Legal Drug Money was the debut album from The Lost Boyz (Mr. Cheeks, Freaky Tah, Spigg Nice and Pretty Lou). The vast majority of the MCing was handled by Cheeks and Freaky Tah. Tah was to The Lost Boyz what Sen Dog was/is for Cypress Hill, mostly a hype man in the background of most songs, but kicked a couple verses from time to time. As far as I can tell, Spigg Nice was a DJ and I still have no idea what Pretty Lou did. Neither of them handled any production for this LP.
This LP came out in 1995 and production was mainly provided by Easy Moe Bee, Mr. Sex and Big Dex. Most hip-hop heads know of Easy Moe Bee from his Biggie affiliation, but I don’t know much about Sex and Dex, other than their names rhyme. I saw Big Dex has a MySpace page, but there isn’t much information there. They seem to have been part of the same production team, Group Home Entertainment.
I remember a lot of hype around them and seem to remember this LP taking forever to come out. Of course, when it did come out, it didn’t disappoint. The entire LP is pretty much one that doesn’t have any skip worthy songs. LDM also went gold, according to the RIAA.
Unfortunately, Freaky Tah was murdered in 1999 at the age of 27. I never heard what the motive was and I was unable to find any information other than the man that committed the murder was sentenced to a prison term, so at least they caught the guy (and his accomplice driver). Apparently, Spigg Nice is serving a jail sentence for allegedly robbing banks. I say allegedly because he still denies his involvement. I haven’t heard much from Mr. Cheeks lately, but he had a pretty successful solo career in the early part of the 00′s.
1) Intro – A pretty standard intro.
2) The Yearn – This song was produced by Pete Rock and it’s a solid safe sex themed song. It’s a pretty good start to the LP.
3) Music Makes Me High – This song starts the most listened to part of the LP for me, ending w/ Renee. That doesn’t mean they are the only good songs, just the part I listened to the most. The song has a nice bass heavy beat and is good for repeated plays.
4) Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz & Benz – A great track with a solid chorus, which I think The Lost Boyz did well throughout this album.
5) Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless – Another great song chronicling the lives of different characters trying to get by and Cheeks himself in the last verse.
6) Renee – A fictional account of a girl that Cheeks started dating. This was the first single from the group and became a pretty big hit. The lyrics are great as Cheeks paints the story of his relationship with Renee (how they met, hanging out and the tragic end). Another great chorus and arguably the best song on the album.
A ghetto love is the law that we live by
Day by day I wonder why my shorty had to die
I reminisce upon my ghetto princess everyday, give it up for my shorty
This song also proves that the term shorty has been around for quite some time, and even though he pronounces it “shawty”, T-Pain did not invent the overall term.
7) All Right – This song features a nice beat with some catchy “oh’s” during the simple chorus. You also get a verse from Freaky Tah, who I think kicks his 2nd verse of the LP at this point. Big Dex kicks a verse here as well.
8) Legal Drug Money – For some reason, back when I first got this album, I didn’t listen to this song much, but it’s a solid song. It’s a song about growing up in the ghetto and features both Cheeks and Tahleek.
9) Get Up – This is a catchy song mostly about the lady’s and being Lost Boyz. Kicking game and partying seem to be the biggest themes on this track.
10) Is This Da Part – Cheeks kicks some verses about a girl that he was with that played him. It’s another nice song.
11) Straight from the Ghetto – Another street track where cheeks talks about struggles, crooked cops, girls and life. You get another catchy chorus that just sticks in your head for days.
12) Keep It Real – I think this is the weakest song on the album. It’s an okay song, but the beat is a little lackluster and the track itself is a little mellow for me.
13) Channel Zero – There’s a long intro to the song, but when it kicks in, you get a real nice song. The beat is real nice and Cheeks talks again about his struggles and the struggles and the music industry (he’s got the 411 to the ghetto). He also talks about his beef with certain white people, including Marky Mark (which I thought was a pretty dated reference at the time) and his beef with some black people as well.
One of my favorite things about this song is when Cheeks says “My mom dukes is always banging on my door. My musics too loud, I got clothes on the floor.” And Tah in the background yells “Pick ‘em up!” I always thought that was funny.
14) Da Game – Here’s a nice song, but maybe the 2nd weakest on the LP. More of Cheeks talking about struggling, etc.
15) 1,2,3 – Here’s Freaky Tah’s song. You have to wait a while and listen to a long intro. Tah wasn’t the greatest emcee, but he was decent and I really like this song. He raps about living on the streets and Cheeks kicks the chorus. I assume the lyrics are not accurate, as Freaky Tah talks about travelling through the city and the drug game and taking out certain people in the game. We also hear Pretty Lou for a second, maybe he helped write lyrics for the group. Again, I still don’t know what he did.
16) Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless (remix) – This is a nice remix with some new lyrics and a similar, but different chorus.
Overall, this is a great album and I often listen to it to this day. If you don’t own this, I’d suggest that you go out right now and check it out. The band put out 2 other LP’s that I enjoyed, but they weren’t even close to being on the same level as LDM.