Styles P interview

Styles P interview
This is your second solo album, not counting the mixtapes. What is new about Styles P. at this point? What should we expect on ‘Time is Money’?

It’s more lyrical. There is a wider range, more variety. It’s more diverse compared with the first album.

You switched from Bad Boy to Interscope, looking for a better representation. Yet, Interscope has been delaying the release of your album, while Bad Boy seems to have treated you right at the end of separation. Do you feel that you may have made a mistake in the switch?

I don’t know what makes you say that they treated us pretty well. That would be your personal opinion.

Didn’t Jadakiss say that Diddy did right by you by giving up the money he didn’t have to give at the end?

You are talking about the record deal, the publishing deal.

I see. So you feel that you have better representation with Interscope?

Hell, no! Neither one of them was better.

Talking about label affiliations, how do you feel about label representation in general in artists lives?

It sucks. That’s why a lot of artists go independent.

You have released a series of own mixtapes, from the Ghost series, but this is only your second album. Are there other reasons for that or are you avoiding the spotlight intentionally?

Nah, these are political reasons. I’ve been trying to put the album out for years. By the time it comes around I am working on a different solo album.

You have always represented the streets in your music, remaining the essence of Hip Hop. Many other artists take a very different approach, focusing on the commercial aspects of the industry. Do you feel that is still Hip Hop, or is Hip Hop primarily about representing the streets?

Hip Hop is representing the streets. I feel that the industry Hip Hop is garbage. I’m Hip Hop. Industry is not Hip Hop at all. I consider the industry the industry. It’s a total different scene, different culture. The culture of Hip Hop is real, it’s about real people, not the media.

You’ve been rapping for more than 10 years now. What changes during this time in Hip Hop are you happy to see and what changes disappoint you?

Changes that make me happy is artists are making money. More of it is going to minority, stuff like that. What makes me sad is bullshit music.

Your dispute with 50 cent has drawn a lot of attention, hence the question. G Unit’s recent albums, Lloyd Bank’s Rotten Apple and Mobb Deep’s Blood Money were not received as well in the US. Do you think it is the decline of G Unit’s reign or just a temporary setback?

I don’t even know, I don’t even care. I’m just trying to do me. I don’t pay too much attention to the industry vibe, all that. I represent the streets, I do what I do and besides that I really don’t give a shit too much about what’s going on in the industry.

You opened for Rakim during his last 2 concerts. At the same time, you have tracks with some of the newer acts, like Akon, who dropped his debut album only 2 years ago and even done work with Miri Ben-Ari. How do you combine the old and the new music affiliations in your music career?

I have a wide range man. I’m young enough that I can work with new people. I’m old enough to remember what Hip Hop’s about. I’ve been in Hip Hop since I was real young, I’ve been around for a while.

Do you enjoy more working with the so-called ‘old school’ Hip Hop or the newer acts?

Nah, I definitely enjoy working more with the legends. That’s what I grew up on, that’s what I respect. I’ll always prefer to work with a master than someone unknown.

The first album you released in 2004 went Platinum. The music scene has changed a great deal. How do you think your new album will be received?

I don’t think it’ll be too great, honestly. Then again, I don’t know ‘cause I got a lot of fans who really love me. There wasn’t a lot of promotions as with the first album, but then again I get a lot of love from people. So I don’t really know to tell you the truth. I hope it does well, but I don’t expect it to do greater than the album that came out 3 years ago.

Who are the current NYC artists who command a lot of respect from you?

Nobody. Me! I don’t really like to talk about different artists. I respect the old school guys. Young guys you got to put a lot of years of work to earn respect from me. Not that I disrespect you, I totally respect them, you just gotta go a long way before you get respect.

What do your fans need the most from Hip Hop now?

Me! Lyrics! The lyrics out now… it sucks!

When you write, in your creative process, what are your sources of inspiration?

I just smoke, listen to the beat and that’s it. It’s the beat. The beat makes you want to work.

What producers did you work with on this album?

Scott Storch, Lil Jon, Havoc, Hi-Tek, there is a few more.

Do you plan on putting out your albums a little more frequently now?

Yeah, definitely. I don’t know about Interscope thou, I’ll just do independent work.

So you are thinking of going independent then?

Yeah, it’s better that way.

You’re not thinking of signing to Talib’s Blacksmith or Rakim’s Ra Records?

No. I gotta make a home myself before I sign with somebody else.