Jadakiss (born Jason Phillips on May 22,1975) is an American rapper. He is a member of the group The LOX. Jadakiss is one of three owners of the imprint known as D-Block. He recently signed to Roc-A-Fella Records, an imprint under Def Jam Recordings.
By the age of 16, Jadakiss was a freestyle rapper. He and some of his friends were given the opportunity to compete in the "Jack the Rapper Competition" in Florida, where Jadakiss was noticed for his battle rap ability. He met Dee and Wah of the Ruff Ryders (then a management company), and began hanging out and battling outside of the Ruff Ryders' studio where artists like DMX made their first hits.
Jadakiss founded the rap group The Warlocks in 1994 with friends Sheek Louch, Chris "Lil Mac" Pelkey, and Styles P. They later signed to Bad Boy Entertainment, where it was suggested that they change their name simply to "The LOX", which came to stand for Living Off eXperience. They made their first appearance on The Main Source's 1994 LP Fuck What You Think on the track "Set it Off".
The group, especially Jadakiss, developed a close relationship with The Notorious B.I.G., during which time Jadakiss was taken under Biggie's wing. The LOX's first multi-platinum hit was the tribute to Biggie called "We'll Always Love Big Poppa" (the B-side to Puff Daddy's "I'll Be Missing You") in 1997. In 1998, the LOX released Money, Power & Respect. Following this album, they left Bad Boy Records.
Jada's debut solo album, Kiss Tha Game Goodbye, was released in August 2001 under the Ruff Ryders/Interscope label. The album featured popular guests and producers such as DJ Premier, The Alchemist, Snoop Dogg and Swizz Beatz, but was written off as repetitive and uninspired. Jadakiss has acknowledged the criticism as, generally speaking, valid, saying the record was done less out of inspiration and more out of contract obligations to Bad Boy. The album produced the single "Put Ya Hands Up."
Jadakiss' second album, Kiss of Death, was released in June 2004. His song "Why?" (featuring Anthony Hamilton) became one of the biggest hits of 2004, spawning a remix featuring Styles P, Common, Nas, and Hamilton. "Why?" remains Jada's biggest hit, peaking at #11 on the Hot 100. Another single from the record, "U Make Me Wanna" featured Mariah Carey and was a much more commercially driven love song. Kiss of Death did not reflect the popularity of its lead single, but it was better-received than his first effort.
Recently, in late 2007, Jadakiss signed to Jay-Z's Roc-A-Fella Records, a move Jay had been trying to arrange for a long period of time . Jadakiss released his latest album, The Last Kiss, on Def Jam/Roc-A-Fella Records in April 2009, executive produced by both Jay-Z and the Ruff Ryders CEOs/management team of Dee and Wah. The move comes on the heels of increased D-Block/Roc-a-Fella collaborations; in 2006, Kiss and former rival Beanie Sigel collaborated on DJ Khaled's album Listen..., and in 2007, on Freeway's album Free At Last. Styles P has appeared on a radio freestyle with Freeway and Sigel. He has also appeared briefly in Jay-Z's latest video for his American Gangster second single, "Roc Boys," in which he appears throwing up the famous Roc-a-Fella sign, "the Diamond."
In 2009, Jadakiss released his third official album, The Last Kiss. The first single is "By My Side", featuring Ne-Yo. The second official single is "Can't Stop Me". The third official single is "Death Wish", featuring Lil Wayne. The fourth official single is "Who's Real", featuring Swizz Beatz and OJ Da Juiceman. Jadakiss was also featured on a song on Raekwons new album, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II, the song also features Styles P.
Jadakiss and the LOX were engaged in a long feud with several Roc-A-Fella Records artists, specifically Beanie Sigel and State Property, beginning in 2001. The feud began when Jadakiss stated in a radio interview that many Philadelphia artists at the time were biting his style. Being from Philly, Beanie Sigel took offense and came with a diss freestyle over Jadakiss's single "Throw Your Hands Up". Jadakiss responsed with a diss freestyle of his own. Soon after, members of both The Lox and State Property were involved in the feud. Even Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel's mentor, jumped into the battle which he later apologized for. The Lox and State Property would continue to diss each other on radio freestyles and mixtape songs for the next few years. The problem was eventually resolved, and since then, the LOX and Beanie Sigel have collaborated on various tracks together, including Ghostface Killah's "Barrell Brothers" which features both Styles P and Beanie Sigel and DJ Khaled's track "Problems" which features Beanie Sigel and Jadakiss. Definite signs that the feud was over came in 2007 when Jay-Z signed Jadakiss to Rocafella.
When the LOX left Bad Boy Records, the group's and each of its members' publishing was still owned by label head P. Diddy. The LOX released several tracks like "We Are The Streets" and "Blood Pressure" which allegedly were aimed towards P. Diddy. The group fought with him over royalties, debt issues and other things until 2005 when they briefly put their differences aside to perform with Jay-Z at his "I Declare War" concert. Afterward, they went on New York radio station Hot 97 to ask for their publishing, which was given to them by Diddy.
In 2004, Jadakiss and Fat Joe were featured in Ja Rule's "New York" single. In this song, Ja Rule took subliminal but obvious shots at 50 Cent. In turn, 50 Cent made a song titled "Piggy Bank" in which he disses Fat Joe and Jadakiss. This caused Jadakiss to release "Checkmate", "Problem Child", "Shots Fired" and "Ms. Jackson". 50 Cent responded with the song "I Run NY". Jadakiss challenged 50 Cent to an onstage battle in Madison Square Garden for 1 million dollars. 50 Cent declined, stating that Jadakiss was not wealthy enough to put up that type of money.
Jadakiss and 50 Cent's differences seemed resolved in February 2007, when Styles P called into HOT 97 and talked with 50 Cent and dead the beef. In January 2008, 50 Cent said he has no beef with Jadakiss.
Jadakiss attracted some controversy and condemnation from commentator Bill O'Reilly, who labeled him a "smear merchant" due to lyrics in the song "Why?", which state Jada's belief that George W. Bush coordinated the September 11, 2001 attacks.:
"Why do niggas push pounds of powder? Why did Bush knock down the towers?" In the music video for "Why?", a man holds up a picket sign reading "Buck Fush" (a spoonerism of "Fuck Bush)").
O'Reilly took the position that the President should be allowed to sue Jadakiss for slander. The track was eventually banned on some radio stations or played with the lyrics in question censored.