During my novice career as hip-hop journalist/intern, I’ve had the opportunity to interview a few rappers and unfortunately, I’ve talked to a few arrogant personalities. But, behind-the-music, Yonkers native Styles P personality reflects his real-life lyrics. He’s direct, calm and aggressive at the same time. And, that’s Word to The Lox, Styles P is one of realest human beings on earth, f*** rap.
While on tour with his comrades, Jadakiss and Sheek Louch, promoting The Lox’s upcoming Trinity album, and a long day of mundane interviews, the last thing that the devoted husband and father of two wants to do is get interviewed by an inexperienced college student. His languid voice spoke a billion adjectives about his die-hard Yonker-hustle. Out of respect for the gangsta’ and the gentlemen, and his obvious lack of sleep, I told The Ghost that I would make this interview as quick as possible. “It’s all good, young man. Take your time,” Styles P said. You see, he get’s love from the streets, because he is the streets. Sleep deprived (Oh, and he had an album release party to attend to in a couple hours) and all, Styles P spoke to The Source about his seventh studio album, Phantom and The Ghost, books, movies and he broke down some lyrics from his new album.
Congratulations on the release on your new album?
Thank you, young man. I really appreciate that.
What’s your writing process like?
I come up with it from just sitting there, letting the beat play and smoking. I try to keep the room lightly lit or dark, dark as possible, and just zone out. I zone out and come up with what I come up with. I always smoke when I’m working on my shit, especially when you in the zone. When you in that zone you keep going.
On “Don’t’ Be Scared” you rapped, “I be smoking having visions of Mecca and Medina.” Can you break that down for us?
Basically, I would define that as overseas Mecca and Medina and New York and Brooklyn. And, just smoking, seeing the world and being relaxed. I remember when I was younger Rakim also mentioned visions of Mecca and Medina, so I was kind of paying homage and tribute to the OGs and just speaking about what I was thinking about in my mind.
You also mentioned Build and Destroy. Are you a Five-Percenter?
Nah, not at all. I’m just spiritual, man. I just me and I’m spiritual.
Ok. So, you like movies. Was it your idea to use that Boyz In The Hood scene for”Never Trust?”
That was Black Swan’s idea to put that in. And, what that meant is, basically, If you ain’t going to ride, get out. I was just speaking about that being one of my favorite things and I was talking about it a lot and he just threw it on the joint for me.
I love so many films. I love Malcolm X, Goodfellas, The Godfather, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Remember the Titans, Glory, things of that nature. I’m kind of odd with it. I really love all films. If it’s good, interesting and deep, I can mess with it. I feel like actors are like rappers. It’s a lot of them a lot of real talented ones.
Actually, I’m trying to work on some films, I’m just writing some scripts, that’s all. But, I can’t talk about it.
Is that what you went to school for?
I had my brain in a lot of places. When I was young I wanted to be an architect or a director of films. There was a lot of things that I was interested in. I wasn’t really sticking to anything specific at the time.
Did you meet Jada and Sheek while in college?
I met both of them when I was in junior high. Basically, through rapping and then I ended up in the same high school as them and we started hanging out during the lunch period, during the week, on the weekends and after school. Just like that, regular shit.
How long were y’all in school?
We went to Westchester Community. We stayed there about a semester, bruh.
Ok. Let’s break down some of these lyrics. On “Never Trust” you rap,“I know the pain well because I came from it.” What’s the most painful thing you’ve experienced? And, from the same song, my favorite line is, “I’m sophisticated, but I n****ized.”
The most painful thing I’ve experienced is losing family members.
And, I fit in both worlds. Basically. I can keep it classy or I can keep it extra G. That’s being ni****ized. Coming up in the hood and being able to blend in and fit in anywhere. Being sophisticated and being able to fit into other places where you think you’d never be able to fit in. Just basically saying I’m in both worlds.
On another song you said, “I might be in tune with the Sun and the Moon”
Being in tune with the sun and the moon means that I’m know what’s going on with the world, but that don’t mean that I don’t know what’s happening with the ghetto shit. Just because that’s the vibe don’t mean that I don’t know that someone is packing in the room.
Your rhymes are so simple, but so profound. What books are you reading right now?
I haven’t read in a minute. I’ve been slipping on that. I need to pick up a book and read, but I love reading. I just been working a lot, creating a lot, haven’t had the time. But, definitely every MC, every lyricist, every rapper should read. Vocabulary widens and you want to have that in place.
What are some of your favorite books?
I would definitely say Donald Goines joints. All of his joints. Manchild In The Promiseland, Invisible Man, I like Miguel Grullon, and a bunch of wisdom books around the office.
So, your son produced the “Rude Boy Hip Hop?”
Yes, he’ll be 16 next month. He rap too, but mostly he do beats. He been doing beats for about a year. And, my daughter did the cover art work, too. She 19. She’s a great artist. Both of them are great artist.
No doubt. Other than your shit, what are you listening to?
Right now I’m listening to a lot of old school. Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, Rakim, Kool G Rap, Public Enemy, KRS One, early Nas, early Jay Z, early B.I.G., early Outkast, early Eminem and a bunch of new fellas, too.
What are some of the new artists you rock with?
I love Currency, I love Action Bronson, I like Troy Ave, I like ScHoolboy Q, I like YG, I like Wale, I like J. Cole.
What’s your favorite song off the new album?
It switches by the day. Today it was “Rude Boy Hip Hop.”
What’s next for you?
Working on Juice bars and The Lox album. We on The Trinity Tour. And, for those who can buy the album, please support it if you got the cash. If you don’t then you got to get it how you got to get it, that’s cool. But, just spread the word on it.
As told to Darryl Robertson (darryl_robertson)