Styles P
The Situation

styles-1.jpgOver the course of his nine-year rap career, Styles P has enjoyed getting a level of respect from fellow MCs and fans of hardcore rap alike that some rappers can only dream of. His solo debut, the gold-selling A Gangster & a Gentleman, is a certified hood classic, and as a member of the lyrically revered Lox, Styles has proven himself to be a force in hip-hop.

Yet major solo commercial success has somehow always eluded the Yonkers native, a fate not uncommon to artists who prioritize credibility above radio and club spins.

The past year has been an interesting one for Styles P. He had public beefs with artists such as 50 Cent and Diddy and struggled to drop his second album, Time Is Money. He parted ways with his label of five years, Interscope Records, and most recently was involved in a major road-rage incident where he suffered a broken leg. xxlmag.com recently got the lowdown from the Ghost about his run-in with an 18-wheeler, his current label situation and the game plan for his solo career.

How’s your leg holding up?
It’s coming along.

So what’s the story behind that whole situation?
An unfortunate incident. What happens in regular life. He almost killed me at an intersection. He cut me off and had me swerving and all that. I asked him what’s up through the window. He gave me the finger and shrugged. I got frustrated and got out and threw napkins at his grill, and he ran my Black ass over. Basically, don’t ever, ever get out of your car when you’re arguing with somebody.

You seem like you’ve mellowed out somewhat in recent years, so it was a surprise to hear about the incident.
Yeah, but if you get cut off by a tractor trailer and you ask the person what’s up and he starts shrugging and giving you the finger and all of that… I mean, I did have baseball bats and everything in the car, but I didn’t get out and try to do nothing crazy. I was frustrated, and I had a box of tissue in my hand, so you know, shit happens. I’ve definitely tried to remain cool the past couple of years, but it’s another lesson to live and learn from my brother. To all the people out there, do not get out of your car. Take a breather. Do something. To tell you the truth, I’m just happy to be able to walk again. I’m fortunate that I’m not dead, because a lot of people wouldn’t have came up out of that.

Word is that you’re no longer signed to Interscope. Is that true?
I’m a free agent. I’m no longer on Interscope, and I’m no longer on Ruff Ryders as a soloist. I’m still there with the Lox, though, on Interscope and Ruff Ryders.

How’d you get out of your deal?
They let me out of my deal. Basically, I went and spoke to Dee [of Ruff Ryders] and Jimmy [Iovine, Chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records], and to cut a long story short, I explained to them the situation I was in. I put a lot of music out, and I understand how their machine works. It’s a big machine over there, and they have a lot of huge artists. I’ve been in the game a long time, and I just wanted to start making some money. I feel [like], the kind of artist I am, that I need to be able to spread my wings and do different kinds of things. I think they understood that I was frustrated, but it’s a business. So at the end of the day, we worked something out, and here I am.

Do you have any idea where you’d like to sign as a soloist?
Definitely independent. Whatever I do will be 110 percent independent. I’m not sure which one yet. We’re still having talks and waiting to see which one sounds the best. Whoever will be behind me the most and willing to work with me. That means a lot to me.

How many albums do the Lox owe Interscope?
Probably like three or four.

When can we expect to see that next one?
Definitely this year. We’ve already been in the studio working on it. I think they just did a song last night, and I just have to put my part on it. We have to handle the political part, like releases and all that, but definitely this year.

styles-2.jpgMost people seem to enjoy your new album, Time Is Money, but think it’s too short…
Definitely, and I’m sorry that happened. I apologize, but it’s short due to the fact that I knew what my situation was gonna be. Plus, a thing called song cap. I didn’t think the album was gonna sell a lot and be successful, so after 12 tracks, when songs have samples and stuff, that comes out of me. I have to pay for it, and I didn’t want to be too much in the hole, you feel me? Then as far as the dated songs, I’ve been trying to get this album out for three and half years. I had to put it out though, and I knew that was gonna be the response. Actually, I thought there were gonna be more complaints, but then people were supporting it and saying it’s an alright album.
I feel the same way, because you have to understand that I make music as a fan, too. I wasn’t even moved too much. I wanted more new, fresh stuff. But with the time I had to put it out, and then you have to clear songs and go back and do this and do that, I just couldn’t afford to push it back any further. But tell them the new one will be out around March or April.

