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About Lost Boyz

A Queens crew who came into being during the early '90s, Lost Boyz were significant players in the golden era of East Coast hip-hop. They scored several hits around the time of their 1996 debut, Legal Drug Money, but a murder would effectively end the group before the end of the '90s. After a lengthy span that found the surviving members focusing on solo work, a new iteration of Lost Boyz formed in the late 2010s, resurfacing in 2019 with the new mixtape Next Generation.
Lost Boyz was formed in 1993 by Freaky Tah, Mr. Cheeks, Pretty Lou, and Spigg Nice. The four friends grew up in New York's South Jamaica, Queens area and began rapping together when they were teenagers. Lost Boyz developed a distinctively East Coast sound adjacent to the rugged beats and microphone trade-offs of Wu-Tang Clan, but they chose a more celebratory and relatively less aggressive approach than some of their contemporaries. The group's 1995 single "Lifestyles of the Rich and Shameless" was a big enough hit to land them a deal with Uptown Records, a subsidiary of Universal Records, which released their debut album, Legal Drug Money, in June of 1996. The record would yield multiple hit singles, including party anthem "Jeeps, Lex Coups, Bimaz and Benz" and the more narrative "Renee." Second album Love, Peace and Nappiness arrived quickly the next year, adding hints of reggae influence to the group's old school rap sound. A third LP was nearly finished when Freaky Tah was shot dead on March 28, 1999, while leaving a birthday party for Mr. Cheeks at a hotel in Queens. The three remaining Lost Boyz finished their third album, LB IV Life, but it sold poorly and the group soon splintered.
Mr. Cheeks spent the 2000s working on a solo career and Spigg Nice eventually went to jail for bank robbery. In 2005, Forever arrived, a collection of Lost Boyz hits, rarities, and unreleased tracks. In 2019, a newly reorganized version of the Lost Boyz issued the seven-song project Next Generation. This new lineup found original member Mr. Cheeks joined by K Chrys and Freaky Kah, son of the deceased Freaky Tah. A single from Next Generation, "Lost Boyz Anthem," was licensed for use by NBA team the Cleveland Cavaliers, bringing more attention to the re-formed group. The Lost Boyz released the new EP Legacy in 2020. ~ Fred Thomas

Queens, NY

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