Interviews

Published on October 11th, 2019 | by Percy Crawford

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Sheek Louch Explains How He’s Getting Better With Time, Preparing to Drop, “Gorillaween” This Month!

Sheek Louch continues to feed the streets with his, “Beast Mode” series. He also plans on dropping, “GorillaWeen” and a, L.O.X. album soon!

In 1994, a trio from Yonkers formed a group called, “Bomb Squad.” The group consisted of, Jadakiss, Styles P and Sheek Louch. They would later sign with Sean Combs, “Bad Boy” label and change their name to, The Lox. In 1998 the group dropped their debut album, “Money, Power & Respect,” which would produce the hit track, “Money, Power & Respect,” as well as a tribute to the, Notorious Big titled, “We’ll Always Love Big Poppa.” Their second album, “We Are The Streets” would be released after the group left, Bad Boy and joined The Ruff Ryders. The muscle of the group, Sheek Louch has enjoyed success within the group as well as within his solo career. Seemingly getting better with time, Louch caught the eye of west coast Loc, Glasses Malone who listed, Sheek as an artist who got better with age. Sheek credits his improvements on becoming creative from a solo artist perspective as opposed to always focusing on group work. It’s paid dividends, his “Beast Mode” series which is up to Volume 3 has captured the ear of the streets. Sheek plans to continue to feed the streets with “Beast Mode’s” and keep the series going as he is already working on part four.

I caught up with the rap legend to discuss, “Beast Mode 3,” his upcoming teaser, “GorillaWeen,” a future L.O.X. album and much more!

What’s good, big man?

Sheek Louch: I’m good, man. I’m just out here working. Getting it in.

You are definitely provided us with a lot of music to vibe to. I like that, that hunger is there. Is it therapeutic for you at this point?

Sheek Louch: It really is, man. being in the studio and making music is my safe haven. You know what, I’m starting to feel like the gym is that too.

I see you, man. I’m waiting for you to get out of shape, so I don’t have to keep up.

Sheek Louch: (Laughing), yeah man. I like getting in the gym and getting it in. That’s really starting to become another place that is like a safe haven for me. I gotta stay right.

I talked to my Loc, Glasses Malone and it was off record. We were just chopping it up. And I asked him a question, which rapper would you say got worse as they got older and which would you say got better. I won’t reveal who he said got worse, but without hesitation, he said you got better and are probably on top of your game more than anyone right now.

Sheek Louch: That’s dope. You know why though, before it was kind of just, Styles and Jada and I wasn’t even really trying for that vibe. I was just cool with, L.O.X. whatever-whatever. I just started going ham, man and just getting crazy creative and trying out new shit and doing these chick records and these thug records, and just blending shit up. People seem to be loving it, man. Giving them these, “Beast Mode’s” and just feeding the street; ya know. It feels good to hear that though. I gotta give it up to my brother’s. To hear them rapping like that and for me to be like, “Fuck that. I gotta murder them two. I gotta kill em on tracks.” It sharpens your sword you know what I mean.

No doubt. I figured it had to be a constant competition with three talented brothers in the booth collectively putting tracks down.

Sheek Louch: In a great way. All the time. I guarantee they’ll say that same shit, Styles and Kiss. I hear their verse and I’m like, “Oh shit, I gotta body em.” Its like, we against everybody else, but in there, oh yeah, let’s go. I don’t even want to go first. I’m gonna set the tone, so you can go off of that type shit.

You have a lot of respect out there. I also spoke to E.D.I. Mean and when I asked him if there were any collaborations out there that he would like to get in, he said the collaboration with the L.O.X. was his dream one and when he was able to do that his collab list was complete. I thought that was so dope for, Biggie and Pac’s crews to do a joint together.

Sheek Louch: Dope! Dope! That’s wassup, man. Shout out to Jerz and everybody out there. I think we did that joint for, Kay Slay.

Yep!

Sheek Louch: Shout out to, Kay Slay. I’m going to speak for all of us, once he told us what the project was, I said, “That’s dope! We on that, man.” And then niggaz was bringing it. Spittin it like back in the days. Extra dope. Shout out to them, man. Outlawz all day.

You’re still so passionate about your music, aside from it being your safe haven, is it a matter of keeping up because in today’s mixtapes and single dropping world, these cats be putting a lot of music out.

