Walk before you run. While this wisdom is usually in regards to learning something new, it has a different meaning for The LOX. Members Jadakiss, Sheek Louch and Styles P haven’t released a retail album since 2000. But as they prepare We Are The Streets 2, it seems as if dropping an EP first would be an ideal way to brush off the dust.
Fans of The LOX likely won’t be disappointed. For one, it’s a four-song EP that is exceptionally polished and mastered, so there isn’t much to overanalyze. But each emcee also has their moment in the sun. On the opening track, “Faded” (featuring Tyler Woods), Sheek Louch goes all in: “Ayo, I was young, I was gettin’ my hair braided / Momma pullin’ on my scalp, like God damn I hate it / Now I’m sittin’ in the coupe like, god damn I made it / I ain’t seen you in my life, how we God damn related? / That’s why I get faded / No matter if I spit the hottest shit I’m underrated.” Rhymes like these are commonplace on The Trinity. The bars are poignant and eloquently structured. Throughout their respective careers, all three members of The LOX have stayed consistent with their music, and this EP features nothing out of the ordinary.
That very consistency, however, is a catch-22. While they don’t have to stray too far from their formula, the trio does very little to capture a “Wow” factor on The Trinity. Each song is easy to categorize: getting fucked up (“Faded”), street record (“Talk About It”), about the ladies (“Love Me or Leave Me Alone”) and finally, the posse cut (“Three Kings”). Only “Three Kings” stands out as a classic LOX cut, though their interpretation of the 1992 Brand Nubian cut “Love Me or Leave Me Alone” will surely be a welcoming idea for fans of Golden Era Hip Hop. If nothing else, the lyrical walk down memory lane shows Lord Jamar in a more flattering light than some of his recent comments.
The EP as a whole also lacks the inter-verse group dynamic. For instance, the classic Noreaga track “Banned From TV” features Jadakiss and Styles P finishing each other’s lines with intersecting verses. Displays of chemistry like that are nowhere to be found on The Trinity. Instead, it’s just basic verse-for-verse rhyming. The LOX have proven that they can make good music in any decade, but on this EP their attempts to mold their sound into a more contemporary one, while still staying true to themselves, are noticeable.
As stated before, LOX fans should be satisfied with The Trinity. It serves as a useful warm-up course for We Are The Streets 2, and is solid at best, considering it’s their first release in 13 years.