Album Review | The LOX – Living Off Xperience

This album was released on August 28th this year. You know, for a legendary rap trio, this album has gotten a surprising lack of coverage. I feel like I haven’t seen a single other person talking about it. Maybe I’m just not paying attention, but it doesn’t feel like people were discussing it very much. I don’t know what that’s about. Maybe that’s a bad sign, but I actually think I’m gonna like this album because all the singles I heard were pretty enjoyable. Although to be fair, that recent album from Jadakiss was a dud, and Sheek Louch’s Beast Mode, Vol. 3 EP was pretty rough too. I liked Styles P’s latest album, but even that wasn’t his best work. I’m gonna try to remain optimistic though. I know there’ll at least be some songs that I fuck with if the overall project ends up being disappointing.

This shit really isn’t that good, but I’ll talk about the tracks I did like before getting into my critiques later on in the review. The album opens up with a pretty dope single called Gave It to ‘Em, which I wrote about earlier in the year.

I really like this beat; it definitely sounds like something I’d hear on a Styles P album. I can’t see Jadakiss choosing something like this. Anyway, I really liked the opening verse from Styles, and Jada sounds great on the hook. I actually think Sheek Louch killed this shit to be honest. He definitely had my favorite verse.

Big man with the muscles acting hard, put the razor to ’em
Silverback, brains on the wall, I gorilla glue ’em
Cross anyone of my niggas, I don’t care how you do ’em
Send his cold body bag home, I don’t care how you flew ’em
Brother, cousin, used to work with ’em, I don’t care how you knew ’em
Send my main bitch to go fuck ’em, I don’t care how she screw ’em
Plant based, vegan, or beef, I don’t care how you chew ’em
LOX got too many fuckin’ hits, it’s hard to brew 'em

The closing verse from Jada was pretty good too, although I kinda wish he switched his rhyme scheme up because it was a bit uneventful coming after Louch. He still did his thing though; he sounded very good. This has me pretty excited for the upcoming album, so I hope to hear more about that sooner rather than later.

I don’t think it’s the best choice for an opening song, but I did enjoy it a lot. It’s dope. The next highlight for me is another single that I’ve already written about called ‘Bout Shit featuring DMX.

I think this is my least favorite single so far, but I do still like it, so I actually think I’m gonna end up enjoying the project. I really like Scram Jones’ production here, and the opening verse from Styles P was cool. It’s by no means one of his best performances, but I enjoyed it. I’m actually not really crazy about the hook from DMX to be honest. He sounds like an old ass motherfucker here. I know it’s because he technically is an old ass dude, but still. You can tell he’s not really been at it for a minute. He sounds a little washed up. His actual verse is thankfully not bad though.

Think something funny? Y'all keep laughing
Nigga already dead, I'ma keep stabbing
Been a loose cannon, been putting work in
Name ringing bells from School Street to Warburton
Niggas talk about battle, but they ain't battle dog
My rap sheet is longer than niggas catalogues
Fuck you battle for? You know you ain't winning
X been the grim reaper since the beginning

The closing quatrain was kinda wack to me since he rhymed “What the fuck is you doing?” with itself, but overall I enjoyed his performance here. I actually thought Sheek Louch had one of the best verses on the song to be honest. He kinda killed this shit.

Keep track of me, watch the back of me
I pop up more than my son's acne
Cut 'em into pieces, bodies in the freezers
I don't drink lean, so I don't be catchin' seizures
With the cheese I'm like Lil' Caesars
Fuck your debit card, and your lil' visas

He definitely had my favorite performance. Jadakiss did his thing at the end, but, much like Styles P, I definitely wouldn’t say it was one of his finest verses. Again, this is my least favorite single out of everything they’ve dropped, but it’s obviously still pretty good. Check it out and let me know how you feel about it.

Track 6 is a major highlight entitled Story. As the title indicates, it’s obviously a storytelling song in which Styles P gets kidnapped and the other two MCs in the group have to save his ass. It sounds kinda corny on paper I guess, and the way the story ends is a little lame to me, but I think they performed really well. I really don’t know who had the best verse to be honest. I think this song is perhaps their best display of chemistry on the entire project. The way Sheek’s verse started was kinda funny to me.

