Sheek Louch, Jadakiss and Styles P have each been to Toronto many times before, but this was surprisingly their first time performing here as a group. I had previously seen Sheek Louch perform in this same building a little over a year ago when he was on the Wu-Block tour with Ghostface Killah, but it was my first time seeing Styles P and Jadakiss. These guys were huge in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s with two group albums, and they’ve spent the past decade and a half releasing solo projects. Fourteen years after their last group album, they’ve reunited on this tour to promote their new album coming soon, and the new Trinity EP out now.
I’ve been to The Sound Academy many times before, and this was probably the latest-running show I’ve been to there. Normally, doors open at 7 or 8 and the headliners get on stage around 11 or midnight, but this show had doors open at 9 and The LOX got on stage around 1am. The wait didn’t seem bad at all though, because there was lots of entertainment before The LOX got on. The DJ only played dope tracks as the building filled up, and Trixx did his thing as the host, letting people know “if you have to go to work in the morning, you f***ed up!”.
The first opening act was a group of 2-3 rappers, but they brought something like 20 dudes (and some fine women) on stage. Some of them looked and sounded familiar from other shows I’ve been to, but the memories always get fuzzy after the headliners hit the stage. The next opener was Peter Jackson, who also opened at the Wu-Tang Clan show back in November. He didn’t have the live band this time but he brought out Trinity Chris, a reggae singer who has opened for many Wu-Tang related shows. They did their thing, as time flew and The LOX would soon hit the stage.
The DJ teased us with some LOX beats before they actually came out to the song “F*** You”, and then got into the new single “Talk About It”. Maybe it’s just where I was standing, but the sound levels seemed off as their vocals were getting drowned out by the beats. This eventually got fixed though. They went through some of their obvious hits like “Money, Power, Respect” and “All About The Benjamins” before they broke out into their solo hits like Styles P’s “Good Times”. Styles even took the time later to tell people smoking cigarettes to “put that sh** out, we only smoke kush!”.
They kept going through their hits as solo artists, including Jadakiss’ “Knock Yourself Out” and “We Gonna Make It”, and Sheek’s “Mighty D-Block”. I was hoping they’d perform all of “Mighty D-Block”, but it quickly cut off and turned into a Tupac tribute after the namedrop in Jadakiss’ verse. They played “Ambitionz Az A Ridah” and “Hail Mary” by Pac before they got into a Notorious B.I.G. tribute with “Hypnotize”. They then performed “Last Day” by Biggie, which they’re actually featured on, and then got into other guest appearances like Akon’s “Locked Up” and G.O.O.D. Music’s “Don’t Like”. They also did some songs I wasn’t too familiar with, including that “I think I’m Big Meech, Larry Hoover” song by Rick Ross, but then got back to their own songs like Jadakiss’ “By Your Side” and Sheek’s “Kiss Your Ass Goodbye”.
Overall it was a fun show. The sound levels made it hard to hear The LOX for their first few songs, but things got fixed later into the show. They were also real cool with the fans, clapping hands while on stage and hanging by the merch booth after the show to sign autographs. While I got to meet Sheek Louch when he did this last year with Ghostface Killah, I didn’t have time to stick around this time. The Sound Academy was a solid venue as usual.
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