I don’t think they’re going to expect what I’m coming with,” says Styles Peniro (David Styles) about his upcoming sophomore album, Time is Money. A member of the storied Yonkers, NY descended trio The LOX, it was a matter of time before each member would pursue their own solo projects. But where Styles, Jadakiss and Sheek differ from the status quo is that their impeccable solo projects match the standards set by their group efforts. As Styles P readies to drop his follow up 2002’s critically acclaimed A Gangster & A Gentleman, he’s confident in his abilities to not only continue his cliques’ reputation for banging Hip-Hop, but also cement his rep as one of the rap game’s illest lyricists. “I always looked at myself as one of the hardest, street spittin’ MCs,” he says.
“I can’t honestly say that I feel I’m the all around best as far as making good radio songs,” he rationalizes. “I wasn’t looking at the game on a business level, like I should have been. I was looking at it as an artist. This album I went in as a business person slash on my extra artist shit. Anybody that knows me or works with me will tell you that I put in a lot of work. That’s part of my reputation, good hard work all around.” That busy business schedule includes sharing Co-CEO of D-Block Records duties with Jadakiss and Sheek. He’s also raising his two kids-daughter Tai (10) and son Noah (6)-and is engaged to his girlfriend. On the artistic side of things he’s been just as busy with his guest appearance on Akon’s “Lock’d Up” and Jadakiss’ “Why Remix” keeping him on the mainstream radar.
RAPINDUSTRY.COM: The new album is on Ruff Ryders/Interscope is that right? What’s the name of it?
And when does it drop?
STYLES P: It’s called Time is Money and it drops on Dec. 19th.
RAPINDUSTRY.COM: And I heard you got the late Gerald Levert on the album? Tell us about that?
STYLES P: I was in Miami with Scott Storch for like 2 weeks, it was his suggestion, When he asked me about putting Gerald on the hook, I was like hell yeah!!!
RAPINDUSTRY.COM: In between albums, you stay visible by rocking mixtapes, how is the album different from what we hear on mixtapes?
STYLES P: The album is real lyrical. The content is deeper. It’s a very well rounded album.
RAPINDUSTRY.COM: Im’a switch gears a bit, Styles P is a concious thug.. What are ya thoughts on Iraq conflict? Since Bush is almost outa here….how is that gonna impact that whole thing?
STYLES P: When Bush leaves it should get back to normal, since he already fucked shit up…..If the Republican gets in, or a If Democrat gets in (the white house), but it should pretty much be over.
RAPINDUSTRY.COM: What about Saddam?, they talking about televising his execution. Do you think that’s something people wanna see?
STYLES P: Probably. Definitely so…matter fact, hell yeah. Niggas wanna see that!
RAPINDUSTRY.COM: Being that you are a decendent of African people, do you think hip-hop should address the blood diamond issue?
STYLES P: Niggas aint gonna address that tho, cause for niggas to address that they have to deal with their own personal issues, about how they wanna be shinin’ and a part of their concious eatin’ em….so I don’t think so. Personally, I believe they should address it. I believe hip hop should address damn near everything. That’s my personal belief. Every rapper don’t feel like that tho… niggas feel like they “just” rappin’, which they have a right to.
RAPINDUSTRY.COM: There was some talk about the Lox signing to Def Jam under the Carter Administration. Was that totally false?
STYLES P: Everybody kinda hollering at us… not just them. It could happen….could not happen. Alotta places are bidding for us tho, cause it aint that much real hip hop left so…
RAPINDUSTRY.COM: You recently opened a car wash in New York City, how is that going? And do you have any other business plans, beyond the music?
STYLES P: It’s going great actually, as far as other ventures, I’ma be putting out a street fiction book probably by years end. It’s gonna be different from the ones that are out there. It’s gonna have a Donald Goines/Iceberg Slim type feel, and be very detailed…..ya know?
RAPINDUSTRY.COM: We coming up on the 10th anniversary of BIG’s passing. You worked with BIG.. what are ya memories of the late legend?
STYLES P:Just his humbleness and his coolness man.. that’s what’s stuck out to me. He was so down to earth. Sometimes when you come from the ghetto, I see nowdays, a lot of people get on and lose their way, but BIG….. the more successful he was getting, he remained humble. That’s a rare quality.
RAPINDUSTRY.COM: What is it about Styles P, regardless of what Billboard says, that gets everybody excited when he’s about to drop? Are you really the last of a dying breed?
STYLES P: Yeah, I think as far as lyricism…. I think that’s what the people are looking for. Not hearing the same stuff that’s basic..like, I aint expect that word to rhyme with that word!
Thanks for ya time, tell Supa Mario, and the whole fam, Flex said what up…..December 19th. Time is Money.