Came in the house took off my shoes
Put my feet up, grab the remote, turn on the news
Cheese doodles, ramen noodles, toaster strudels
I'm high! Nigga 'bout to make pancakes

It reminds me of that song called Let’s Get It in which he brags about playing his X-Box One. I don’t know why, but hearing him brag about doing the same shit that every other average person does is just funny to me. The beat from Nottz is pretty cool, although it admittedly does sound pretty goddamn dated. It sounds like something that could’ve been on Ready to Die, which obviously isn’t a huge issue for me. I just think it’s kind of interesting. The song is actually really awesome though. The storytelling ability they flexed on this track was really impressive, and I feel like they should probably do this kinda shit more often. It’s dope as hell to me. The next major highlight for me is called Think of the Lox, and it features Westside Gunn & Benny the Butcher. Honestly, this probably would’ve been my favorite track if it wasn’t so long. I think Westside Gunn’s hook is actually really dope, but he probably should’ve just performed it at the very beginning and end of the song instead of between each verse. It just gets really old by the time the song ends. Everything else about the song is dope though. I really like the production from Large Professor, who I feel like I haven’t seen a placement from in a long ass time. It’s the hardest, grittiest instrumental on the album. The opening verse from Styles is fire too.

I'm a pothead, the cool homie to vibe with
Violate, you oughta bring a homie to die with
I'll blow an eighth, think of steaks that I could buy in
Cop an estate, think of weight that I could fly in
Can you hear me now like Verizon
King of New York, bang your head right on the hydrant
Pops always told me to think out the box
So when you think about the best, nigga, think of The Lox

Sheek Louch slaughtered this shit too though. In fact, I might actually like his verse more than that of Styles. I don’t know. I can’t decide. It’s close.

Who fuckin' with us? I only use a fifth of my brain
And I'm still better than them niggas tryna be Wayne
I move the 'caine like a blind man
I'm caked out without a million+ Soundscan
My skin lookin' like I found a youth fountain, and jumped in it
Got the red Louis duffle with the fuckin' pump in it

He has multiple lines about new rappers trying to bite Wayne’s style, which I thought was interesting. He’s not exactly wrong, but it was just kinda funny to me that he mentioned it more than once. The third verse is performed by Benny, and I think he did a pretty good job. I don’t really think he stole the show or anything, but that line about periods was funny to me.

Ridin' through them blocks in all foreigns like a baby carriers
Had to run it up or these niggas won't take me serious
Real life street shit, niggas know how I carry it
She can't sit on this leather interior on her period

The final verse is handled by Jadakiss, who did a pretty great job. His flow was nice as hell.

First we gon' beat the odds then we even it up
No ice on, rabbit ears, leavin' 'em stuck
Ask me, they was better off leavin' 'em tucked
There's four pipes on everything, even on trucks
In the foreign listenin' to Lauryn
The joint about Zion, these niggas is lyin'
Put hands on 'em and the sneak dissin'll stop
So when you thinkin' of the best, nigga, think of The LOX

Again, the song probably didn’t need to be nearly five minutes, but that’s just a nitpick. I think it’s dope as hell overall. It’s followed by another good song called My America. I kinda have the same issue with this track that I had with the preceding song. This track really did not need to be over 6 minutes. They should’ve just relegated the sung vocals from Oswin Benjamin to the intro and outro, but instead he sings the hook between every single verse. The singing itself is very good to me though, and I really appreciated the vulnerability they all exhibited on this song. I actually think this could’ve been the best song if it was just more streamlined. The hook is super longwinded, and Oswin performs it four times. It’s really dope though.

My auntie ain't make it
Malt liquor and syringes on the pavement
Oh, goddam, I'm down on my luck
Can you send one up for me?
See my clothes don't fit likе they used to
My mama don't call like shе used to
I'm a shadow of the person that I used to be

I really like the beat here too. The opening verse from Sheek doesn’t start until after about 75 seconds. It’s a great verse though. I think his syntax was a little flawed at points, like when he referred to a black woman who had been shot to death as a “bitch,” but aside from that the verse was very nice.

They only stick around when you buzzin'
That's the problem with The LOX
I remember one time when we wasn't
I'm hip hop like the Juice crew
But my mama don't call like she used to
Bunch of phony niggas, hard to see who's who
Just parties; you ain't around when the bills due
All for the 'gram, hope social media kills you, nigga

I feel like Styles P in particular always comes off as a super cool, easygoing dude, so to hear him get more emotional here was kind of refreshing to be honest. It was very strange to imagine Styles P crying.