A new solo?
Yeah, a new solo. I’m already back in the lab. So for those people that happened to, payback is coming. I work fast, man. I wouldn’t say it’s done, because after the release, I wanted to do all new music. I might put a song or two I had, but right now I have about eight songs done. So from the end of February, when I get out of this joint, to March, I’ll probably do around 30 songs and just choose from there and go.

Does this new project have a title yet?
I ain’t name it yet. Ask me in like two weeks. I’m sitting here busting my brain, smoking like a muthafucka, thinking of a name. I’m gonna be messing with Pete Rock, Preemo, Vinny Idol, Dame Grease. It’s gonna be a real East Coast Dungeon sound.

You recently said in a rhyme on “Testify” that, if you could vote for president, it would be for Al Sharpton. But you’ve also expressed distrust for the system. Do you really have any faith in any of our elected officials and the promises they make?
I feel like there’s a government, and then there’s a government that runs the government, and we don’t know nothing about that, so how much power can you ever really have? If they can jerk the votes and a presidency can be rigged, then how much power can you have? That’s just my personal opinion. But if a guy comes in office and never before have you had this problem with voting, then that should be a big problem in this country. Which it was. Then the towers went down, and everybody forgot about it. We went after Bin Laden, never caught Bin Laden, and then it was almost voting time again, and then we had beef with Saddam.
I expressed that about Sharpton because he’s one of the people I seen in the streets. When you see the kid in Queens shot 50 times and you see Sharpton showing up, he’s one of the people I see there, so I gotta respect him for that.

He catches a lot of flak, though, even in the Black community. Some people label him an ambulance chaser and a media whore.
Until I see other people on the scene, I’m not gonna knock him, because at least he’s on the scene. Maybe he is doing some of it to help himself politically, but how is that different from any other political person? At least he’s near the families, on the scene. To tell you the truth, sometimes I pay attention to politics and sometimes I don’t, because it’s so blatant, in your face, and then it’s like you don’t see what’s going on. They’re gonna do what they want to do, anyway. They’re still sentencing us the same. All the sentences for our people are wrong. The justice system isn’t even equal for us.

What’s your biggest regret in your career?
I don’t know, because your mistakes of your past are what makes you the man you are today. Musically, I wish I would’ve come into the music business knowing more about the business. I wish I would’ve come in bookwise, if anything. But you know what, if I would’ve spent all my time on that, I might not have been the MC I was. And then where I came from and where I live, that was kind of a difficult thing. You don’t even really see yourself making it. So you’re really trying to work on that before you think, “Let me go get some books and learn the ins and outs of publishing and marketing and album placement.” You don’t know that shit coming in as a teenager. And it’s not like I came from suburbia land either.

  • http://forums.onsmash.com/?act=idx Team OnSMASH

    D BLOOOOOOCK!!

  • creepa 101

    2ND HOES AND BITCHES

  • Phantom time!!

    D-Block 2007!!!!!!!!

  • http://Ifux.blogspot.com I Fux

    Good Look Eskay……………..

  • Eshizzy

    SP’s a real nigga and a smart dude. nigga keep ya head. D-Block

  • Miveyjr

    good read Eskay! peace 2 the Ghost.

  • She

    Great interview Es I can’t wait to see what the Lox got for us this year

  • http://www.sekses.net kbge

    happy NEW leg, new album$, new outlook on life– its great to hear that the Ghost ‘came up out of that’. its also real good to hear that the LOX is coming…

    God bless you guys man. Keep up the great work!!

  • whoop di whoop

    d block real niggaz

  • jacquez
  • KING KEM

    great job!

  • Ill E

    nice interview Eskay. interesting topics in this one. That Styles album is pretty good. Can’t wait for the new album from Styles, and the Lox group album

  • http://dronkmunk.blogpsot.com dronkmunk

    nice int.

  • EReal

    His biggest mistake was bein on D-Block man. He needs to get away from them clowns, what they goin like double plastic over there or somethin?

    Styles is the only one I see gettin outta D-Block and puttin it down forreal. Loyalty only gets you so far when your crew is standing in the way of your success, IMO.

    Stay Up Styles, and watch out for them CACs in the big rigs homie.
    Eskay, I see you my dude.(No Birdman)

    1 Hunned

  • http://NAHRIGHT.COM DRO DUMARS

    BIG UP THE GHOST. THE REALEST IN DA GAME. CAN’T WAIT FOR THAT NEW FIRE

  • Belize

    Good q&a’s eskay…

  • 12oz

    Why would Styles want to sign to another label when he’s in the perfect position to start his own, put other super lyrical artist on?

