Sheek Louch talks Canadian crack, Wu-Block, The Lox & more [Interview]
Yonkers, NY – Sometimes it seems like rap groups are made to be broken up. With the exception of a few select crews who’ve maintained their ties and continue to work together, the majority of rap crews fall apart. Wu-Tang Clan and The Lox/D-Block are rarities. Both bringing unflinching lyricism and street perspectives to the table, crew head honchos Ghostface and Sheek Louch knocked heads recently to create Wu-Block.
Since the project got underway, they’ve toured Canada together twice. In an exclusive conversation with HipHopCanada’s Senior Contributor Jonathon “Bizz” Brown, Sheek Louch discusses the early days of The Lox, Puff Daddy, Wu-Block, Peter Jackson and seeing crack fiends in Canada.
Sheek Louch: Q&A
Interview conducted by Jonathon “Bizz” Brown for HipHopCanada
HipHopCanada: Can you remember the moment when you were in the streets and you made that mental shift to say, “I’m going to put one foot into this music and see what happens.”
Sheek Louch: I’ma speak for me and Jadakiss and Styles. We all went to college and everything but at the time we went to a community college. At the time, my moms is paying for college but I was going there and cutting class like an idiot. Even though she’s paying for it, I’m skipping school like I’m doing something slick. I told my moms give me one more try at this music. I told Kiss and Styles we gonna try this and go hard one more time. We was at a point where we was hot, but we needed to take it to the next level and try this shit one more time. I told my mom I ain’t gonna waste her money no more and I’ma go hard at school if this music shit don’t work. And God blessed us and it happened when Mary J. Blige brought us to Puff and that happened.
And when I knew it was real was when Mary brought us in Puff’s office at Bad Boy at the time. And then he wanted to do the deal. We was all happy but the stamp was when we walked in and seen B.I.G. sitting over there in the studio and I was like, “Aight, we here, we ready.”
HipHopCanada: There must’ve been times even after that moment when you all had temptations to go back to whatever you guys were up to in the streets.
Sheek Louch: After a while we couldn’t do that no more. Puff had a way of getting your face out there real fast and blowing you up. We had this song and he had us getting on songs with Big and freestyles at the station and all that so we couldn’t really go into them buildings. We could go to hang out, but we couldn’t go and do the things we were doing before because we were in videos and cameos and shit was changing in front of us. Even though we wanted to, we had to tell our homies, “that’s you, rock on. I can’t even do it no more.”
Things changed drastically from those cameos and just the hype of being with those guys. When we got in the game, Big, Craig Mack, Total, Puff, they was like Jordan and all them.
HipHopCanada: Then there was a limbo period of time where it wasn’t clear what was going to happen with the Lox. Did you have doubts about where things were going to go? Did you look backwards and think, “well maybe this isn’t going to continue for us.”
Sheek Louch: Definitely. When we had the “Let The Lox Go” campaign with Puff and all that we were going through, at the time our managers were D & Y from Ruff Ryders. They were just managers at the time. So we left Puff with no real plan. We was like damn man that whole shit there was beautiful, but not really when it comes down to the shit we was doing like writing songs for people and not getting paid, the publishing and all that. We left and its like it was written and it was timing that these two dudes starting this record company called Ruff Ryders. And that turned into this whole other empire. The chips were falling. It was crazy that we put this guy on one of our records called “Money, Power & Respect” named DMX and that helped blow a lot of stuff up too.
HipHopCanada: And you guys moved from a powerhouse that was Bad Boy to creating a new powerhouse that was Ruff Ryders.
Sheek Louch: Hell yeah. Yeah man. And then they wanted to hear what we had to say next with “We Are The Streets” and are we going to talk about Puff all day? And then there’s this guy DMX and then there’s Eve and it just got crazy. The timing of that period was amazing.
HipHopCanada: Fast forward to 2013 and something a little more local, you recently shot a video with Peter Jackson.
Sheek Louch: Yeah Peter Jackson, he’s grinding man. Peter goes so hard. He goes mad hard man. He’s a worker. I salute him man. He does the promotion and all that other stuff too so he has like five hats on man.
HipHopCanada: And he’s been doing it a long time too. I’ve traveled on a few tours with him and he used to come to my radio show and do show promo there. How did you two connect?
