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"Orphans of Society--The Lost Boyz"
Interview at the Hit Factory

by Jerlena Rhodes
Photos by Michael Popo


Recently Harlemlive went on an interview with the hip hop group "The Lost Boyz." The Lost Boyz are a rap group who grew up in South Ozone Park, Queens, N.Y. and originally starting off at the ages of 13 and 14, rhyming and making beats on lunch room tables and in the basement of their grandparents home. They first signed with Uptown Records as you hear in the songs; "Lex, Coops, Bimaz, and the Benz, "Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless," and the tragic story of "Renee." Now with Universal Records, they recorded, "Love, Peace, and Nappiness," which went platinum.



  On a cold winter day, HarlemLive went to interview the Lost Boyz at the Hit Factory Music Studio (located between 9th and 10th Avenue in New York City. It is a big studio where many celebrities go and make their songs become great hits. When you walk in you could see many gold plaques on the walls. Some of those plaques were from great artists such as; Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and many more just as you walk in the door. Your eyes would just pop out of your head by the cleanliness and beauty of this place.

The Lost Boyz consists of a family of brothers and cousins; Mr. Cheeks, "Freaky" Tah, "Pretty" Lou, and Spigg Nice. Mr. Cheeks and Pretty Lou were the early birds in the studio. Talik ("Freaky" Tah) was at home ill ( would you believe he lost his voice!), and Spigg Nice (or "Spiggy") came later. We spoke with Mr. Cheeks, Spiggy, and interviewed Pretty Lou.

From Lost Boyz Video

The Lost Boyz ( LB Fam) started off in the basement of their grandparents' home (John and Dorothy Kelly) in South Ozone Park, New York at the ages of thirteen and fourteen. They continued making beats on lunchroom tables and free-styling from their heads in junior high and at John Adams High School.

The Lost Boyz were one of the first rap groups to join Uptown Records. After they went platinum, they signed with Universal Records. Their first album, "Legal Drug Money," was officially released on June 6th, 1996. On that album, you may remember hearing; "Lex, Coups, Bimaz and Benz," "Music Makes Me High," and "Renee."( Renee was based on a true story about a girl named Ebony). Basically most of their songs deal with real issues.

During our interview we learned it takes somewhere between 8-12 hours for the Lost Boyz to make one song and about one year to make a proper album.

Pretty Lou : I like doing big shows.... I like doing shows like at Madison Square Garden.

HarlemLive : How did you get your name The Lost Boyz?

Pretty Lou : We got our name by folks putting us down all the time so we just came up with The Lost Boyz.

The Lost Boyz range in age from 26 to 29 years old. They were struggling in the rap industry for over a decade. We learned that not only do they like to make beats, but Mr. Cheeks, and "Pretty" Lou have the passion to cook. Pretty Lou also reads while on tour and during his spare time.

Pretty Lou : My favorite books--- I read three times are, "The Autobiography of Malcolm X" by Alex Haley, and "Manchild in the Promise Land" by Claude Brown.

Pretty Lou : My role model is the late Reginald Lewis. He owned Beatrice Foods before he died. He was the first Black man to own a billion-dollar company. He also wrote the book, " Why Should White Guys Have All The Fun?"

Its always good to give back to the community. Unlike some artists, the Lost Boyz have a great way of showing their appreciation for their people. They have scholarship programs and adopt schools just to benefit the upcoming generation.

The Lost Boyz have created a foundation since the release of "Love, Peace, and Nappiness." They recently gave a lecture to youngsters at their former junior high school in Queens, which they have adopted, and have created a scholarship program for hard working students. They are adopting another school in Brooklyn, New York and will give financial help to youngsters who are struggling to make it.



HarlemLive : What type of music do you all listen to regularly?

Pretty Lou : We listen to everything...Hot '97...we listen to Kiss F.M. alot. I like to hear alot of old songs and there might be a beat we might wanna use.

Some of their early role models were people like Kool and the Gang, Marvin Gaye, Santana, and Earth, Wind, and Fire.

Harlemlive was also taught that dance Freaky Tah and Cheeks do ( the L.B. dance) in their videos. It was said by their grandmother, Mrs. Dorothy Kelly, that it resembles a Black Indian dance from the Mardi Gras in her native New Orleans.

When it was Mr. Cheeks's turn to record his solo in the sound booth, Lou kept us company and gave us a few laughs;

Lou : One of the hottest pictures we took is when we were in Black Beat and you could see all the gold teeth.

HarlemLive: Do you have a standard on how long your songs should be?

Lou : We try to keep most songs down to 3:30 - 3: 45 minutes . I wanna make this album a double C.D. The title of the next album is going to be called "L.B. Fam For Life."

They are aiming for a single first. They want it to be released late spring or in the early summer. They feel they could ride a maxi tape from about February until about next January.

HarlemLive: Are you going to do anything different on this next CD?

Spiggy : On this album I'm gonna produce three songs.

HarlemLive: Any movie deals in the future?

Lou : We are now negotiating a contract for a movie where we'll be working with Denzel Washington. We're also with a film writer who is working on an independent project...

Harlemlive : How do you feel about Tupac Shakur?

Lou : Pac was a genius.

Harlemlive : How do you feel about the Tupac and Biggy issue?

Lou : I feel ... Someone just wanted to sell papers. (The media ) blew up the war.

The Lost Boyz are hard working young men. They are talented and have a bright future ahead of them.They are four young men who are guaranteed a great success because they do give back to their community and there is a saying- When you give to others less fortunate God will reward you in return!




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