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Today in Hip-Hop History: The L.O.X. Dropped Their Debut Album ‘Money, Power & Respect’ 24 Years Ago

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On this date in 1998, Sheek Louch, Styles P., and Jadakiss, who are better known as the rap trio The L.O.X. (Living Off Experience), dropped their debut album on then-Puff Daddy’s steadily growing Bad Boy label. Following in the footsteps of artists like Craig Mack and Notorious B.I.G., the Yonkers collective had to go the extra length to prove themselves worthy to carry the Bad Boy legacy and that they have done and continue to do.

With production on this project from the likes of Swizz Beatz, D. Dot, Dame Grease and Mr. Combs himself, there was very little chance that this project flop. Even with the shiny suits, the lyrical content and dexterity were on point from all three members, solidifying their slots as lyrical legends in their own rights coming into the new millennium. Tracks like “If You Think I’m Jiggy” and the album’s epic title track were both perfect fusions of street anthems with crossover appeal, which allowed the LOX a fanbase on both sides of the mainstream “boundary”.

Thanks to Diddy, D-Block and the entire Bad Boy staff who helped to put together this timeless classic!

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Remembering The Black Mamba: 24 Hip-Hop References That Honors Kobe Bryant

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It’s been exactly 24 months since we lost the precious life of Kobe Bryant. On January 26, 2020, the world went into deep devastation when we discovered that Kobe, along with eight other people died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas.

The eight victims included his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, John Altobelli, 56, his wife Keri, and 14-year-old daughter Alyssa. The Mamba Academy girls coach Christina Mauser, Gigi’s teammate Payton Chester 13, and her mom Sarah Chester, 45 also died. We also remember the life of Ara Zobayan, the instructor and charter pilot.

As huge as an influence that Kobe Bryant had on the court, he also had a heavy presence in hip-hop. Every time a rapper mentioned his mane, they mentioned it in the same category as greatness.

Today, the Source honors the great man who made the number 24 just as famous as the cliche phrase “24/7,” by giving you the 24 best references in rap music.

In no particular order, here are the coldest rap lines that honor Kobe.

1. Lil Wayne – “Kobe Bryant”

Kobe doin’ work/ Two four on my shirt/ He the greatest on the court/And I’m the greatest on the verse”

2. Chief Keef -“Kobe”

“I been ballin’ so damn hard, I swear I think that I’m Kobe/ Young bull of this rap sh*t, but I think that I’m Kobe/ I swear I’m dunkin on these hoes, on these niggas, I’m free throwin’ /These boys, they don’t like me ’cause I think that I’m Kobe”

3. Drake – “Stay Schemin’”  

“Kobe ’bout to lose a hundred fifty M’s, Kobe my ni**a, I hate it had to be him, B**ch you wasn’t with me shooting in the gym.” 

4. Kanye West-“Swagger Like Us”

Na-na-na, how it feel to wake up and be the shit and the urine Na-na-na-na /Trying to get that Kobe number, one over Jordan

5. 50 Cent-“You Not Like Me”

You wanna get acquainted with me, you wanna know me/ From three-point range with a Glock, I shoot better than Kobe.”

6. Young Thug – “Check” 

“I promise I won’t ever quit, bitch I’m Kobe.”

7. Travis Scott- “Stargazing”

“I’m way too gold for this beef, feel like I’m Kobe, yeah/ This right here is astronomical.”

8. Drake- “Views”

“Now me and Kobe doin’ shots the night before the game/ Still drop 40 with liquor in my system.”

9. Kendrick Lamar- The Heart Part 2”

“Put burners in the hands of the black man. One hood with 20 four-fours like a cloned Kobe Bryant.”

10. The Game – “Remedy”

“I’m hard as a mothaf**kin’ ounce of raw, Dribble rock like Kobe Bryant bounce the ball.”

11. JAY-Z – “Some People Hate”

With a splash of Monster Kody, shoot faster than Kobe, nigga/You bastards know me, the one and only.”

12. Juicy J – “It’s Hard Out Here For A Pimp”

“I gotta keep my game tight like Kobe on game night

Like taking from a girl don’t know no better, I know that ain’t right.”

13. WC – “Guilty By Affiliation”

“Whether it’s the yay or the 9-to-5/ The pills or the chronic, we hustle to stay alive/ And if you ain’t Reggie Bush runnin’ a rock/ You better be good as Kobe slangin’ a jump shot.”

14. J. Cole – “Cole World”

“I ball, I ball, like Kobe in the fall/ Put trophies on wall, rather trophies on my mantle.”

15. Kanye West – “All Mine”

“All these thots on Christian Mingle/ Almost what got Tristan single

If you don’t ball like him or Kobe /Guarantee that bitch gonna leave you.”

16. Lloyd Banks – “Beamer, Benz, Or Bentley”

“Where my ring and my confetti/ I’m Kobe Bryant ready

Pink Rose and chronic smelly while I’m stumbling out the telly.”

17. JAY-Z – “Venus vs. Mars”

“My dollars was down, she left me for some Euros/Took my whole flavor, I call her Coke Zero/ We were co-MVP’s like Kobe and Shaq

Left me for the Heat, we were winning back to back.”

