â€œWork hard, work harder and work the hardest you can and family firstâ€ is the motto of Styles P, better known as S.P the Ghost, one-third of the hip-hop group The Lox. Styles in the process of embarking on the road that many underrated mainstream rappers dream of. Super Gangster Extraordinary Gentleman is his third studio album being released in the midst of mixtapes and a personal struggle to be the best. After receiving success with his sophomore album, Time is Money, heâ€™s put off waiting for a promo buzz to push consumer anticipation to the next level for his new release.
â€œFor the rappers who talk real street, though, and canâ€™t go back, I think they should just leave it out of their rhymes.â€
Format: What have you been up to since your last release Time is Money?
Styles P: Working on this one and working on my car wash, but mainly just focusing on this album.
Format: Youâ€™ve been out of the spotlight, but youâ€™ve managed to stay present in the mixtape circuit. How important would you say mixtapes are to an established rapperâ€™s career compared to an upcoming rapperâ€™s career?
Styles P: I donâ€™t really know, but for somebody like me itâ€™s just important because Iâ€™m an emcee and because Iâ€™m a lyricist. So [I do it] just to ventilate. I do it to please my fans and hold my fans down who I know are looking forward to hearing me. Iâ€™m just trying to feed the people what they want.
Format: Youâ€™re one of the founders of the D-Block music label so how would you say things are going? Is everything evolving as you expected?
Styles P: No, I think itâ€™s about to, but not so far. Weâ€™re working and I feel comfortable as far as our artists. With Louch weâ€™re doing great. We donâ€™t fuck with J Hood no more, but we got a bunch of new young bloods that weâ€™re fucking with and we feel good. If you hear my new mixtape Phantom Menace youâ€™ll hear all of them on there, so weâ€™re doing alright. Weâ€™re looking forward to dropping a compilation release.
Format: What is the D-Block camp trying to establish with the new artists and what do you represent as a whole?
Styles P: We represent what we always represented: real rap, real lyrics, real, authentic hip-hop. No gimmicks, no games, nice beats, real hooks, real lyrics and represent what you do â€“ weâ€™re emcees.
Format: Being from Yonkers, how has your hometown shaped you into the artist that you are today?
Styles P: Anytime youâ€™re from somewhere and the whole world doesnâ€™t know about it, but you know about it and your peeps know about it, it pushes you to go harder to put where youâ€™re from on the map. So I think it molded us into real trendsetters. We came in with our own style of rap and stuck to it to represent where weâ€™re from. We still love where weâ€™re from and it held us down as true artists all the way.
Format: How does growing up in Yonkers compare to the Yonkers you lived in before you got in the rap game?
Styles P: I mean Iâ€™ve been doing the rap thing since I was seven, just not professionally. I think growing up there is like growing up everywhere. The difference is itâ€™s wilder. I canâ€™t be on the outside looking in, Iâ€™m there everyday. Iâ€™ve been there the whole length, Iâ€™ve never left and thatâ€™s part of who we are. That makes us the group we are today. Of course we have difference houses, I donâ€™t live there. I have a house up-state, but Iâ€™m there everyday. My studio is in the hood. My car wash is in the hood, right in our hood!
Format: Whatâ€™s your perception of rappers who just completely go Hollywood and never come back to where they came from?
Styles P: Thatâ€™s their business, I donâ€™t really know how they grew up or the morals and principles they were raised with or their circumstances. Maybe they canâ€™t come back so I try not to be judgmental at all. I used to when I was young. I used to consider them soft and weak and not true to their game if they were speaking that street stuff. For the rappers who talk real street, though, and canâ€™t go back, I think they should just leave it out of their rhymes.
Format: Where did you pick up the name of your alter ego S.P the Ghost?
Styles P: I donâ€™t know it just came. I just felt like I woke up one day feeling like a phantom. Iâ€™ve been a ghost forever, I just feel like I changed and metamorphosed into something else. I guess how Spidy had black Spiderman in him, thatâ€™s how I woke up one day.
Format: Super Gangster Extraordinary Gentlemean is the new album. What should people expect to hear on this project?
Styles P: Incredible lyrics well put together music, a hip-hop album. Real street, real funky, real. The shit, man! Just expect the shit!
Format: Is there any underlining concept that comes along with this album?
Styles P: With Super Gangster Extraordinary Gentleman Iâ€™m describing myself, the things that I see in life, the things that I go through, they way I feel. Life as I see it.
Format: Who did you get a chance to team up with artist and production wise?
Styles P: Green Lantern, Kid Capri, Alchemist, Hi-Tek, Swizz, Akon, Dame Grease, Ghostface, Beanie Sigel, Black Thought from the roots, Ray J and my partners Sheek and Kiss, of course.
Format: Youâ€™ve already worked with a wide range of artists, not only on your album, but on a list of features. Is there anyone in particular that you still would like to work with?
Styles P: Black Thought and Beanie, but I worked with them, Ghostface, too. Everybody was on this album.
Format: Since your first release what would you say has changed most about your artistry?
Styles P: My delivery is probably more potent and my lyrics. I work a lot and I work hard so if Iâ€™m not doing the songs then Iâ€™m doing the mixtapes. If Iâ€™m not doing the mixtapes Iâ€™m doing a song or thinking about it. I think it just comes along with working, it comes with the territory. I think anything you practice at you get better.
Format: Gangster and gentleman are two terms that have reoccurred in the titles of your albums. What would you say is something that makes you a gangster and another thing that makes you a gentleman?
Styles P: What makes me one makes me both. The way I move, the way I carry myself, the way Iâ€™m willing and able to handle situations that arise.
Format: Pretty much every hip-hop artist puts Biggie and Pac at the top of their list when it comes to naming favorite artists. You actually had the opportunity to work with B.I.G. back in the day so what was that like?
Styles P: It was great. I worked with the best in the business. Very cool dude. Humble. I canâ€™t really explain it. If I could say anything to sum it up I would say that it was just a pleasure and an honor to work with him and one hell of a memory. I have some great memories.
Format: What would you say was the most valuable thing that youâ€™ve learned while working with B.I.G?
Styles P: Work hard. Work hard. And always try to be the best.
Format: Whatâ€™s going on with the Lox are you guys working on anything?
Styles P: Yeah weâ€™re working, we should be dropping an album around third-quarter.