Styles P: Black is Back

Regardless of any current trend in Hip-Hop, Styles P continues to remain one of the street’s most provocatively blunt and respected lyricists over time. His career and personal life has seen many changes since 1998. He went from being a Bad Boy to being a Ruff Ryder, from getting jiggy to getting high, from enjoying the freedom of independent artist to facing time incarcerated. Styles has definitely stood the test of time and is gearing up for the coming holiday season.

After four years since his debut solo album A Gangster and a Gentleman, Styles will be releasing his highly-anticipated sophomore LP Time is Money on December 19th. And this time around, he is taking a new approach to his project- by not approaching it at all. Time was created both for himself and for loyal fans, leaving The Ghost to abandon the mainstream and investing his time in enjoying life. While taking a break from traveling the world and enjoying freedom, Styles reflected to AllHipHop about the Kramer incident, the n-word, politics and Hip-Hop. Here are his two cents: feel free to keep the change. What did you think of the Kramer incident?

Styles P: Wow. Somebody should have beat the s**t out of him! Somebody should have hung his ass and put a fork up his f**kin’ ass! F**kin’ devil. Immediately following, there has been the N-word controversy. The Black Community has chastised [Michael Richards] for the word while we use the word amongst each other. Even in rap music, we use the word frequently. There’s an undeniable double standard…

Styles P: That’s totally f**king insane to say. When somebody from the hood is calling you [“n***a”], there is no emotional attachment. He’s not trying to degrade you or disgrace you or anything- he’s saying it out of love. So when someone other then that calls you that, it takes it to another level. I think from us using it with each other it’s kinda turning a negative into a positive. For them to still use it, it’s a negative-negative. When we use it, it’s a loving and endearing term. No matter where the word came from, it’s [about] the context of what we use it now. The word came from somewhere but the word hot originally meant something was hot, but hot means something is cool now. It’s alright to switch those words around, but it’s not correct to switch [“n***a”] around. Last month we’ve had an extremely vocal midterm election. If you were given the chance to vote, would have voted?

Styles P: Do you really think it would count? I just watched a National Geographic [Channel] special on the voting machines. I seen how they switched the whole s**t around. Not just on paper, inside the computer. To tell you the truth, honestly, I wouldn’t [vote]. Whoever is running…when it was Bush versus Kerry, what would have been the use? They’re all in the same secret society, anyway. There’s another government besides the government. I don’t think it’s ever what the people want. Let me ask you something, you ever think there’d be a woman president? I think Hillary [Rodham] has a strong chance. I also wouldn’t count out the Illinois Senator, Barak Obama.

Styles P: I think if either one of ‘em would win, they’d get killed. [Barak] definitely wouldn’t stand a chance- he’s Black. [Editor’s note: Barak Obama is of multi-racial ethnicity] He might as well hang it up. I think the closest Black person that could have won would have been Colin Powell. You’ve seen what he did- he gracefully bowed out. Speaking of being Black, “I’m Black” wasn’t as accepted as much it could have been. Both mainstream and by fans. How do you feel about that?

Styles P: It’s f**ked up. You try to help the hood, drop a little jewel. I think the state of mind in Hip-Hop, and the world itself, is f**ked up. I’m Black, I just been in jail, I’m an entertainer – so I see what’s going on. I tried to drop a jewel for the young boys on what it is. Usually, I try to sneak the jewels in; that time, I was just trying to be blatantly out right with it. Nah, but I still think it’s something that needs to be done… years down the line, it might kick in and be useful. You have to use sneak techniques. If you don’t- its not gonna work. They showed me that firsthand. The response was definitely surprising considering the success of [Jadakiss’s] “Why”…

Styles P: Hip-Hop has its ups and downs. You ask me, it’s definitely at its downtime. The music ain’t great right now, man. There’s a lot of boosting stars without the work to back it up. This is an industry now with one hit [and] you’re it. Back in the days- from KRS-One’s days all the way to Wu days and B.I.G days- you had to be really spitting or you were nowhere. Back in the days, if you made songs that were too big or too pop you were a crossover. All that s**t’s over. You might get a bunch of good music, but you’ll never get to hear it. You gotta go search for that s**t. If you don’t do that, you can forget about it. We recently lost the great Gerald Levert, who appears on your album. How was it working with him?

Styles P: I actually didn’t do the song with him. I had met Levert a couple of times and Scott Storch hooked it up. [Storch] called me when he was in the studio. The song’s crazy though. God bless him.

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