    And. . . .

    SP had a lot of mix tape shit on the horizon does the crack down effect those releases?

    Good look Es.

    Ghost; keep doing what you do sun.

    12oz aka Montana Hands

  • mo’ green

    ereals a snake ass nigga. loyaltys everything and styles is the truth

  • 12oz

    Why would styles want to sign to another label when he’s in the perfect position to start his own, put other super lyrical artist on?

    And. . . .

    Ghost had a lot of mix tape shit on the horizon does the RIAA crack down effect those releases?

    Good look Es.

    Ghost; keep doing what you do sun.

    12oz aka Montana Hands

  • http://www.jimiizrael.com the izza

    Is this for the book? If so, how does Eskay rate a QnA but Bol can’t get a QnA or a column in the book? What’s the deal?

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  • http://playboy2gunzupyahoo.com DOCDIGGY

    THE WHOLE CREW HAS LEARNED FROM THEIR MISTAKES, MAINLY THE BUSINESS SIDE OF THE INDUSTRY. WAT MAKES IT BETTER FOR THEM IS THAT NIGGAS KNOW (EXCEPT 50. HE KNEW HE COULDNT WIN, BUT HE KNEW IT WOULD GIVE HIM ALOT OF ATTENTION. DONT FORGET. “IM THE HARDEST IN NY, MY STYLE IS BONKERS. ALL THE OTHER HARD NIGGAS, THEY COME FROM YONKERS”) THEY ARE THE STREET. AND TO THE PUSSY WHO MENTIONED DOUBLE PLASTIC, THATS YA BOI GAY-HO, I MEAN YAYO. BOTH LOX ALBUMS…………CERTIFIED PLAT, JADA……….CERTIFIED PLAT. GANGSTER AND A GENTLEMAN……….GOLD, AND THE NIGGA COULDNT EVEN PROMOTE THE ALBUM. O7 IS DEF D-BLOCK’S YEAR. GET READY. ALL YALL G-UNIT CLOWNS……………………WE GON SHOW U HOW TO DO THIS SON!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • SONNY CHEEBA

    Styles is the realest nigga out…

    TRUE STORY!

  • RJ

    D-BLOCK! That Time is Money was dope, but yep, a bit short. I’m waiting for that new Styles, new Jada, and that new LOX.

  • ill will

    styles p coming with real hip hop since independent. oh shit nice.

  • ill will

    payback is coming!

  • ill will

    premo and pete rock i smell a clasic, stylesmatic

  • Caine

    Mayne, I fucks wit Styles hard but, dis new album got too many songz for da hoes on it. And not to mention material that we already heard. Step ya game up P!

    O yeah, to da nigga Ereal, go check out the first Lox album, and focus mainly on ‘Kiss, and see if you still feel the same way about D-Block…

  • john cochran

    They are the type of artists that should be indy. I dont think labels know how to promote street music. Everybody usually on Jada dick but ghost is my nigga. He can be street and conscience at the same time. thats rare that we see that. Cube was the best at that too. Time is money is better than alot of other stuff out at the moment, but since all the songa are so old, It’s hard to give it attention. His version of that crystal waters jiont is better than the TI one( Why you wanna) to me.

  • Dr Flav

    Eskay got him to spit more than one word answers, by probing him about issues that interested him, throw the guy more work he trying to do his thing. It would be interesting to see what kind of questions Bol would throw @ some of these artists and Noz’s wide knowledge of various hip hop genres and regions would make for a good Q & A as well.

  • Three4

    Styles P with Premo and Pete Rock…I´m waiting…

  • kheri wes

    good look on the SP interview, bring back the lox

    good interview es,

  • http://myspace.com Francis

    Eskay Came correct with this interview, the questions really allowed Styles to expand and vent… Styles one of the realest in the game, i feel bad that he’s caught up in this bullshit, that 4 more group albums for interscope is slave shit…but like he said, you gotta be up on your books and know your shit.

  • GuNNz

    good interview. real answers.. time is money is a dope album too.

  • Puerto-Black

    DAMN the lox owe Jimmy 3 albums shit

  • E AKA THE REAL NORIEAGA

    Nice interview Eskay…

    Styles is the dopest east coast rapper right now…..