Sheek Louch: We have a song with all three of us (The Lox) and him on it (“Can’t Get Enough”) it’s like a chick record. He reached out to Ice Pick Jackson that runs with Jadakiss and said he wanted to get Sheek on a song. He knew I was coming out to Canada with Ghost the first time we came out there and he sent me the beat and wanted to get in the studio immediately. And once we met, it wasn’t like I did the verse one time and that was it. We clicked on some cool shit. He was showing me he’d been touring and doing that shit for a long time. He’s showing me flyers and shit and telling me who he’s been on the road with.
HipHopCanada: Did you learn anything about Ghostface during the recording process for the Wu-Block Album?
Sheek Louch: Hell yeah. First of all, he’s an ill brother. I was laughing my ass off in a lot of studio sessions and he ain’t even trying to be funny. The shit that’s coming out of his mouth is just him and you gotta love it.
He’s real passionate about it, with his stories and he wants everything to be the right way. And if the beat ain’t right he just wants it done over and shit like that. His work ethic is incredible in that studio. He’ll be like, “What you think about this?” And, “raise this up, drop that.” He’s a perfectionist.
Download the Wu-Block album on iTunes
HipHopCanada: Did you pick up any of the Wu-Tang talk?
Sheek Louch: That’s the part I be laughing at. I hear him in there bugging out and shit like, “I put the ingredients over here. Gotta add some pepper and salt.” That’s how they do and it’s hilarious.
HipHopCanada: So you’ve been to Canada several times now, what surprised you about Canada or Canadians?
Sheek Louch: For one I didn’t know it was so big. When I did the tour with Ghost the first time, I didn’t know. When you back here in New York, you just know Toronto. You know the basics I guess, but we went all the way to the west coast and you name a spot and I’ve been there. I was like this place is mad big. Not to mention that there’s a lot of cities. I didn’t know it was so big, for one.
And number two was I didn’t know hip-hop was so strong out there. I was in places a little lame. I mean the club might not have been a House of Blues or a Summer Jam stage, but the 400 people that were there knew every fuckin’ lyric. And not only the lyrics to your single, they knew the other shit.
You know what I learned too? Y’all got fiends out there man! I was in places and niggas is crack heads, dope fiends, everything! I said, “Oh shit! Somebody still got crack out here?” I seen alleyways of zombies out there and thought “Somebody is making a lot of money out here.” There’s fuckin fiends out there man. And somebody got crack, like back in the day crack. I was in Vancouver I was like, “Oh shit, it’s like Night of the Living Dead out here.” Zombies, man.
HipHopCanada: Do you remember the first time you met Ghostface?
Sheek Louch: Yep. I was with Puff and I remember Ghost had his shoes off and shit, his wallys. He was walking around that studio like he owned it and me and Styles came in. And we grew up listening to them. We came in and he was like Uncle Ghost when we met him. He was in the studio laying around talking to Puff and then he went and laid his verse. Then he came back out of the booth and laid right back down. The shit he was saying was crazy with the language and all that. And he was always original, never trying to be a certain way.
HipHopCanada’s KassKills interviewing Sheek in Dec. 2011
HipHopCanada: When are we getting a Lox album?
Sheek Louch: Right now, son. We got Khaled and Swizz executive producing it. We’re working. We got realistically like 10 bangers done. We still working, but they stepped up and said they want to executive produce it so we’ll see man.
HipHopCanada: If you could change any law, what would you change?
Sheek Louch: One of mine would be the time that they give certain first offenders. I got a lot of homeboys that got hit with a lot of jail time and it’s their first time ever getting in trouble. That’s a little off. That got nothing to do with music but… the time that they give certain first offenders, you know I’m not saying smack them on the wrist but you know, you’re not supposed to give people 20 years for their first time selling drugs, you know?
I would make it extra hard right now – I know I talk a lot of shit in my lyrics – but I would make it extra hard for people to get their guns. I would make the gun law a little stricter.
I got another one. Everybody at a certain age gotta take their driving test over. Motherfuckers can’t drive no more and they too old and they shouldn’t even be driving the fuckin’ car. They fuckin’ up traffic and everything. And I think at a certain age you gotta take your eye exam over and your driving test over. No exceptions.
Interview conducted by Jonathon “Bizz” Brown for HipHopCanada
Over the years, HipHopCanada has had the pleasure of connecting with The Lox/D-Block for exclusive interviews/stories on numerous occasions. Here are some of the other pieces we’ve published previously:
By Team Heartbreak (KassKills & Amalia Judith) for HipHopCanada | WATCH IT
By KassKills for HipHopCanada | READ IT
By Jesse Plunkett for HipHopCanada | READ IT
By Tara Muldoon for HipHopCanada | READ IT