Sheek Louch: One thing with me and my brothers, we got like a cult following and no matter what, our shows are packed. We do big arenas and House of Blues’ in shit and they are always packed, and our fans want more and more of our shit. Don’t get me wrong, I pay attention to everything, but I don’t think I will ever try to cater to how many joints they dropping out there. I always say, I pay attention, but I never become them. I’m gonna watch, because I got a 15-year old, so I hear what he’s coming out to and dancing to and shit. I’m paying attention, but I just don’t become that shit.

You definitely gotta keep that essence and, “Beast Mode 3” is that essence. That is prime, Sheek Louch.

Sheek Louch: Thank you, brother. Yeah-yeah, that joint is hard. I’m ready for 4 right now.

I was going to ask if we could expect for you to keep that series going.

Sheek Louch: Yeah, I’m going to keep it going all the way and then I’m going to drop my solo album as well. I teamed up with, Ghazi and them with Empire [Records] and all that. But I got something coming. I’m going to tease them this month with this shit called, “GorillaWeen,” word. And then I’m just going to keep going. Then we got the Lox shit coming; all kinds of shit, man.

Is the mentality or approach different when you’re coming with a solo album opposed to a Lox project?

Sheek Louch: Yeah! 100% different approach. I know things evolve and times change, but with The Lox they want that Ruff Ryder, L.O.X. that was with DMX, that gritty monster shit. I know they want that. Ya’ll cool with a few singles on there, but ya’ll want to get up on that pull-up-bar and be up in the group homes and the jails and get wild with our music. I get it. It’s kind of like… when I hear M.O.P., I want to hear M.O.P. for real. I want to hear them, “Ante Up” and them, “Bang-bang- blocka-blocka.” I want to hear that shit. Don’t switch nothing. So, that’s how it is when we’re making a Lox project. We’ll throw in a single or two for the show. We always had like a “Ride or Die Chick.” But my solos, I can do this shit called, “Good Love,” or a joint with me and Carl Thomas or a “Kiss Your Ass Goodbye.” I can switch up crazy and have fun and laugh on these records. I try to have fun, man and just bug out and talk some shit, you know what I mean.

All facts. I can hear it in your new stuff. Did you ever think there would be a day where CD’s didn’t exist, and it would be so digital?

Sheek Louch: (Laughing). Yes and no. We were doing all the mom and pop stores, but I was slowly seeing them disappear. As we went along, some of the mom and pop stores were getting shutdown. It was like, man, what’s about to take place. Streaming is a whole new wave, but I definitely seen the CD’s disappearing. I saw when they started plugging into their phones straight from that. I was like, “Ah man, shit is crazy. No mom and pop stores, where is our in-store at? Where are we doing an in-store?” And they were like, “Nah, it’s mainly some online type shit now.” It’s like, wow.

That’s an adjustment because I never thought I would see OG’s like, Chuck D and guys like that on Twitter, but that is the new wave. How different is that for you to have your fans right at the palm of your hands to interact with as opposed to doing in-store signing and meet and greets?

Sheek Louch: You can try and fight it. I know people who have tried to fight it. I’m not a social media guy as much as my brother, Styles and Kiss, but you can try to fight it, but it is what it is right now. You have to. It’s a gift and a curse. These kid’s can reach all these fucking DJ’s at one time and get their shit out. And they can do all these fucking interviews. You’re going to put out this amazing interview that we’re doing right now, and people are going to check it out and run with it, you know what I mean. It’s crazy. But in my day… not to sound all old and shit, but I had to go meet with the DJ and play my shit. Go outside the station and give them my record. There ain’t no, give it to 30 fucking DJ’s. I had to go meet with the, Flex’s and the Kool’s and Ron G’s and Doo Wop’s and all these kinds of people and kick a free[style] or something. It’s crazy.

Do you enjoy having the easy access to these DJ’s and radio stations now or do you prefer the old school way of pulling up on them and personally handing them your album better?

Sheek Louch: Ah man, I wanna say both. I like that I could get the song played to everybody at once. But I do enjoy meeting with the DJ and seeing his face when a song come on. And them giving me some insight, “Drop this one, don’t put this one out, put this one out. This one is for the club,” You dig what I’m saying. Back then… I swear I hate sounding old and shit, but we took the DJ’s and shit to dinner and bring them all to the studio and have them all to us what they think for real for real. I don’t think these artists right now could stand that, you know what I mean and have a motherfucker tell them what they think about a song.

When can we expect Beast Mode 4?”

