There are few who have graced hip-hop in the way that Styles P has.
The proud son of Yonkers has led an illustrious career since the 1990s. He’s done so not only as a solo artist but also alongside Jadakiss and Sheek Louch in the rap trio known as the Lox.
After so many hits and so many years in the game, the rap legend has reached a closing chapter in his career. Styles P told me on this week’s “Renaissance Man” that his upcoming solo album will be the final one.
“I feel I’ve put in more than my work as a solo artist and I feel it’s important to go out on your own terms,” Styles P said, also boasting that he’s “put out more solo albums than most people I came in the game with.”
Rest assured, the 914 superstar — one who was mentored by the late, great DMX — will still be involved with the Lox and many more collaborations in the years to come. As for right now, a break from the booth is exactly what Styles P says he needs.
“There’s other things I want to do, so I had to knock something off,” he said. “So I figured, ‘Hey, I have enough solo projects and that’s the one to knock off.’”
The plan for Styles P is to branch out and focus more on upcoming TV and literature projects that he has a passion for. By opening the health food brands Farmacy for Life and Juices for Life, he’s also become quite the entrepreneur. The latter has locations in Yonkers, The Bronx and Brooklyn.
As for the final solo album, what Styles P has in store is bound to be phenomenal.
“You’ll definitely get all aspects of me as an emcee … I’ll give that kind of effort to make sure I’ll go out with a bang,” he said, adding that “there’s definitely, probably a few young greats that I may go for” to collaborate with on the project — but only if the beat is right for them.
“I’m a big J. Cole fan. I’m a big Kendrick [Lamar] fan. [Rick] Ross and myself make good music, I’m a Nas fan,” the rapper added. “You know I like freestyling over R&B, I’m a H.E.R. fan, I’m a Jazmine Sullivan fan. I’m a fan of a lot of people, so we’ll see.”
Of course, it’s a lock that his fellow Lox members will also make an appearance on Styles P’s epic finale.
It has to be mentioned that he’s also shifting his career at a time when the rap game has changed — particularly in the overly friendly ways that hip-hop artists collaborate now.
“They’re not competitive enough against each other. I personally feel like you get on a track with somebody, it’s supposed to be a business,” Styles P said. “When you get in a studio, you’re supposed to be trying to air him out. Not diss him … but if they’re gonna drop a double double, you want to make sure you drop a triple double.”
Putting it simply, he firmly believes that there’s no love lost when you shoot to be top dog and it makes everyone in the booth better because of it.
“You want your team to win, but it’s not like you’re rooting for anyone else to get player of the game,” Styles P said. “Steel sharpening steel brings the best out of you and it brings a sense of brotherly competition.”
Detroit native Jalen Rose is a member of the University of Michigan’s iconoclastic Fab Five, who shook up the college hoops world in the early ’90s. He played 13 seasons in the NBA before transitioning into a media personality. Rose executive-produced “The Fab Five” for ESPN’s “30 for 30” series, is the author of the best-selling book “Got To Give the People What They Want,” a fashion tastemaker and co-founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a public charter school in his hometown.
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