Money, Power & Respect → The Lox (1998)
“This was our debut album so it was important for us to make the right statement. We felt really good about the title track [‘Money, Power & Respect.’] Working on that song and video was a big adrenaline rush. I had a lot of pressure on me too because I was sick and I missed the recording session. Style and Sheek had already laid their verses down. I’m walking in and I got D-Dot telling me, ‘Yo, what you gonna do, man?’ I got Diddy telling me, ‘Yo, Styles’ and Sheek’s verses are crazy!’ I’m like, ‘Aw, man…’ And that was the great part about being in the Lox. You are always going to get three hot verses. You never had to worry about somebody lagging behind. So I was able to get in where I fit it.
We got the track done but we still needed a hook so the label was like, ‘We are going to get Lil Kim for y’all.’ We were excited because we knew what Kim could come with just off of her own stuff and [what she did on ‘It’s All About The Benjamins.’] When she came down and laid her vocals it was like when your mom bakes a cake. It looks so pretty when it comes out the oven. It’s just sitting there cooling off, but then they put the icing, the pineapples and the coconut on it and it looks even better. That’s what Kim did to ‘Money, Power & Respect.’ She was the icing and everything else on the cake. To tell you the truth, I like Sheek’s and Style’s parts are better than my part. I love how Styles came in and gave them the ‘Tick tock only time could tell how the clock ticks/I’m really loved here, but I’m still a hostage.’ Then Sheek was riding that joint when he said, ‘Two thirty, six two…’ And then we had DMX on that track! He murdered it.
But we hated ‘If You Think I’m Jiggy.’ We were still raw. We didn’t really understand the art of hit making yet. We were just raw spitters at that time. And ‘Jiggy’ ended up being a hit, so that scared us. We didn’t understand that having a crossover song could be a good thing. I remember when we finally left Bad Boy and signed to Ruff Ryders, we were all on tour with Cash Money. Part of our act was we would come out onstage with the shiny suits on to ‘If You Think I’m Jiggy’ and rip them off, and go into one of our harder records. But the crowd would sometimes go, ‘Awww…’ They wanted us to keep rocking ‘Jiggy’ [laughs]. They didn’t really get that we were spoofing the song. You learn later in life that people like what they like. Still, making our first album was a priceless experience.”