The Lost Boyz launch their own label, drop a new CD and talk about those other cats from Queens.

The Lost Boyz are celebrating their 10-year anniversary in the hip-hop game. With distribution through their own company, Legal Drug Money Records/Nevarre, the Boyz are taking business matters into their own hands. HHDX talked with them last week at Quad Studios in midtown Manhattan while they played tracks from their latest release, Forever to find out how the Boyz keep it fun, who’s got next and what’s up with those other cats from Queens.

What’s going on?
Cheeks: Just trying that business thing real hard. I’m really an artist at heart. I usually have people taking care of my shit. Right now, we went through a lot of trusting people.
Lou: And it all went wrong.
Cheeks: And putting our heart into people, so now we here 10 years later. Lost Boyz doing it. You know we lost Freaky Tah to an incident in ’99. Spigg Nice is doing a lil vacation time. It’s me and my man representin’ this Lost Boyz joint. Lost Boyz forever.

It seems like many artists are becoming business people too these days.
Cheeks: It feels good. Now when we sell some thing-things, somebody might want to share some bread. Right now we comfortable with what we doing. Our family eating. We putting clothes on peoples’ backs. Right now we working. So we good. We still working and doing shows. Even at lil holes in the wall. Wherever. Lost Boyz always been the realest team out there.

When you perform, do you still do the classics?
Cheeks: No doubt.
Lou: When we do those songs, we go back in time. When we were happy. It was fun at one time. That circle we had was tight. We’re going to run this label hard. We going to do what we gonna do and put these artists on after us.

In the past ten years, what are some of your best memories?
Cheeks: The “Love, Peave & Nappiness” video in Jamaica. Smoking trees out of carrots. Word up. We was living in some village.
Lou: Going to London too. Japan too. Just traveling abroad. People can’t even communicate with us but they know all the words. Music is the communication.

After all this time, and plus with the industry being as harsh as it is, how do you keep it fun?
Cheeks: Keeping it bubbly. Keeping it real. When we came in the game, we came in like we still are. You got to take care of the real world. Music is our world. We live hip-hop. Hip-hop is us, but you got to pay bills. It’s different. You got to keep it fun. I keep it fun. Through the ups and downs we keep it bouncing. Shit is real.

Who are some of the other artists on your label?
Cheeks: We got some artists. Young dudes. It’s time for us to see them do it. It’s not dudes that just run with us. They got talent. Slum Lords. Garcia Brothers. Baby Doll is from “Put It In Your Mouth” with Akinele. Soul For Real who were with MCA/Universal. Madmen. A bunch of cats. We gonna put out good music and build this family.

You have always repped Queens. It seems nowadays Queens is getting a lot more attention.
Lou: All those people we mentioned are from Queens. There’s always been a lot of attention. Yea, you say this guy’s from Queens. We from Queens and we do what we do. We don’t get into all that nonsense those other cats are doing. We don’t rock the way they rock. Everybody’s beefing with somebody. We ain’t beefing with nobody. That’s the difference between us and other cats from Queens.

How do you feel about hip-hop today?
Cheeks: The art is not really lyrically there are only a few spitting lyrics. Right now it’s like any music is good. Whatever they put on the radio is a hit. That’s what it is right now. Really if they play that shit everyday on the radio, they feed you that, you get used to it so you think it’s hot. It’s changed for good and bad. There are more opportunities for cats from rapping getting involved with movies and clothing lines. That’s what’s beautiful about it, but you also got, what ain’t beautiful, motherfucker throw on a throwback and a fitted and he’s hood. He’ll sell over what he got goin’ on. Frontin’. It’s a lot of things. We just here to do us. This game is crazy. We just going to make good music. Pop it off. That’s how the game changed to me. Niggas play some bullshit these days instead of diggin deep into a nigga’s album. That’s how I feel.