Oh God, I'm tired, so lift the trauma up
Hold my son and my wife and call my mama up
I get high to not cry and frown a lot
I done cried enough tears to drown the block
All I know is keep faith in the man above
I feel pain so I spread the joy and spread the love

Jadakiss probably had my least favorite verse to be completely honest, but it’s not like he was wack or anything. It was still a very good verse. It just didn’t stand out to me as much as the others. Overall, I think the song is really dope. My only real gripe is the length, which in all honesty isn’t really that big of a deal. I fuck with the song. The only other track that I like is the closing song, Loyalty & Love.

I believe this was released as the very first single from the album, but I didn’t write about it when it dropped. It’s pretty good though. I think the beat from Smiley’s People & Jimmy Dukes is pretty nice. The hook is nothing special, but it serves its purpose well enough, and I think the opening verse from Styles is cool. Sheek’s verse was solid as well. I think the Mandela line was kinda funny. Jadakiss easily had the best verse in my opinion. It was actually pretty similar to Sheek Louch’s verse on My America, just in terms of the content.

All you do is look at his 'Gram to see how he movin'
When’s the last time you called him to see how he doin'?
They just wanna catch it, they ain't really for us
I had enough, I'm tired of supporting the supporters
Shoe is on the other foot, all I hear is crickets
They don't even give a fuck, all they want is tickets
Backstage passes, dark shade glasses
When nothing's going on, niggas walk straight passed us

Overall, this track definitely isn’t a favorite of mine, but I think it works pretty well as a closing song. It’s a good track. I don’t really like anything else on this project though unfortunately. Everything else ranges from decent to wack af. The second song on the album is called Move, and I don’t think it’s bad. It’s just not particularly good to me. I was disappointed by the production from Scott Storch & Avedon, which I found to be pretty bland and generic. I also think the hook from Styles P is kinda trash. It’s annoying as hell to me. The actual verses on this song are solid though. I mean, Styles & Sheek weren’t anything special to be honest, but I actually really like what Jada did here.

You know when I get on a song I enhance it
Monopoly with real money, I'ma chance it
Might lease the Lambo truck or finance it
Scared to death your whole life, you die frantic
Plus I'm way smarter than niggas, that's my advantage
Hudson in the crack spot was my Atlantis
Young boys takin' them penitentiary chances
We was gonna make it no matter what the advance is

His flow was really nice. Sheek Louch had another line about Lil Wayne clones on this song.

Too many new generation rappers thinkin' they Wayne
Like you came up with your own style, that shit is insane

