After a long hiatus from the rap game, the murder of one member and incarceration of another, the legendary Queens-based Lost Boyz are making a comeback with their new album "Forever," slated for release on May 31.
"It was time for me to put some LB stuff out there," said Mr. Cheeks, the Lost Boyz chief rapper. "There were a lot of things that people haven't heard from our crew .We represent that lost society of cats that didn't think that they could do it."
While skimming through old photographs, Mr. Cheeks found a photo of him and his LB squad, including Freaky Tah, Spigg Nice and Pretty Lou. It was then that Cheeks thought up the title for the Lost Boyz album after seeing a note written on the print: "Lost Boyz Forever."
After Lost Boyz member Freaky Tah was gunned down, the group disbanded and Cheeks took his act solo with the release of John Kelly in 2001. Spigg Nice is currently incarcerated, serving a 37-year sentence for a bank robbery spree.
"Before Spiggy went in [to jail], he did some joints that we wanted to put out," said Cheeks. "There were some joints that Tah was on and we didn't get a chance to release them before, so we freshened them up, crisped them up and got them in the Lost Boyz tradition."
Cheeks said the demand for another Lost Boyz album has been high. The first single off the album is the Erick Sermon-produced club song, "We Ain't Stoppin." Sermon of the legendary EPMD also produced two other joints for the album. Cheeks said he intends to keep the Lost Boyz name alive despite the loss of two vital members.
"I lost my man [Freaky Tah] with a violent death and my man Spigg got locked up. Me and Lou are the last ones standing," said Cheeks. "It's LB Fam no matter what. We're still here, still trendsetting, still holding things down and making hot music. Now, we're coming back to the ring."
Back in the 90s, the Lost Boyz released two albums, Legal Drug Money in 1996 and Love Peace and Nappiness in 1997. Those who remember the roughneck rap crew may also recall their street anthems, "Jeeps, Lex, Coups, Bimas and Benz," "Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless," and "Renee."