Fuck. The. Frail. Shit.
Every time I hear that intro from this legendary Jadakiss cut I want to run through a fucking wall!
So last Tuesday Black Twitter donned their Timbs, XXXL Fubu tees, and durags and got together as a family to watch two monumental New York rap clicks going hit-for-hit in a Verzuz battle. It was a good night for hip-hop as The Diplomats, AKA Dipset, and The LOX went in. And by ‘went in,’ I mean witnessing Cam’ron and the rest of Dipset largely get washed.
I didn’t choose a side. Instead I was just waiting for this spectacular listen from Jadakiss and Styles P of The LOX, which also includes Sheek Louch. From Yonkers, the group was signed to Diddy‘s Bad Boy label and kicked off their career with a feature on Main Source‘s forgotten second record. They gained steam through the latter half of the ’90s, with the group becoming close friends of The Notorious B.I.G. before his murder. Fed up with Bad Boy’s hip-pop image, they hopped to Ruff Ryders in 2000 and Kiss issued his debut the next year.
So yeah, this joint right here! “We Gonna Make It” was a bonafide street anthem on release in 2001, sending shockwaves through NYC (it was quite a good year for that). Although Kiss Tha Game Goodbye was Jada’s debut, this listen feels like an absolute victory lap, like we ALL made it along with Kiss and Styles. I guess it’s that opulent, but somehow ridiculously hard strings loop. And how Kiss and Styles trade bars here? It’s like ambrosia…Infectious, threatening, funny, and endlessly quotable. Shit, his bathtub LIFTS UP! His walls do a 360! I don’t know what that even means but it founds cool as hell! It’s easy to tell why this listen is still fondly remembered two decades on, and even easier to see why folks consider Jadakiss one of the GOATs.