Styles P: the Underrated Underdog? by VOFO.
by Rapjoint Lagos
The level of the underestimated love that Styles P commands became apparent to us, when we (Rap Joint Lagos) posted a video of one of his songs in commemoration of the 19th year anniversary of the release of his debut album: “Gangster and Gentleman” on 8th July, 2021. The video generated the most views and likes on our social media platforms. Rap heads simply love Styles P.
David R. Styles (born November 28, 1974), better known by his stage name Styles P (formerly known mononymously as Styles), is an American Rapper, best known as a member of hip hop group The Lox, alongside childhood friends Sheek Louch and Jadakiss. Along with the other members of The Lox, he is a founder of D-Block Records and is also a part of the Ruff Ryders. In addition to his group work he has released multiple albums and mixtapes as a solo MC.
After his parents' divorce, Styles and his younger brother Gary moved to Yonkers with their mother. It was there he met lifelong friends Jadakiss and Sheek Louch. As a trio, The Lox began rapping in the mid-1990s and started to build a steady underground following thanks to their performances and street freestyles. In their late teens, the trio met Mary J. Blige who was impressed with their lyrical content, and gave their demo to Sean “Diddy” Combs.
After Jadakiss, Styles P, and Sheek Louch — who’d formed the group in high school, originally under the name “the Bomb Squad” — publicly argued with their mogul boss, Sean Combs, to leave what most considered a dream label at the time, the group released what’s perhaps their most acclaimed release, 2000’s “We Are the Streets”.
Styles' younger brother, Gary Quarles Styles, died in a car accident on May 13, 2001. Styles has made many references to Gary in his music, including the tribute song "My Brother", from his debut album A Gangster and a Gentleman.
In 2002 he released his debut solo album A Gangster and a Gentleman, which contained the hit single "Good Times". The song peaked at number 22 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and received massive nationwide airplay in 2002. He has gone on to release Time is Money (2006), Super Gangster (Extraordinary Gentleman) (2007), Master of Ceremonies (2011), The World's Most Hardest MC Project (2012), Float (2013), Phantom and the Ghost (2014), A Wise Guy and a Wise Guy (2015), G-Host (2018) and Ghosting(2021).
Refusing to become one-note, the LOX members branched out into respected, successful solo careers — notably, Jadakiss has given the culture timeless songs, including 2001’s “We Gon Make It,” among a deep list of accomplishments (even famously ghostwriting Diddy’s “Victory” verse) that were celebrated this June in his Verzuz showcase with Fabolous.
While Styles P once contributed the memorable stoner anthem “I Get High,” nowadays he’s taken an alternative holistic approach to health, co-running a local chain of juice bars with Jada, and owns a plant-based supplement line. On a recent call, the LOX reflected on their history and consistency, from their earliest days to their latest and fourth LP, August’s Living Off Xperience.
According to wikipedia.com, the discography of Styles P, an American hip hop recording artist consists of a respectable ten solo studio albums, two extended plays, 13 singles and one promotional single. How many rappers have 10 solo studio albums ?