Overall, I think it’s just okay. The production left a little to be desired, and I kinda hated the hook, but the verses are cool. It’s just not good enough to make me wanna come back to it. The fourth song on the album is called Testify. This one is definitely a lot worse than Move, but I still don’t know if I would say it’s flat out wack. There are aspects of it that I like. I really like the production from Vinny Idol. It’s just that the sung hook by Sheek Louch is really goddamn bad. It sounds like some shit that would’ve been on his Beast Mode, Vol. 3 project from last year. The opening verse from Styles was cool, but it felt really short to me for whatever reason. On the other hand, the hook lasts way too long. Maybe if it was performed by a competent singer I’d like it more, but I don’t know. Once again, I think Jadakiss had the best verse, but none of them were amazing or anything. I really like the production, and the verses were cool, but the hook just made this track unenjoyable to me. I think it’s mediocre overall. It’s followed by a major dud called Miss You, which features T-Pain. I probably shouldn’t speak for everyone else, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that this isn’t what fans want from the LOX. I generally approve of T-Pain, but this hook is not good at all. It’s just annoying. I’m not really into this beat from Papamitrou either. It sounds like something Fabolous would rap over. It reminds me of that wack ass song that Joe Budden did with him and Tory Lanez on his last album, but that’s neither here nor there. The opening verse from Sheek Louch wasn’t bad, and I actually think Styles killed this shit to be honest. In fact, I wouldn’t even say that they don’t fit over this production. They sound very comfortable here. This just isn’t the kinda shit I like from them. I don’t have any issues with the rapping on this song. I just don’t like the production or the hook at all. I think this shit is terrible to be honest. It just sounds really bad to me. The next track that I really hated is called Do to Me, and it features Jeremih. As soon as I saw the feature I knew I wasn’t gonna be into this track. I honestly think Jeremih has a pretty decent voice. I just don’t think he uses it well. His songs are never good to me. His performance on this song in particular was especially bad. For whatever reason, he sounds a lot like Future here. I don’t know what the fuck that’s about. This is easily one of the worst songs on the album. I hate this one even more than the T-Pain collab. I don’t like the fluffy beat from The Rascals and Scott Storch at all, and the content doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t think I’m ever gonna wanna hear a love song from the LOX. I mean, I’m sure they might be able to pull it off at some point, but they’re much more likely to fail than succeed. This shit is just corny to me. I really hate the melodic delivery they used, and the redundant rhyme scheme they all shared got old real quick. The song is wack af to me. It’s followed by Come Back, which is honestly a decent song. I really like the Statik Selektah production, aside from that annoying “WONTCHA COME BACK??” vocal sample. The opening verse from Styles P was cool too. I actually think Jada’s performance was great as well. I just really didn’t care for Sheek Louch’s performance at all. I think his hook here is annoying as shit, and his verse was relatively weak to me. Again, I don’t think the song is trash or anything, but I didn’t enjoy it enough to listen to it again in the future. I think Net Worth had a lot of potential to be dope, but they just kinda missed the mark. The beat from Julio Mejia is super skeletal, but it’s the kinda instrumental that would work really well if they were spazzing over it. It’s just some nice hard hitting drums with this weird sound effect in the background. They just weren’t rapping very well over it unfortunately. Their flows and delivery were just really weak and annoying. It’s pretty disappointing. It sounds like they probably had fun recording it, but it really doesn’t seem like they put that much effort into it. It’s barely over two minutes in length, so it doesn’t leave much of an impression. I feel like they could’ve left it on the cutting room floor. I wouldn’t exactly say it’s wack, but it’s mediocre to me. It’s followed by one of the worst songs on the album, Dirty Dirty. The last thing I wanted to hear from these guys was a shitty attempt at Dancehall. I think the melody of the beat from Duane DaRock & Taka is kinda catchy, but aside from that… No. Absolutely not. I’m not feelin’ that Clay Dub dude at all either. I feel like I don’t even have to explain why I hate this song so much. I feel like it should be understandable why a Dancehall song from The LOX doesn’t work. This shit is wack af. The penulitmate track is called Commitment. It features a fluffy sung hook from Dyce Payne, and some soft, very commercial-sounding production from Eugen Boger. As you may have guessed from the title, it’s another love song. It’s bad. It just feels so formulaic. It reminds me of that super commercial, poppy, trendy love song that Meek Mill did with Nicki Minaj on Dreams Worth More Than Money. I think that’s what that album was called. I didn’t review that shit, but it was really bad. So yeah, that’s the album. I know I didn’t say much about those last couple songs, but there’s really not much to explain. They’re just very formulaic attempts at pleasing a mainstream audience. I’m not fuckin’ with ’em.

Honestly, I wasn’t expecting this album to be great or anything, but this is actually worse than I thought it’d be. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad album but I thought I would enjoy at least half of the songs. It’s disappointing that I only got three new songs that weren’t already out as singles. I just feel like they played it really safe and gave us a very focus-grouped, formulaic album. There are very few moments that feel creative or original. I really hope their next project isn’t as safe as this. I don’t know why they always try to go for that mainstream sound because it’s clear that they aren’t gonna be on the same level as the Migos, and I really don’t think anyone wants that from them. I actually think this project suffers from a lot of the same issues that made Jadakiss’ latest solo record so weak. A lot of the production choices and features they picked are just way too safe and clean. I want some hard shit from The LOX. It’d be cool to hear them over Alchemist or Daringer beats. I don’t want shit like Commitment though. Again, I can’t speak for their entire fanbase, but I certainly know that that’s exactly the kinda shit I don’t want from these guys. I think if you’re a fan this album is worth skimming because there are some highlights peppered in there. This would be a terrible entry point for new listeners though, and I honestly think this is the worst full length album they’ve released as a group. It’s mediocre to me.



Watch the video below for more thoughts on this album.

Grade: C-

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