Money, Power, & Respect (Jada, Styles, and Sheek) the Yonkers trio showed that they’d be a force to be reckoned with. With a little flashiness, a lot of grit, and many street tales, their short stint together left a mark on many of our ears and iTunes .
As great as MPR was, the Lox put on for Y.O. even more in 2000 when they bounced on Puff “NO MORE SHINY SUITS, NONE OF THAT S***” (Breathe Easy) and Bad Boy Records and joined forces with probably the biggest record label in the game at the time in Ruff Ryders. The same grit and grimy bars that they left on MPR only got better, and they made some mainstream noise with “Wild Out” and “Ride or Die B****”.
Sadly the Lox as a group haven’t given us an album since triple oh, but what has kept them relevant has been the individual talent(s) that they possess. From both a solo and group standpoint Styles has been the most low key yet consistent of the group, as he may be the only one from the three who can still give us memorable 16’s since 2010. Jada was the star off jump “You know Kiss, stocky, bald head light brown, ice down and my roll look like Nik’Town”. He also put out arguably the best solo album of the three with Kiss of Death. Definitely the most commercially successful of the three. Sheek was like the lighting on the candles, he made them complete, his solo career does include albums but not as much success commercially as the other two.
Now think back to 98 when a young Walter Ray and “Big Dog” Glenn Robinson got their third piece in 2 time NBA champ Sam Cassell. That “Big Three” was one of the first big 3’s I remember hearing about, nowadays they run rampant through the league. From 98-02 the trio led Milwaukee to 5 NBA Playoff births including a Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in 01. Just as the Lox as a trio didn’t give us much besides two good albums in a 3 year span and a couple of good features, the Bucks Big Three kind of left us hanging when Glenn left in 02.
Digging a little deeper into the comparison you see the similarities that exist between the rappers and ballers. Of course the Lox started with Jadakiss, the Bucks trio started and ended with Sam Cassell. At the time Sam may have or have not been the best player on the team but he was the unquestioned leader, the vet, in the same breath Jada has and will always be the first name you mention when you reference the Lox Sam had his best years as a Buck, even though Jada did do some good solo work, his best work was showcased on the groups 2 albums.
Styles as mentioned above has been the low key killer “, might have been the best rapper in the Lox then and definitely the better of the 3 today. Ray Allen was an assassin back then, the same sweet jumper, more athletic takes to the basket, strong dunks, and he even had a fade to match. Just as Styles still will give us a great 16 today, Ray Ray is still a deadly shooter. As Ray had the most variation to his game so has Styles on the microphone “Wit no album we network more than them, these cats didn’t think that The Lox could do it, got a hundred different Styles that a guide you through it I’m the Ghost of this s***, I provide you fluid” (Not To Be F’d With) . His music wasn’t wholly based on (crack, weed, Yonkers, and prison) as Jada and Sheek’s were. You can argue that Styles at his very best came after the Lox ventured off into solo careers with Time is Money just as Ray reached his personal peak after leaving Milwaukee for Seattle and then Boston.
Sheek Luciano, Donny G, or whatever he goes by today he’s the Big Dog of The Lox “230, 6’2″ me bust for you, that’s like a cat versus a pitpull” (Money Power Respect). Glenn Robinson was a solid pro/all star in the height of his career which was all with Milwaukee. Sheek don’t really have that many memorable verses, I really don’t recall what Big Dog did on the court but he always seemed to avg 20 and 8 consistently. Yea some nights Glenn would be the leading scorer, yea on like 2 songs Sheek has the best verse out of the three so this matchup seems perfect.
Quietly, the Bucks Big Three was one of the best trio’s to watch over the past 15 years in the league. No boring big men, no defense, just three scorers trying to light it up every night.
Salute the Bucks and Lox