The Lox Bring Back Classic '90s Hip-Hop With Performance at NYC's Irving Plaza

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Live Nation
The Lox perform at Barclays Center on May 21, 2016 in New York City.

The Lox wowed hundreds of avid hip-hop fans with a nostalgic performance at New York City’s Irving Plaza Friday night (April 7). On the tail-end of their two-month trek for their Filthy America…It’s Beautiful Tour, the prolific rap group did a masterful job in providing quintessential hip-hop for those who were seeking to relive the '90s.

Prior to their set, the act tapped Bronx wordsmith, Chris Rivers -- the son of Big Pun -- to warm up the ravenous crowd. From the onset, Rivers quickly jumped into Pun’s classic record “Twinz (Deep Cover 98),” as the crowd joined him to recite his father’s memorable verse. After that, he deftly showcased his heavyweight flow through a series of freestyles.

To the crowd’s amazement, Rivers exuded the same exuberance and charisma as Pun onstage. “We in New York, right?” he asked the crowd. After receiving a resounding yes, he quickly played a handful of throwback New York rap classics, including DMX’s “Ruff Ryders Anthem,” The Diplomats’ “I Really Mean It,” and M.O.P.’s “Ante Up.” Before he exited the stage, Rivers fired off a fiery acapella freestyle to close out his set. 

After Rivers, Roc Nation’s newest signee, Dom Flamingo, came out for his performance. The New Orleans artist carried a heavy swagger with him, in hopes of winning over the raucous crowd. In the early stages, Flamingo wrestled with the New York audience, who failed to give him a fair chance. Then, when he jumped to his hard-hitting cuts, including “Slanguage” and “Shit Get Crucial”, fans began gravitating toward him.

At around 9:45 p.m., the legendary DJ Mister Cee turned Irving Plaza upside-down. Known for his scintillating mixes, Cee set the venue on fire with not only his seamless transitions, but his disrespectful commentary. “If you wanna hear Meek Mill, sit your ass down,” said Cee, who proceeded to play vintage G-Unit records. “This is before Rick Ross got on Weight Watchers,” he added. With the crowd eating away at the palm of his hand, Mister Cee directed them to put their right fist in the air. As soon as M.O.P.’s “Ante Up” loaded up, madness ensued.

With a charged-up crowd salivating to see the Yonkers group tear down the building, they began cheering “D-Block” to speed up the wait. Then, at 10:20 p.m., The Lox hit the stage with their 2000s cut “F--k You” blaring through the speakers. “It feels good to be in New York,” said Styles P. His cohort, Jadakiss, echoed his sentiments. “Ain’t no place like home, New York,” he screamed out to the energetic crowd. Then, the triumvirate veered into their 2016 album, Filthy America…It’s Beautiful, by performing “Don’t Cry”, “Dope Money” and “The Family.”

As the pungent smell of alcohol and weed pervaded the venue, The Lox relished every second of it. “I want y’all to touch some chandeliers and shit,” yelled Sheek Louch. During their set, they also paid homage to late the Notorious B.I.G. Mister Cee revisited Biggie’s 1997 magnum opus, Life After Death, which allowed the Lox to perform “Last Day.” “Respect the king,” Mister Cee yelled from his DJ booth.

Individually, the group performed some of their solo records, as well.” Styles P injected doses of nostalgia when he performed “My Life” and “Good Times.” When Akon’s “Locked Up” came up next on the tracklist, Irving Plaza exploded. Feeding off their energy, Styles even began singing Akon’s part, sans the singer. Jadakiss also dived into his catalog and unearthed some notable gems, including his timeless verse on Nas’ 2004 “Made You Look (Remix).” As he steamrolled through the track, the crowd once again began cheering “D-Block.” Following Jadakiss, was Sheek, who made his presence felt by performing “Good Lovin’” for the ladies, and also “Kiss You Ass Goodbye” for the male demographic.

Once every group member rocked the crowd, the Lox surprised everyone when they brought out Roc Nation’s newest acquisition, Freeway. Philadelphia Freeway received a thunderous ovation after he demolished his performance of his 2003 song “What We Do.” He proceeded to keep the intensity going as he laid down his verse from State Property’s 2002 “Roc the Mic.” With the energy level as high as it can be, The Lox reassembled to dish out more of their classics. They left nothing to chance, as they to made sure to provide blistering outputs on records like “Money, Power, Respect,” “All About the Benjamins,” and Jadakiss’ “We Gon’ Make It (Remix).”

By 11:30 p.m., the once tireless crowd was sucked dry from their energy. As fans vacated Irving Plaza, many complained about wanting more from the legendary rap group. For the veteran trio, they reminded the city of New York, that even after 20 years in the industry, they still know how to put on a show, especially in their hometown.