Sheek Louch: I’m going to drop this, “GorillaWeen” this month and then it will all depends on, The Lox release date which we should have… I want to see this week. We’re supposed to be meeting at the office, so I’m going to bank it around there. I’m gonna map that shit out.

I see you working with some new cats like, Whispers. I’m sure they keep you motivated to keep things fresh as well.

Sheek Louch: That’s one thing with me, like you said, my sword got sharper and sharper as I got older and kept going and going. So, I’m on point. I’m ready for whatever and whoever. Whatever ya’ll rap about, I’m ready. But it’s dope because it’s just new energy, man. Seeing these guys in the studio and bug out to the beat. When they send their verse back, the energy that they got, I feed off of it. Honestly, you’re supposed to give that game back as an OG and you just keep going, man. And then with us, you can’t really comment on too much shit because you get looked at like a hater if you say too much. You a hater if you talk about this DJ or that artist. Nah, I’m not a hater. It’s game. “Man, these old rappers…” Dude, you got it (laughing).

I have asked several people who I view as a legend and who many views as a legend if they have wrapped their mind around being called a legend and surprisingly most haven’t. Have you wrapped your mind around being considered a legend?

Sheek Louch: I love it, bro. I love that I’m an OG and that I’m a legend. We have niggaz like, “Yo, ya’ll niggaz got me through all of my jail time.” “I be bumping your shit in the gym.” I love that kind of shit, man. One thing you can’t say… with us, our shit is legendary. To fight that, you buggin. When we go on stage, they be pissed if we didn’t do, “The Benjamins” “Wild Out,” “Money, Power & Respect,” and “24 Hours to Live.” If we don’t do those songs, they be pissed off like, “What the fuck?” They would be pissed if we didn’t rock them joints at the shows, like, “Yo, what happened to, “Fuck You,” and all these other songs. They love the new shit, but you see the craziest reaction when like, “The Benjamin’s” come on. It’s like going to a, M.O.P. show like, “Ya’ll niggaz ain’t going to do, “Ante Up?” “Snoop, you not going to do, “Gin & Juice? What the fuck? You have to.  These artists right now… and again, I’m not hating, you might love whatever song is popping right now, but you can’t say, I love all your old shit, bro. You can’t say that to none of these niggaz. I like all your old shit. You can’t say that because there ain’t no old shit, just the shit you heard right now. You can see it from their growth on up, they don’t really have it. They just got the microwave shit that the label grabbed and that’s it.

I tell my son that all the time, he’s 19 and they just don’t have anyone making timeless music. Good radio cuts, but after that initial spin, we don’t mention the song or the artists anymore because the music is based on the now and that just doesn’t create a timeless feel.

Sheek Louch: Not at all. I got a 15-year old and I say the same shit. It’s a 100% the right now. I blame the labels and all these companies. There is no artists development anymore. Before we built ourselves up to this mega-group. Now, they just grabbing whoever is hot in that town and let’s run with this song, then, I don’t give a fuck, we gonna 360 this motherfucker, do some shows, take most of his money and it’s going to go like that.

Everything you just said, do you think that’s why it’s so difficult now to make a successful rap group, because we just don’t see that anymore like, The Lox, The Outlawz, Bone Thugs, NWA and so on.

Sheek Louch: Definitely! It’s not hard, it’s easy for these guys. They just going to find a couple of guys, put them together and that’s it. You know there is really no content anymore. There is no real deep thought on none of this shit. It’s real quick. These labels want a quick flip. It’s like the streets, you want a quick flip, dog. I’m not putting that much into you anymore. I’m going to give you this bread, but I’m going to flip it real quick. These labels, kind of don’t even give a fuck about your whole album. It’s going to be all singles soon. All singles like, give me these two songs, here’s your money. They don’t give a fuck about the rest of your project.

You’re giving away a lot of game right now.

Sheek Louch: Yeah man, it’s going to be all singles soon. They care about these couple of songs that we can work…I don’t give a fuck what you put on these other eight, ten or twelve songs. But with us, we cared so much… from our cloth, we cared. We want our shit banging all the way through. We used to thrive for motherfuckers not having to skip not one song on our shit. That’s what you want to put out for real for real.

Shout out to my man, Ray “Scorp.” It’s an honor, my brother and we definitely going to be chopping it up often.

Sheek Louch: I appreciate you, brother. You know we can talk OG shit all night.



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