Beyoncé wasn't the only artist to release a project this month without any pre-notice or promotion. So did The LOX.
The rap trio — Jadakiss, Styles P, and Sheek Louch — unveiled their four-song EP The Trinity last week and stopped by New York City's Hot 97 recently to promote the release and give "props" to Bey for paving "the way" in the game of surprise albums.
For starters, the intention wasn't to copy Mrs. Carter's tactic but she "made it better" for them to follow suit with iTunes, they said.
Album talk turned to a discussion on solo work from Kiss and a clash with Def Jam. The label that once housed tons of influential hip hop acts is "different" today according to Kiss. "They got some new thing where you're auditioning," he explained. "It's a lot of stuff that people will never hear."
While Kiss waits on Def Jam's approval, as a collective, The LOX are facing similar obstacles. "The lack of our album is due to politics," Styles said. "But we'll get around the politics and you will get a body of music."
Added Sheek, "It ain't just New York, the world is waiting on this LOX joint!"
On the topic of New York rap losing its shine in 2013, Hot 97 program director Ebro Darden defended not giving rappers "a pass" for being from the Big Apple. The station has received backlash for not supporting New York rappers, which isn't necessarily their fault. "It's not all the radio, it's the artist's blame, too," shared Styles. "Make a song how you make a song, but don't lose your sound.
"A lot of New York artists over the years lost that New York sound," he continued. "A lot of New York deejays chasing that dream. The New York deejays, they lost that New York sound all at once."
In the same breath, he pointed the finger back at radio, naming buzzing NYC spitters like Joey Bada$$ and Troy Ave, who didn't get Hot 97's support early on. "Y'all don't be playing their joints like all the time or trying to break them," Styles pointed out. "You playing them now, like Troy Ave getting love now, but he wasn't getting no radio love last year.
DJ Cipha Sounds interjected, "But there's nothin' to play," leading to a retort from Styles. "I'm not saying don't play Down South music," he clarified. "I ain't saying don't say play Bay [Area] music…just play New York stuff too! We're from New York!"
BET.com is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music.
Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photo: Johnny Nunez/WireImage)