Thursday, August 08, 2019

Me & Styles P (An Interview From 2009)


About 10 years ago, I had the honor of chopping it up on the phone with Styles P for an interview. It was around the time Jada was dropping “The Last Kiss,” because we talked a bit about that album, but it wasn’t a promo thing, just two guys discussing Hip-Hop. Right off the bat, he made his position clear, saying, “I'm a blue collar MC.” He was proud (and reflective) on the fact that he was alive, and that he was more than "relevant" in a culture that’s been holding him down since 1995. I asked him to help me understand better what “The Ghost” meant to him - he paused and said, “being in the zone; a different space; having an open mind towards things that others don’t; using your third eye; a feeling of being here before and knowing you are gonna be here later” and while it wasn’t necessarily crystal clear, I understood that he was speaking to a duality that represents the man he is in life and in music. To a degree, that feeling of being a Gangster & a Gentleman.


There was a calmness about him, but there wasn’t a point where I'd lost sight of the fact that this was one of the hardest living eMCees in Hip-Hop. When the conversation shifted to image and the youth, he was quick to shoot them bail and say he was proud and happy for anyone to be able to make a living and feed their family. But, he added "It’s upsetting also that they don't know that rap is also Hip-Hop.” That’s an important distinction he was making. “They think they are just in the rap industry and they don't have the slightest idea of their past, the history, or how they are supposed to be an MC.” In the end, however, he remained optimistic, “You’ve just gotta stick to your guns and do what you do best. It's people like you - who are asking me these questions and love this real hip-hop shit - that lets me know the whole world ain't f#cking crazy, so I'm alright!” A legend and an OG, Styles P closed it out by advising artists to maintain a solid work ethic, and brought it full circle because as a blue collar MC, he leads by example. Go check out his Juices For Life company and support all his efforts: podcasts, mixtapes, albums, live shows, etc! Let's end this with a message from Styles P, the Ghost (Thanks for the love, OG)... Until next time ...