18. Lil Wayne – “Show Me What You Got Freestyle” 

“And when it comes down to the recording/I must be LeBron James if he’s Jordan/No, I won rings for my performance/I’m more Kobe Bryant of an artist.”

19. Kanye West, “Ego (Remix)”

“I had dreams of the league, one day I’d play Kobe/Or walk up to Puff and he would really know me.”

20. Big Sean – “See Me Now”

“They say G.O.O.D. Music like the new Miami Heat, Shit comparin’ them to us, man, they gotta add Kobe.”

21. Rick Ross – “Numb”

“I’m tryin’ to see a hundred of ’em, Kobe Bryant money, nigga you ain’t gotta love him.”

22. Nicki Minaj – “Ganja Burn”

“Still every team’s number one pick in the draft/ You could bring anybody, weatherman, pick a day/ I’m Kobe, KD, Kyrie, pick a K.”

23. A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie –  “Still Think About You”

“I shoot up and lean back on some Kobe sh*t/ They don’t know how to pass on some Kobe sh*t.

24. Fabolous – “Black Mamba Freestyle” 

“Hope you ready for that Hall of Fame/ April 13th, Mamba Day forever/ Kobe gone, but his legacy gon’ play forever.”

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Remembering Kobe Bryant: Icon and International Sensation

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Words by: Johnnie Buck

Remembering Kobe Bryant. It has officially been two years since the day that left all basketball enthusiasts shook. The day a hero of the hoops became human as the world played witness to the horrifying news that Kobe Bryant and daughter Gigi had passed tragically after being victims in a helicopter crash. Social media lit up with the news and many emotions had been stirred around the NBA. An icon of many facets had been lost and the world fell stricken over the grief.

The impact Kobe Bryant held was more than just the game, he was an international sensation.

Kobe’s career in basketball is one that can be broken down in so many ways. He joined the league at the age of 19 and left at the age of 37. With an overall average of 25 points per game in his career, Kobe managed to leave 3rd on the scoring list passing Michael Jordan in 2014. Kobe in his time managed to rack up the accolades as well. Bryant was an 18x all-star and 4x all-star MVP. He was elected an MVP in 2008.

The Legendary Laker was a 5x champion winning from 2000-2002, then again in 2009, and once more in 2010. In two of those championships, he was elected Finals MVP. His electricity on the court was similar to his role model Michael Jordan. Bryant’s on-court accomplishments pushed the league and brought the best out of all players that matched up against him.

Known as Black Mamba, Kobe was noted as one who was intellectually adept, going out his way to learn new languages to be able to converse and sometimes intimidate international players. There were no barriers to his reign. Players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant Steph Curry and more were products of his tenacity. He inspired players on and off the court to have a “Mamba Mentality”, urging players to simply do more.   

Kobe’s legacy is one that fared no boundaries. While climbing the heights of a legendary basketball career, doorways were opened for him to continue his success in other endeavors. Much like his tenacity on the court, his off-court prowess demanded leadership as well. With a combination of his star power, financial support, and overall urge to see growth, Bryant was considered a humanitarian contributing to a number of admirable causes.

The 5x NBA champion used his platform to speak out against the injustices within the world many times. He spoke out against the War in Darfur in 2008, he played an active part in raising money for cancer awareness, and alongside his wife Vanessa, they created the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation to help homeless youths build self-sufficient lives.

Kobe was more than a player, he was a leader in every sense of the word.

Of the many feats that Bryant was most recognized for, one that came as a shock when first announced was the Oscar Award Kobe won for the best animated short film in 2018 for the piece he put together “Dear Basketball”. “Dear Basketball” was an animated film that was based on Kobe’s poem he wrote as he announced his retirement.

Upon winning his Oscar, Kobe was also working on a show titled “Detail” where he provided an in-depth analysis on the players in the game today. By doing so many of the NBA stars of today to his knowledge and soon after he received a wide number of requests from them to train with him in the off-season. Being someone whose world revolved around basketball, Kobe couldn’t stay away from the court for too long, ultimately taking many of the greats today under his wing and assigning them tasks to live up to.

As a player, Kobe will go down in history with his name being cemented in with the greats. In his time in the NBA he was able to accomplish what many players could only dream of. What he did off the court was both courageous and noteworthy.

Kobe believed in growth and the impact you create from what you do, his impact will not be forgotten. His spirit lives on in the players he inspired, the team he represented, and the family left behind. On January 26th, 2020, we lost a legend, but his legacy lives on.       

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The 40 Greatest Dr. Dre Productions

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Dr. Dre’s production career spans three decades and some of the most famous moments in American popular music. The Los Angeles musician is responsible for introducing so many acts to the pop mainstream — from childhood friend Eazy-E to Snoop Dogg, Eminem, and many others — that it’s difficult to narrow his achievements to a few dozen picks. Meanwhile, readers of this list will notice the absence of Kendrick Lamar: While the Doctor has played a crucial role in Lamar’s career, Dre technically hasn’t produced any of the rapper’s hits … yet. With Dre, Snoop, Lamar, Eminem and Mary J. Blige set to headline the Super Bowl 56 Halftime Show next month, we look back at the productions that made him a legend. Take this list as a starting point for exploring an essential hip-hop icon.

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