    Time is Money was good but go out and get Gangster and a Gentelman

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  • http://xxlmag.com Dangerous Tactics 206

    yea fuck innerscope,they tryed to make this man STYLES A G-UNIT GOON,but he aint havvin it,Fifty CsEhNiTt,tryed to blackball all the LOX albums……

  • Shub

    The chains have finally been released, do your thing Styles. DBlock for Life!!!!

  • Big D

    NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL AN INTERVIEW. GOOD JOB ON THIS ONE WHOEVER DID IT.

  • EAST COAST

    WOW I AM GLAD TO SEE THAT STYLES GET MORE RESPECT THAN JAY Z UP HERE….RECOGNIZE A REAL HIP HOP. STYLES IS PART OF IT…GREAT PUNCH LINE RAPPER!! D-BLOCK BITCH!!

  • Joe Da Man

    Styles is a great rapper and not many can put things in the manner he does and does well it bewilders me to see these foolish comments that do not seem to see the whole picture i understand it was not a great album but it was a great effort with all the things he is about i respect him and his artwork and i understand he has songs about women which to me is cool but not original but then you hear track # 3 on time is money and that song is a classic and you can play over and over that is a wonderful song and it showcases his true talent the only thing that was strange was that i think that havoc produce that and being that he is on g-unit i wonder how that play out but the out come was amazing to me.. i will always support him not cause i believe he is real because in reality i do not know him but because when he paints a picture he truly showcases his talent it is well worth the listen and he is truly one of the best rappers out as of today i will always be a fan through the bad times and through the “GOOD TIMES”
    Joe da Man

  • Numba Five UK

    Gangster & A Gentleman is a classic. Time is Money is still strong but you can feel his distraction with it. the politics fucked him up…..

    fuck the industry

  • http://www.wwe.com VISAR

    D – BLOCK FOR EVER FUCK 50 AND DIDDY.

  • big al LDN uk

    s.p. is a smart dude.hes what hip hop should be. cant wait for the new shit. hold your head p your time will come

  • south london

    styles p is da realist and hardest mc out dem other niggaz aint got nothin on him cant wait for the new album keep it up ghost d-block 4 life

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  • http://playboy2gunzupyahoo.com DOCDIGGY

    yea, politics really played their part with this album. he already had money and shit invested with this shit the reason he still had some of those songs on it, but the songs wont wack so i can still listen to it. get it faggots?!?!?!?!?!?!? LISTEN. track #9. Im Black. listen to dat. the whole album fire if u ask me. and the nigga got the nerve to say he coming back this spring? yall fools in trouble. o yea, wat u wit dat weak-ass Buck tha World album. 50 aint losing no power over at interscope is he. Buck suppose to been out. He was a month behind Banks first time around. Now wee talking about 5-6 months? Gay-ho, i meant Yayo coming out fourth quarter aint he?

  • IT IS I

    Peace to my man Styles P. I’m waiting for that next joint to come out. With Pete Rock and Preemo behind the beats, it’s damn sure gonna be somethin sick. I hope his leg gets better as well. One

  • daruffian

    nicely done eskay, congrats on the move over to xxl as well!

  • general_jeff_hood

    Jiimy be wanting his cake son like he turn 3 and shit…but the ghost is a ill nigga ..for sho lox is fucking ill and thanks to the guy that put his homework in on the album sales…and this nigga got rock on the next one…shit im buying for my hood

  • ya boy

    styles is nice tru……and gangsta……yes…….but if you know anything about selling records you know commercial aspects make platinum albums…unless you are in cali……styles is not business savy enough to make those moves….and gggggay unit sucks…….

  • general_jeff_hood

    oh i forgot its styles p your favorite rappers favorite rapper

  • GHOST BY DA DOOR

    D..BLOCKKKKKKKKKKKKKK,LOX,ODG,354,BPT,AND ITS STILL MONEY,POWER,AND RESPECT…….2007..SHEEK,LOX,JADA,J-HOOD,STYLES…..WE GOIN MAKE IT/GOT A GO N GET THAT CASH/

  • Dukesman2000

    Y’all giving dude a lot praise on here. I hope when he drops an album y’alll go cop it and dont bootleg the shit.

    All the prasies are great but that needs to reflect in Soundscan. That is why the Styles, Jada, Sheek and the whole D-Block clique is not respsected by the industry big wigs – they dont sell. In my opinion, Jada is the the top 5 greatest lyricist of all time. But he still gets shitted on by the industry, and to add insult to injury, you have pussy ass, bitch made Curtis Jackson, who is not even Styles’ class, influencing Interscope to push his album back.

