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Talking Bruce Leroy, Puppies, And Allen Iverson’s Lost Album, With The Lox

The Lox, seen here performing onstage, and not on a podcast.
Theo Wargo/Getty Images for TIDAL

Sometimes good things happen as they are supposed to happen, in the way that that sort of thing has classically been understood to work. In order to get Bob Mould on the show, Drew went through the proper channels and pitched his ass off and as a reward got his musical hero to appear on our podcast. Other times, good things just kind of happen to you. In this case, a throwaway gag from Bomani Jones’s appearance on the show turned into a helpful offer from someone on the team at Stitcher, and they reached out to the right people and those people said yes and then at some point on Wednesday morning Drew and I found ourselves on a Zoom call with The Lox. The fact that this objectively very cool thing happened with basically no effort beyond replying “that sounds amazing, thank you,” to several emails made it no less cool, or less real.

The question that Bomani originated a month ago, about why Jadakiss favors the controversial all-crust pizza experience, was indeed asked and answered. But, if I am being honest I kind of elbowed Drew out of the way early on—not because he duffed the pronunciation of Sheek Louch’s name, though maybe it should have happened sooner to prevent said duffing—because I’ve been listening to The Lox for two-plus decades. Their new album has given me the same satisfaction as their previous work, which is mostly musical but also partially the feeling you get driving through the streets of your hometown; this song from the new record, for instance, is precisely the sort of thing I would’ve played on my college radio show literally twenty years ago. The Lox have survived as uncompromising traditionalists for a long time in an industry that is not built to sustain that sort of approach or that sort of longevity, and I’ve admired that as much as I’ve admired their music. So I had questions.

And while I asked those questions, the conversation also went in its own directions, touching on everything from the parental frustration of trying to get today’s kids into yesterday’s goofy cultural products, to the way that racist policing impacted both the course of New York hip-hop and the lives Styles P, Sheek, and Jadakiss have lived inside and outside that scene. Jadakiss weighed in with a savvy answer on a longtime obsession of mine: Allen Iverson’s buried rap album 40 Bars, which was entirely too real for David Stern and never released. The Lox also furnished what is easily the best-informed answer to a goofy Funbag question in the history of goofy Funbag questions. The name of The Lox’s new record is Living Off Xperience, a title that turned out to apply very well to weighing the question of whether a 20-year-old star athlete or a regulation 50-year-old civilian has had sex more times over the course of their lifetimes. It turns out that people who were extremely famous at age 20 have some insight there!

The back half of the show delves into the dreaded Current Events, from Donald Trump’s twitchy rebirth as an unsleeping ochre steroid golem to the NFL’s typically high-handed and low-wattage attempt to keep the football season running during a pandemic. We returned to the Funbag and its horrors, but there was no more certainty to be found there. Only pain, and the image of Trump trying to start a fire in a fireplace. Our guest next week is going to be the Ramon Laureano Lifetime Editorial Award-winner Megan Greenwell, unless it’s somehow like Sir Paul McCartney or Nas. I’m just going to reply to the emails and see how it shapes up.

It’s good and we are very glad to have it. If you would like to subscribe to The Distraction, you can do that at Stitcher, or through Apple PodcastsSpotify, or wherever else you might get your podcasts. If you’d like to listen to an ad-free version of the podcast, you can do so on Stitcher Premium; a free month of Stitcher Premium can be yours if you use the promotional code “Distract.” Thank you as always for your support.