Interview: Sheek Louch (The L.O.X.) talks signing Silverback Gorilla 2 to Tommy Boy and respect for UK rappers’ energy
Sheek Louch is testament to the phrase ‘Winner Stays On’. Ever since Sheek entered the game officially in 1998 when Bad Boy Records released the first LOX project ‘Money Power and Respect’. As well as playing one third of the perhaps the dopest hip hop trio of all time, Sheek has laid clame to a string of solo albums, which started with 2003’s Walk Witt Me’ and with Silverback Gorilla 2, the Yonkers, NY native has linked up with pioneering label Tommy Boy Records.
Ahead of his London show on December 11, BlatantlyBlunt’s Nick spoke to Sheek about his live shows, the album writing process and how the Tommy Boy link up came about!!
SHEEK: Nick, hey what up buddy?
How you doing, nice to meet you.
SHEEK: Nick, what’s going on big dawg, likewise man.
Yeah, pleasure to chat to you man, been a fan for a long time, so it’s an honour to link up
SHEEK: Big up, big up, yeah man we be out there man, we be out there.
I can’t wait for the gig in December that’s going to be fire, can’t believe I haven’t seen you guys live yet. So let’s talk about Silverback Gorilla part 2 before we get into anything else, what does it mean for you to be a part of the Tommy Boy Records legacy?
SHEEK: Yeah, it’s dope man. Especially I met Mr. Silverman man, I was on tour in Australia and New Zealand, me and Ghostface and he was on the tour bus with Ghost talking to him and I happened to ask him so many questions. And his knowledge of hip hop and from all the way back then to now was incredible. He’s seen us rock on stage and everything and I was like “yo! I got to do some work with him, man” So I got back to the States and had a meeting with him and it was a beautiful thing, you know.
Which track are you looking forward to performing live the most?
SHEEK: Honestly I’m looking forward to performing ‘What’s on your mind?’ featuring ASAP, Fabolous and Jada, you know that track is so crazy man, the energy off of that one probably is the one that I can’t wait to bang out. We just got the video for that too.
When it comes to recording and writing the album itself – how long was that process, in total?
SHEEK: Well my last project was something like ten years back, a solo album, and I had put out the Wu Block album with the Wu Tang Clan and I had been touring like crazy all over the place doing shows and leaving the country. So I was writing songs on a tour bus and hotel rooms and then finally I got to really crank down and finish this whole project. But I had a whole direction on the way I wanted to go as far as calling it ‘Silverback Gorilla Part 2’ and that was just basically me saying that I want to be back in that beast mode state of mind. My man Storm from the Netherlands is sending me all kinds of crazy tracks like the one ‘Bang Bang’ with me and Pusha T.
Jadakiss has brought (London rapper) Young Adz into the camp have any other UK artists caught your attention yet?
SHEEK: A whole lot. You know I haven’t worked with that many but every time I’m out there, I don’t know what it is, your energy is so amazing. when I’m there people want to rap to us and sing and all kinds of like incredible stuff, so the talent is incredible out there. I love it all around the board man.
Regarding that New York sound at the minute man I think it’s at the highest point it’s ever been in about five, ten years right now … it’s definitely been in its ups and downs and right now it’s in a really strong place, what do you think it is that has led to that resurgence?
SHEEK: People are getting back to the craft of singing, to the lyrics of their music and understanding they’ve got to be about some content and quality – I think that’s probably why. Because it definitely was not here for a while, it’s been in the South, it’s been in the UK, in London, it’s been all over the place but not in New York.
If I was in Yonkers what would you recommend me to get from Jada and Styles’ chain of juice bars, Juices For Life,?
SHEEK: I would recommend you get ‘Armageddon’ or probably like a ‘Sense of Life’ or like a ‘Go Hard’ it’s like just different ones. Or they got this thing called ‘Around the world’ and it’s like a bark!
For real, for real. I mean you and DMX, debut single, ‘Get at me dog’ was a smash are you still in touch with the dude?
SHEEK: Yeah I seen him not too long ago, we were on tour together and I think we were in LA. He’s cool man, he’s just working and doing things, you know I think he’s in the studio with Swizz (Beatz) right now, you know and everybody is waiting for DMX the dog to come back out.
From, ‘Money power and respect’ to ’We are the streets’, to ‘Walk with me’ to ‘Silverback Gorilla 2’ now, how would you say you have evolved as a rapper?
SHEEK: Honestly I think because you all have seen my growth lyrically and music wise – as far as like my lyrics, my production value, my stage performance, all around man, it’s just amazing. And you can hear it when you get this project right here, you’re going to talk about me and be like, “yo wow, homie stepped it up incredibly”… So you’re going to love it, it’s all about solid growth.