    Buy the LOX album and show y’all recognize real.

  • College Park ATLien

    That was some funny shit – my man got out of his car and threw tissue at an 18 Wheeler? damn Bro.! but yo, you kept it real fo sho – nigga didn’t lie about the shit

  • http://xxlmag.com SHANK5

    THA LOX, D-BLOCK HAS BEEN DA NIGGAS 4 A WHILE UNTIL G-UINT SHOWED UP WITH YOUNG BUCK. DA SHIT ACTUALLY PISSES ME OFF DAT THEY CAN’T BLOW BUT NOW DIS SHIT IS STARTN 2 B THEIR FAULT AND THEIR FAULT ONLY CONSIDERING DAT BULLSHIT ALBUM P JUS DROPPED. NOT 2 MENTION SHEEKS LAST ALBUM,IF YOU GOT BEEF WITH 50, MMMASH ON HIS ASS ON EVERY SONG TIL DA WHOLE WORLD HEARS DAT SHIT DON’T GIT YA GROWN MAN ON TIL A NIGGA KNOW U AINT PLAYN WIT DIS RAP SHIT, BUT D-BLOCK WE’LL P AND SHEEK HAV BN DOIN IT ON DA MIXTAPES BUT I DON’T KNOW WASSSSUP WIT THEIR MAN JADA DIS NIGGA B BITCHN UP STAND UP NIGGA REP YA HOOD WIT YA NIGGAZ U B 2 SILENT ON DIS 50 ISSUE, BUT REAL STILL REK REAL,1!!!!!!

  • http://xxlmag.com SHANK5

    docdiggy or wateva ya fukn name is, fukn dumby, buck’s shit has been betta than any of styles p shit and still is so respect a real nigga’s shit “that has money” bitch.

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  • ATL NATIVE

    Is he real or what? Styles is the best rapper alive. His name will never be forgotten. He is the king of all mixtapes. I mean this nigga lives what he writes. Fuck all that,the Lox period.It doesnt get any better than that. For all those who disgree, suck on it!

  • YouKnow

    his whole album was sickkk every song 1-6 were sick.. 6-12 tracks are alrite..

  • rikan8383

    good interview. styles is that nigga and will always be!! nobody could touch d-block. the only niggas that are keeping hip hop alive but they are not getting the credit that they deserve. 2007 is D-BLOCK year!!

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  • DJ 413

    S DOT P DOT GHOST PINERO PHANTOM PLUS MANY MORE IS THE HARDEST EVER IF YOU DONT KNOW THAT ITS TIME DO CALL YOUR DOCTOR UP FOR A FULL CHECK UP

  • da_realting

    styles and the lox is the shit. long anticipated lox album soon to drop (thats whats up)

  • Clammy Claude

    sp needs to loosen the fuck up and make different sounding records and maybe the nigg will sell more..he sounds like the fuckin satan of yonkers everytime hes on the mike..no melody all dark dark dark shit..hes never been on seriously produced beats and hes just seems like a poor wretched soul lol to be quite honest..dnt ge tme wrong the man can rap his ass off..but he needs a revitilization..someone needs to sign his ass…he needs to do soemthin man,,i feel like his talent is just bein wasted..

  • http://www.myspace.com/ghanghiskhan 4 BUILDING

    Styles P is lyrics is str8 hardbody. Not a lot rappers out there that can fuck with him. Check out http://www.myspace.com/ghanghiskhan to hear new music from Ghanghis Khan.

  • D.C

    Styles, you are the hardest MC out now son. You are the branch off the tree Biggie and 2pac came from.The lyrical skill you have is strong, we the streetz need that shit man..it’s like medicine feel me! THE LOX IS KILLIN ANY TRIO. WE NEED IT STYLES!!!!

  • durtyrunner

    D-Block, real niggas. Time is money don’t sleep on this one, fo realz.

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  • M. Robinson

    Styles P iz one ov da realest niggaz in da game. All these niggaz walkin around sayin they hard but when cats like Kiss and Styles drop albums these so-called fans don’t cop the muzik. You need 2 start supportin dey muzik and not that lolly=pop shyt!!!!

  • http://geosynchronouslaurence.blogspot.com Russel Shah

    Very great article. Really..